Providers Need to Become Community Hubs

By Welltok Marketing

Your inbox and LinkedIn feed are likely inundated with HIMSS recaps and commentary. There is one summary from last month’s JP Morgan healthcare conference that we felt is even more poignant.

As published in Becker’s Hospital Review,
“The No. 1 Takeaway From the 2019 J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference: It’s the Platform, Stupid.”

In the article, Strata Decision Technology CEO Dan Michelson stated, “For healthcare providers, there is a major shift taking place. They are moving from a traditional strategy of buying and building hospitals and simply providing care into a new and more dynamic strategy that focuses on leveraging the platform they have in place to create more value and growth via new and often more profitable streams of revenue.”

When Michelson says “platform” he isn’t referring to a software platform. He sees healthcare providers using their resources to become hubs of healthcare in their communities. Not just episodic healthcare, but overall health and wellness. To be a hub, organizations with common interests come together to spark innovation and facilitate more efficient work. Hospitals and health systems are the largest employers in their communities, so the building blocks are already there for them to become hubs. Throw in the mergers and acquisitions that have taken place over the course of the last 10 years, and you already have many disparate organizations that were brought together, rather organically.

Michelson went on to say, “Increasingly in the future, these organizations will be health and healthcare hubs for innovation and building new companies, for bringing the community together to tackle issues like hunger and homelessness, for education and training, for research and development partnerships, for coordinated, compassionate and longitudinal care delivery for treatment, for support groups for specific chronic conditions, for digital and virtual care, and for thoughtful and effective support for mental and behavioral health.”

These mergers have also increased competition between systems and have put the deciding power into the hands of the consumers. So, in the future, organizations will need to think well past episodic care, and look at the whole health of the individual. They will need to have that healthcare conversation not just when that person is in the midst of an encounter, but before, after and during the time in between. And it needs to become a two-way conversation – a longitudinal relationship over time.

Today, people spend very little time as patients. And after they have an encounter, they generally leave with instructions from their provider. They typically have good intentions, and plan to try to follow their doctor’s guidelines. However in many cases, these individuals fall back into their old lifestyles. But the providers don’t know that.

Providers are in arguably the best position to become the hubs of their communities. With the power of today’s technology, they are in the position to truly innovate and participate in their patients’ overall care – in and outside of the four walls. Technology can provide their patients with consistent information and encourage them to take the necessary steps to reach their health goals, and the patients need to be able to respond back. Providers need to engage their patients, activate them and create brand loyalty.

If you’re a healthcare provider that’s ready to expand the support of your community, we have the right solutions to help. Contact us today.