PSM Solutions Blog

The Future of Patient Care, Today

July 2, 2015

At the Institute for Healthcare Consumerism Forum and Expo last week, I presented as part of a panel on Wellness, Incentives, and Engagement. I asked the healthcare payers and benefits managers in the room to take a thoughtful journey with me to a preferred future that includes high quality healthcare. Now I invite you to consider that future with me.

Think about your current health care experience with providers that you see.  How many minutes do you spent with the provider?  How many visits per year? Do you receive answers for all your questions? Do you think of all the right questions before you walk out the door?

Now, imagine a different scenario:

An initial chronic disease management visit lasting around an hour, with 4 to 5 follow-up visits scheduled throughout the year specifically to work side-by-side with you to manage your condition.

A healthcare provider accessible and available to you outside of your scheduled visits, on a daily basis if need be. You can see this provider in person at a local practice setting or contact the provider by phone. When you call, you can speak to the provider, not a machine or assistant.

An experience centered on conversation. A visit starts with listening to you, the patient, followed by questions from the provider about your condition, your goals, your understanding of information, and your feelings on your health and the care you are receiving.

A highly individualized and specific approach to your care, focusing on your specific needs based on your current knowledge, skill, and performance.

A guide to help connect and refer you to health resources, providers, and educators in your community that can benefit your understanding and disease management.

An additional 8 to 12 quick visits each year, where the same provider helping you manage your chronic disease can provide expert information on the best use of your medications and can keep their fill dates synchronized. Believe it or not, the provider can actually go ahead and provide the medications for you him or herself, right then and there.

That’s because this provider is your community pharmacist.

We already have knowledgeable providers out there, yet we are still so far from perfecting chronic disease care. Why? Because no member of the healthcare team is more essential than the patient. So who has the time or knowledge not only to assess a patient’s current understanding and ability, but to empower patients to lead their own care?

The answer lies in flipping the credentialing model to focus on patients. The training, comes from our nation’s pharmacists. With pharmacists’ level of expertise, ability to work with patients, and accessibility, there is no provider in a better position to help a patient become better informed, engaged, and in-control.

What pharmacists are already capable of led to this dream, and now the model exists to make it a reality. A model that has excelled during a decade-plus of research, experience, and results. An inter-professional design with proper Patient, Provider, and Payer incentive alignments. This model has consistently shown compelling improvements in diabetes outcomes and care delivery while reducing total costs for care by a net of $1,000/patient/year.

I am talking about Patient-Self Management Solutions, which includes the first, and still the only psychometrically validated consumer credential for patient self-management in diabetes. The advances that will improve improve chronic disease management have shaped our vision and PSM Solutions. For your employees, your patients, or yourself, these advances no longer have to wait for the future.

The time for patient-centered, team-based care that empowers people to take control of their health can be right now, and we’re eager to speak with innovative payers and providers who will embrace the future of chronic disease management, today.

Benjamin Bluml, RPh
Senior Vice President of Research and Innovation, APhA Foundation