Empower Your Practice

Journal for Practice Managers

Insights and Impressions of Health Plus Care 2018

Digital Health Intelligence
July 31, 2018

This year, so many healthcare software companies attended The Digital Healthcare Show, which returned to ExCEL London in the last days of June 2018 once again under the umbrella of the Health Plus Care name. There’s simply no bigger event of its kind scheduled to take place anywhere in the country this year and it was a fantastic opportunity for Medesk to catch the latest news and views from all kinds of excellent people and organisations throughout healthcare, social care, and digital health transformation. This year, we joined in as delegates on the floor itself to get a real feel for what visitors can expect when they visit our future exhibitions.

There were so many inspiring and informative speakers, freely sharing all the insights and updates they had gathered since the previous iteration of Health Plus Care. We spent many enjoyable hours listening to our fellow experts, chatting with all sorts of interesting people. Although we can’t print every last thing that happened during this mammoth event, here’s a summary of the salient points in each area of digital health.

The Growing Influence of the Quadruple Aim

At Medesk, we believe it is vital for healthcare software companies to pay attention to far more than just computer programs, so we focus on healthcare improvement as a whole. It’s been a whole decade since Don Berwick and his colleagues at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement outlined the Triple Aim of reducing the cost of care while improving the patient experience and overall population health. This noble trio has gone a long way towards helping healthcare practitioners consolidate their strategic approach to making the most out of budgets, policy constraints and more, but it lacked something crucial that wasn’t formally addressed until just a couple of years ago.

Fortunately, it is now increasingly recognised that three must become four if we are to provide the ultimate level of healthcare that the modern population requires whether we’re talking about patients in the public or private sectors. This fourth essential component that completes the Quadruple Aim is provide wellbeing.

While many of us are already acutely aware of the Quadruple Aim, never before has it been addressed and mentioned consistently throughout an event as large as Health Plus Care. As put forward by the very entertaining and insightful Dr Nav Chana at the Transformation in Action 2 stage, the Quadruple Aim of Healthcare is becoming increasingly recognised as the gold standard which we should set ourselves as we provide our patients with everything they need.

This was great to see for us at Medesk as we firmly believe that the ideal combination of clinical effectiveness and patient experience is wholly contingent on the wellbeing of doctors, nurses and everyone else working hard to help their patients. With physician burnout at an all-time high, now is the time to act for the good of ourselves and the good of our patients.

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Medicine Beyond the Pill

As expounded by Worrell Design at the TSA Summer Forum TEC Theatre, medicine is (or should be) no longer merely about prescribing a course of tablets and setting the patient on their way. Aside from the increasingly complex cases involving myriad medical conditions all compounded in a single patient, our modern urban lifestyle is giving rise to a range of issues that simply cannot be defeated by throwing the right pill or potion at the target area. Most commonly, the alternative approaches relate to social prescribing and the idea of prevention rather than just treatment of disease states.

For example, it’s estimated that at some point in their lifetimes, at least a quarter of the population will suffer from psychological or social issues that pharmaceuticals fail to combat adequately. Awareness of the importance of passing on lifestyle advice to patients is something that has been around for a fair while. Now, the challenge is to develop and enhance what were once just a few sage words of wisdom such that we have a whole arsenal of social and other prescribing tools from which to choose.

When it comes to prophylactic measures, it’s only natural that the power of big data and other digital tools be applied to the question of improving clinical effectiveness by recognising and preventing disease rather than trying to claw back good health and slam the door shut when the proverbial horse has already bolted from the stable.

With the help of innovative medical devices supported by the best healthcare software companies, the measurement of all sorts of clinical data trends like blood glucose levels and all manner of other vital signs has never been more possible. This year, Health Plus Care went way beyond the call of duty to demonstrate this exciting development in preventative medicine without a doubt.

To be continued.

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