Clients Want Better Health Outcomes, How Will You Show It?
Healthcare buzz today is all about measurable outcomes, data, population health, and value-based care, as many health systems ramp up their efforts to reach triple aim – improved health outcomes, better experience, and reduced cost. How often have you heard that lately in your organization? How often does demonstrating value affect how you help your client discharge home? Does knowing a provider’s measurable outcomes make a difference to you? What about to your client?
Long and short –outcomes matter to everyone or at least they should, but for clients the outcomes that matter may not be the ones you think. While healthcare professionals tend to focus on readmission/rehospitalization rates and lower long-term costs, consumers often don’t care about all that – they just want to know: how are you helping them improve their wellbeing and how can they get back their desired level of independence? An article in Forbes pointed out ‘health care measures everything except what really matters to seniors’ and what matters isn’t being measured.
We also aren’t talking about it as much as we could be. How often do you find yourself asking senior and home care providers to show you their data? The value delivered is often a black hole. Consumers and even health care systems pay a lot of money and what value do they get? Is there anything tangible they can see that tracks client’s progress and demonstrates the work being done has purpose and merit?
Outcomes are a missing piece that enable people to make better decisions. For many consumers, seeing visually how one home care provider over another can demonstrate value may be the motivation they need to improve their own health outcomes. Think about that for a moment – if you are in the market for a new appliance and someone gave you recommendations of products they’ve heard about or used and then someone else gave you a consumer report on each of them – how would that influence your decision? More than just words, you could physically see the benefits that mattered to you personally whether it’s a quieter dishwasher, greater energy efficiency, or a sleeker design.
Showing the data enables discharge planners and other providers to empower clients with quantitative data for decision-making. And not just outcomes related to decreasing hospitalizations and ER visits but also what matters most to clients – improvements in their health, wellbeing, socialization, physical and emotional status.
Why is measuring outcomes so important? Harvard Business Review shared these top 5 reasons why focusing on outcomes delivers better value for your clients:
- Outcomes define the goal of the organization and set direction for its differentiation.
- Outcomes inform the composition of integrated care teams.
- Outcomes motivate clinicians to compare their performance and learn from each other.
- Outcomes highlight value-enhancing cost reduction.
- Outcomes enable payment to shift from volume to results.
- We would argue, one more could be added: Outcomes offer a glimpse of the possibility of what can happen once home – regaining independence and wellness isn’t a dream; it’s a result.
The good news? What matters to seniors is being measured, you just need to ask. Lifespark for example is one of the few private-pay home care companies tracking data for every client we serve, including social determinants of health. We can physically provide professionals and consumers a graph of how we are able to prevent hospitalizations and improve quality of life in a variety of ways for each senior we serve.
What’s most interesting is that you’d expect more hospitalization/ER visits as a senior grows older, yet Lifespark data show that seniors are able to significantly reduce ER and hospital visits even as they grow older and frailer. We’ve also measured how our whole person model has improved social isolation, wellness, and more, which for many clients, matters a great deal – especially the energy efficiency vs quieter sounding vs budget conscious consumer. It answers their question – what value will this company provide me?
The time has come where more and more people will start to ask for demonstrable results from the people providing referral options, they’ll want to see the data that show the value they will receive. How will you show them the proof if you don’t ask for it yourself? Go ahead; we challenge you to ask all providers to show you their data. Let’s get the conversation going about outcomes and why it matters – call us, we’ll show you ours!
We want to know – how often do you talk about outcomes with your clients? Does it matter to you? Share On!