Monday’s PULSE: The Atlantic Summit On Health Care, similar to any current healthcare events, routinely covered all the major, hot topics in today’s healthcare system, from opioid crisis, and precision medicine, to care costs, with an impressive roster of speakers and panelists sharing their deep thoughts on where healthcare is heading in various areas. Here are a few things we’d like to share with you from our participation.
Opioid Crisis – What it Means to Patients with Chronic Pain?
While clinicians are applauded for scaling back on prescribing narcotics to save the nation’s ongoing opioid crisis, some patients are suffering from the stigma. On the panel discussion Confronting America’s Opioid Epidemic, one patient shared her story of being discriminated for using opioid medications to ease the chronic pain, wondering if the war on opioids is synonymous to war on chronic pain patients. “The profound stigma is acting as a barrier to care,” said Dr. Lipi Roy, Clinical Assistant Professor of Department of Population Health, NYU Langone Health. She also pointed out the fact that of the 23 million suffering from substance abuse, only 10 percent receive care. Kassandra Frederique, New York State Director of Drug Policy Alliance, said one of the solutions to reduce stigma is to change the vocabulary – use drug disorder instead of abuse, use positive/negative when describing drug test results, rather than clean/dirty, etc.
Decode Your Health Using Zip Code
For many who are curious about their health – whether they’ll develop certain diseases in the future or what they can do to prevent deterioration in health, little do they know that the secret is right where they live. Researchers have long been aware of the correlation between a person’s living environment and life expectancy as well health outcomes. The so-called zip code effect highlights the socio-economic impact on individual’s health and emphasizes the need to change on a policy level in improving community health. Bechara Choucair, Senior Vice President and Chief Community Health Officer of Kaiser Permanente, gave a great example of how policy can impact community health. The number of high school students who smoke in Chicago went from 25% in 2011 to 6% in 2017 and behind this dramatic reduction there was major interference from policymakers – cigarettes were priced more expensive and stricter regulations were introduced on flavored cigarettes and e-cigarettes.
When Your Doctors Come to You – Home Hospital and Telemedicine
Budget, more accurately less budget, is an obvious challenge in hospital management yet a hidden merit in innovation acceleration. Today’s hospitals are being asked to do more with less and Dr. Elizabeth Nabel, CEO and President of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, shared how her organization is addressing this seemingly impossible ask.
One of the solutions at Brigham is the home hospital project, where eligible patients will be discharged from hospital early and follow-ups will be conducted in home visits. The project has seen significant cost reduction, decreased utilization, and improved physical activity without appreciably changing quality, safety, or patient experience.
Telemedicine is another means that helps improve efficiency while reducing costs. Dr. Nabel believes half of the primary care in the future should be conducted virtually through online videos.
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