Healthcare is bursting at the seams with innovation. Brilliant clinicians, world-class research, cutting-edge technology, and sophisticated health systems are addressing the most challenging conditions and procedures. But despite those strengths, healthcare is still faced with deep complexity, resulting in barriers that make it hard for medical professionals to provide patients with personalized care in the right place, at the right time, in the right way.
At Philips, we’re partnering with leading health systems to break down those barriers. We want to remove complexity and deliver a more seamless approach to healthcare when, where, and how people need it. And as the healthcare industry continues to shift away from “sick care” to prevention and healthy living, this kind of approach to seamless care becomes all the more critical.
It’s clear we need to simplify data and insight gathering, drive improved treatment and outcomes, reduce costs, and give patients and staff a better experience. To seize these opportunities will require a new level of partnership and collaboration with health systems. That’s why Philips is working side by side with customers and partners to create solutions centered around patients and care providers and tailored to each organization’s specific needs and challenges.
Our 15-year partnership with Augusta University Health is a good example. It enabled an enterprise transformation. We achieved higher quality patient care at a lower cost. We increased capacity in magnetic resonance imaging by 63 percent while at the same time realizing $10 million in savings, in just 48 months. We reduced the complexity of working with numerous vendors, simplified the procurement process, and worked with both the hospital leadership and with patients to jointly co-create innovative improvements in care.
At Banner Health in Phoenix, Arizona, our long-term strategic partnership in telehealth helped reduce costs of care by 34.5 percent and hospitalization rates by 49.5 percent as part of their Intensive Ambulatory Care (IAC) pilot program. The IAC treats patients with complex medical situations due to multiple chronic conditions. The cost savings were driven primarily by a reduction in hospitalization rates and days in the hospital, as well as a reduction in professional service and outpatient costs. Prior to the IAC program, there were 10.9 hospitalizations per 100 patients per month; but for those who enrolled in it, the acute and long-term hospitalization rate dropped to 5.5 for each 100 patients in a month.
Working with clinicians at Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute, we implemented solutions including Philips Azurion, a new image-guided therapy platform, as well as 3-D abdominal imaging and a state-of-the-art endovascular suite for minimally invasive procedures affecting blood vessels, enabling improved workflow and better patient outcomes.
Using Philips eICU (Intensive Care Unit) technology to expand access to care, Emory Healthcare reduced variations and responded more quickly to changes in vital signs—resulting in $4.6 million in savings in just 15 months. The eICU allows healthcare organizations to manage shortages of highly skilled nurses and intensivists by employing telehealth solutions to provide around-the-clock remote patient monitoring at multiple locations.
To move toward seamless care, together we must continue to break down the barriers between departments and specialists. We have to create breakthrough innovations, eliminate the obstacles separating patients and caregivers, and cross the boundaries that exist between hospital walls and people’s homes. Because today, health knows no bounds and neither do we.
Brent Shafer is CEO of Philips North America.