Preventive care is far more efficient than curative care. It is also a lot cheaper. With the US economy under crisis and healthcare expenditure on the rise, a change is required now more than ever. After all, information technology has influenced several industries and while healthcare anticipates similar benefits, the progress has been relatively slow. However, as a result of the governments backing towards health IT and EMR adoption, almost 55% of physicians in the US have either adopted or are in the process of implementing an EMR. There have also been multiple developments on the health IT front, with mobile healthcare poised to make big waves, especially in consumer markets.
Consumer health IT products will definitely help in increasing patient awareness. There is an increased level of expectancy from interactive mobile applications that will help patients manage health, interact with physicians and maintain their own personal health records. Farzad Mostashari the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology said, “We all know that most of the health does not happen in the doctor’s office; it happens with the patient”. Mostashari believes that electronic reminders through patient portals and electronic medical records will influence patients to pursue recommended prevention and recovery plans, while allowing physicians to play a more prominent role in care delivery.
Dr. Ned Claxton, medical director and president of medical staff at the Central Maine Healthcare’s new Accountable Care Organization (ACO) believes that there is an increased need for the health community to shift from reactive care to proactive and health focused care. A healthy patient is a happy patient and preventative care costs less. ACOs promote a similar concept with ‘quality and affordable care’. Many medical professionals would agree that ACOs are in fact the future of care. “ACOs are outlining a roadmap for health organizations. The Accountable Care principle is not just about health IT and use of EMRs; it’s about a change in health perspective. By incentivizing quality care and collaboration, ACOs are transforming care.” Cutting costs and reducing budgets may only produce short term results, while compromising on the quality of care. This is why ACOs and preventive care are the way forward.