How to Implement Person-Centric Systems

Back to the origins

Can the ‘robot uprising’ destroy the human being? Can different healthcare systems be so different to be combined and directed to a single purpose? Probably to help answer how one needs to understand why the inventions came to be in the first place. In this article we give ways to implement person-centric systems.

Ideally, all technology, including healthcare, is meant for the service of man, and with that in mind, the question of being seen as an absolute or replacement of man lacks a logical premise. However, it raises another valid question of whether it is possible to connect different agencies that deal with the same product.

Person-centric systems look at the best way of improving the systems from the user’s perspective and as a principle crucial to the functions of first contact accessibility, continuity, coordination, and comprehensiveness. 

Using the person’s perspective as the starting point is vital in ensuring context-specific interventions. Such systems have a lot in common and are crucial in ensuring a seamless user experience between different systems. For example, the understanding of the person and placing health as a human right can connect the values and preferences of the country at the national, regional, and local level

Growing From the Inside

People change; patients don’t. The intentional change in focus from the patient to the person helps explain the rationale behind the person-centric systems. Generally, the patient is passive, owing to their wounded or vulnerable nature, while the term person implies activity or the potential to act.

To implement a person-centric health systems means acknowledging patients as partners in their care and support trusting patient-provider relationships. Rather than looking at individual diseases, this approach looks at the comprehensive needs of the person.

These approaches to care entail focusing on the patient’s illness and their preferences and values and empowering them in decision-making and care planning. But, of course, all that depends on what works best for the person and is aimed at improving their experiences and outcomes.

These systems do not just focus on the healthcare consumers but also the providers, with a broader view of the outcomes. Such a view is an improvement from the traditional focus on volumes of service or cost reductions alone.

Adopting a person-centric approach implies a shift from passivity to an ongoing, continuous, dynamic process in which all constructs and actions revolve around each of us. This growth also means that at some point, there is an overflow which the best way to contain is to share with the rest of the people. This process does not only prevent waste but also gives room for growth.  

This sharing presupposes several common points or at least some level of care coordination. For example, to have a robust mobile-integrated healthcare program, each service needs to speak the same language and read the same reports to avoid miscommunication, duplication of services, and waste. 

To continuously improve the person-centric systems, some have emphasized knowing, capturing, and acting on what matters most to patients and caregivers. Therefore, a qualitative study was conducted to find what truly matters and highlighted factors such as feeling heard and comfortable during care interventions, knowing what to expect, having someone to count on, feeling safe and independent, and easily accessing health and social care that was most meaningful.

The study emphasized the importance of social determinants of health rather than just highlighting things directly related to the hospital. For example, housing, food security, income, and social relationships were valuable aspects of their lives that determined health utilization and outcomes.

With such findings, connecting different social determinants of health becomes a priority when one is looking to implement person-centric systems.

How states are engaging partner agencies

Cross-sector collaborations between healthcare, social service, and government sectors are a growing trend, and they are beginning to yield positive outcomes for patient health and healthcare spending. However, the implementation has not marched its positive outcomes due to barriers such as inadequate staffing and cross-training, ineffective harnessing of data, lack of clear policies and procedures, ineffective communication with agency partners, and insufficient funding.

At times, the barriers do not fall on organizational challenges but on personal challenges such as individual attitudes, beliefs, trust, and lack of proper systems that facilitate the process. This necessitates a tailored and all-encompassing approach that addresses the unique requirements at each stage of the solution-seeking process.

Different strategies are required in the process, and continuous research has provided valuable data in facilitating the process. An article by the AJMC highlights six strategies for building the trust needed to support collaborative relationships. These are;

  • Identified shared needs: Organizations have the incentive to work together in overcoming challenges when they discover that they have a shared purpose
  • Internal champions: Like any great story, the hero must lead the organization through unexplored territory. However, this should not be limited to nurturing heroes while forgetting ground problems such as inadequate staffing and cross-training.   
  • Building on existing partnerships: The more substantial the existing partnerships, the stronger the trust, which is vital in ensuring collaboration
  • Understanding that building collaborative partnerships takes time: The complexity of partners always calls for patience since not all of them can keep one’s pace. The amount of time required for successful partnerships hugely depends on the dedication and commitment of everyone involved.
  • Tailoring communication for the audience: Making a team out of different agencies is always a challenge, more so in initiating dialogue. Therefore, it’s important to establish internal communication protocols early in the implementation process.
  • Helping implement existing technology to meet the organization’s needs.

Owing to the complexity of the strategies, the decision of the kind of health system to work with is crucial. Such systems can be realized only by a skilled workforce motivated to deliver comprehensive, coordinated care throughout a patient’s care experience. In addition, at times, the solution is not always in having the same software for all but one that connects disparate organizations using different software platforms.

Recently, there has been an upsurge of networks and organizations involved in developing cross-sector data-sharing relationships. All in Data for Community Health, for example, is a nationwide learning collaborative that helps communities build capacity to address the social determinants of health through multi-sector data-sharing collaborations.’ They have more than 150 community collaborations that span across different sectors.

Data Across Sectors for Health (DASH), one of the strategies supported by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, supports multi-sector collaborations that share data and information to improve the health of their communities. Such programs have been helpful in the bridging of health and healthcare, but the perpetual concern that several stakeholders have is whether they are person-centered.

Julota is a SaaS platform (software as a service) built to serve healthcare providers as a robust, community interoperability platform. The secure system connects various communities, regions, and states into a single, cohesive unit without overlooking the importance of a person-centric system. This is made possible through data security protocols that de-identify personal information to share important research data, improving evidence-based care initiatives.

Data Interoperability

The quantity and quality of data remain essential in to implement person-centric systems. However, at times, data interoperability is lacking because Data systems used in healthcare, EMS, behavioral health, and law enforcement often can’t share information. With its Cloud-Based Data Interoperability Platform, Julota can connect these different systems, making communication and data sharing possible.

Agencies often do not want to dispose of their current system, which has taken a tedious process to develop. However, even in such cases, Julota comes in handy because of its agnostic platform, which can help one system speak to another while allowing any agency to stay on its platform. 

Their co-responder platform acts as an interface between different systems, providing safe, secure communications and the ability to track patients’ progress over time. Being cloud-based is also advantageous because all authorized personnel can configure access to their devices, such as smartphones, laptops, tablets, or desktop computers while maintaining data security.

These advantages have led to the adoption in different places such as Douglas County, Co. Applying the co-responder system in law enforcement has ensured a seamless flow between co-responders and the law enforcement team. One main advantage of the partnership has been that co-responders who accompany the officers can often follow up after the initial crisis is resolved to ensure that the individual receives the care they need and remains in a better place mentally.

Another advantage of the platform is its speed. As a result, it helps connect EMS, law enforcement, and healthcare for more coordinated responses to everything from mental health crisis intervention to disaster response. In addition, it facilitates crisis intervention team (CIT) communication and partnerships between law enforcement and behavioral health providers.

In summary, engaging agency partners in order to implement person-centric systems cannot be overlooked. This transformative change requires the support of thoughtful, evidence-informed platforms, adaptability to change, and ongoing evaluation.