How Medtronic’s new services and solutions help providers and payers transition to value-based healthcare
Every region in the world is challenged with continuously improving outcomes for better care, increasing access so more people get treated and improving the efficiency and cost of healthcare delivery. In developed markets, the primary focus is on better, high-quality care at reduced costs, while emerging markets are trying to bring vast populations to accepted standard of care, in an affordable fashion.
As a global leader in medical technology, Medtronic has unprecedented breadth and depth of innovative products and therapies that every year help more than nine million people worldwide. However, as the demand for healthcare resources increases, innovation in products and therapies alone is not enough if we are to help healthcare providers and systems to meet the demands placed on them by an ageing population and an increase in chronic conditions.
To address these global challenges and assist healthcare system leaders in delivering better value we need to transform and broaden our presence from devices alone to technologies, services and solutions that encompass the entire patient care continuum. We are working towards this by:
- Continuing to invest in new therapies that improve outcomes and reduce the cost of diseases such as diabetes, heart failure and chronic pain.
- Developing novel partnerships with providers across Europe offering services directly related to hospital operational efficiency, helping to increase quality, improve cost efficiency and optimise patient flow.
- Investing in integrated telehealth and patient services for the management of chronic diseases. In doing so, Medtronic is well positioned to expand its services across the care continuum.
Enhancing the operational efficiency of hospitals
For the past two years, we have helped many hospitals in Europe implement strategies, operating models and organisational enhancements to improve quality of care and boost cost effectiveness.
Reducing clinical variability and improving operations represent the most straightforward cost-reduction strategy in healthcare. Thanks to Medtronic’s broad hospital footprint, we are able to benchmark providers’ performance and help them assess how they compare to world-class institutions, focusing on areas such as variability in patient outcomes, length of stay, workforce productivity, asset utilisation and costs. Using expertise in Lean Six Sigma transformation, the same methods we use to improve manufacturing and operational processes, we assist these hospitals to engage front-line staff – physicians and nurses – to lead the efforts to address the causes of variability and make critical changes. At Maastricht University Medical Center in The Netherlands such a programme, conducted in the cardiovascular department, generated an estimated €5 million savings in the first year, and left the staff trained, engaged and ready to scale improvements hospital-wide.
Elsewhere in Europe we have been able to offer more holistic solutions through a CathLab Managed Service, which we operate at the University Hospital of South Manchester (UHSM) NHS Trust and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust in London. Under those contracts, we manage the hospitals’ catheterisation laboratories (CathLabs) to high standards, providing the latest medical technology, capital equipment and infrastructure, optimising operational efficiency and clinical outcomes, running daily operations and developing local cardiac services markets, including the care pathway, for patients who require access to cardiac care.
Treating chronic diseases and coordinating care
An increasing share of the healthcare budget is being consumed by patients with long-term conditions (LTCs). In England, for example, patients with LTCs consume 70% of the primary and acute budget; the LTCs population is expected to grow by 15% by 2025.
A large-scale transformation of how care is delivered and chronic illness is treated is required if healthcare systems are to cope with such a demand for resources. There must be a greater focus on primary prevention, stronger care coordination among providers, more emphasis on patient education and engagement and greater accountability for each patient’s holistic health needs over many years.
Medtronic is working with payers, providers and public care organisations across the globe to help design and manage the integrated delivery of primary and secondary care in a seamless and efficient network. The recent acquisition of Cardiocom, combined with our leading diagnostics and therapies, enables us to deliver integrated telehealth services for the management of chronic diseases. It also allows us to effectively take the lessons learned from the world-recognised telehealth programme of the US Veterans Health Administration (VHA), largely powered by Cardiocom, and apply them to the challenges we face in Europe.
Integrated solutions that include remote monitoring and patient-centred devices, software to enable efficient care coordination and specialised telehealth nurse support can lead to a significant reduction in acute care. The US VHA has adopted extensive home telehealth services and demonstrated large-scale benefits, such as a 20% reduction in hospital admissions and a 25% reduction in bed days.
Affordable healthcare, now and in the future, is one of the goals of every healthcare system. Innovation comes in many different forms, from new therapies to new care pathways to new models of care delivery. As the leader in medical technology, Medtronic will continue to partner with providers and payers to deliver quality outcomes in the new value-based healthcare environment.
Medtronic, Inc. (www.medtronic.com), headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, US, is the global leader in medical technology – alleviating pain, restoring health and extending life for millions of people around the world. Medtronic operates in more than 140 countries. The company employs 46,000 people, including 5800 scientists and engineers, pursuing research and innovation that has led to more than 28,000 patents.