Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Retail Healthcare Lowering cost

The majority of us don't need high cost interventions in health care. We may need the occasional check-up, flu shot or prescription. Our family doctor can schedule an annual physical and for the other common complains see you for 15-20 minutes.

In consulting we are all aware of the 80-20 rule or Pareto principal. It goes like this, 20% of the people usually result in 80% of the costs. It is a general rule that seems to pop-up everywhere. And it is no surprise that it is the case in health care.

High cost of care endangers our health care system. We can apply our attention to 80% of the population and help deliver the low cost health care more efficiency. Or we can apply our attention to the 20% or the population that drive the majority of the high-cost of health care.

The value of eHealth is still unproved, yet the potential benefits is significant. Using electronic health records and online health systems means greater integration of care and data. Quality improvements can be determined once data is collected and analyzed. The information and knowledge can be used to improve outcomes and reduce costs.

What does this mean for the majority of us? Well we can visit any doctor's clinic and they can have access to our information. And when we reach an age when we require greater intervention in our health, historical data about our health will be available online. Greater access, better service and lower cost that is the promise of eHealth. The challenge is how do we achieve it.

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