What Does “Personalized Health Care” Mean to You?

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-This is an identical copy of a post on the personal blog of Ryan Squire, the Program Director for Social Media at The OSU Medical Center.  There is very important conversation that must take place in order to shape the future of personalized health care and we need to start that conversation today.

This morning, I had the pleasure of attending a presentation given by Clay Marsh, MD. and senior associate vice president for research in the Office of Health Sciences, vice dean for research in the College of Medicine and executive director of the OSU Center for Personalized Health Care.

marsh_clayDr. Marsh was giving a presentation about personalized health care. It’s a bit of an industry buzz word, and everyone wants to be a part of it, but the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has a good summary here. To boil down the premise of PHC, it is delivering the right medicine to the right person at the right time. Science has moved quickly to understand our genetic makeup… it has decoded our genome and is in the process of understand how all of these pieces are linked, how they interact, and how they make us… well, us.

The science from there is to hopefully map what we look like if/when we are genetically healthy.

Genetically speaking what I look like is different than what this guy looks like (apart from the other and obvious differences), though, we may both be genetically healthy. If we can understand what each person looks like genetically healthy, then maybe we can pinpoint the genes/proteins that signal we may be getting (or be predisposed to getting) sick. If we are able to do those two things, the last and final piece of the science is to figure out how to get us back to our genetically healthy person. It’s going to take the smartest people in the world to figure out.

This is the future of medicine.

However, Dr. Marsh doesn’t think it all revolves around science. After all, we are dealing with human beings. In order to understand what they are made of genetically, we need to understand more than just their blood type, we need to know what their environment (think air, stress, educational level) is like. We need to know their diet. Those are much more social factors. Dr. Marsh knows that to learn these things about people health care practioners will need to stop doing business as usual. We need to listen and talk to people as individuals. We must open the channels of communication that our patients already feel comfortable using. Only then can we understand the whole person in THEIR environment. Only then will our patients share the information we need to be able to personalize health care.

So how do we do this? Dr. Marsh thinks we need to start having more fun. Of course, I instantly think “social media” because there isn’t a day that goes by when I’m not having fun with what I do. How do we translate that to conversation/communication/connection with our patients? How do we prove to our customers that we aren’t just in it for the money? How can we have fun with health care and not just tell you what you should do so you don’t die?

Dr. Marsh believes that President Obama’s plan to fix how we fund health care will be a big first step. Instead of focusing on funding disease-based care (pay for it when they get sick), we believe that Obama’s plan will focus on wellness based maintenance (spend money to learn what keeps people healthy and then keep them healthy). Personalized health care.

So what do you think? Do you think it is possible to create enough disruptive innovation to turn health care and the way we deliver health care around so that it is truly personalized… scientifically AND socially? What will it take?

A copy of Dr. Marsh’s presentation:

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4 responses to “What Does “Personalized Health Care” Mean to You?

  1. Mom/Human/Patient/Customer/Medical professional

    “How do we translate that to conversation/communication/connection with our patients? How do we prove to our customers that we aren’t just in it for the money? How can we have fun with health care and not just tell you what you should do so you don’t die?”




    (Having to present the same insurance card at the same hospital at the same time of visit but in a different department is a pain as well).



    YOU HAVE THE MEDICAL DEGREE, BUT I AM THE ONE WITH THE KNOWLEDGE OF MY OWN BODY. SO WE NEED TO COME TOGETHER and work as a team. Ask a patient their opinion. I know from being a patient/parent/customer, as well with my children, with OSUMC I am so tired of filling out the same forms over and over and over demo's, insurance, (qustionaire's i can understand, different doctors need different questions for your visit with that particular doctor). But as a Doctor in the medical profession. I know you do not have to fill out the same paperwork as a regular patient has to do, everyone gets dressed the same way, no you do not. I know this for a fact.

    "Only then can we understand the whole person in THEIR environment. Only then will our patients share the information we need to be",


    (don't ask your staff any of the process,)

    From calling to make an appointment, then to receive a call only to r/s and then that appointment to be 6 more months out? to insurance or financial process and how you are treated because you have no monies,
    to the poking and prodding AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN.

    Waiting for hours in the office to be seen when they have come early as instructed and then still having to wait, no emergent patients, still waiting for hours, no one to say anything to you of what is going on. (possibly rethink the schedule times if you see that while in the rooms with the patients maybe extend the appointment times and extra 5 minutes. With young children (if seen in your office, possibly morning times instead of in the middle of the day, this way the patient, parent, staff and other patients are comfortable. Think about situations when you are/have been in. The paying customer, (who has insurance) is ALMOST ALWAYS treated better than the person who has medicaid/financial assistance through OSUMC, and other affialated medical offices with OSUMC

    To the fact that rude valet parking staff telling you to hurry up or they call security, or you have to keep circling around until the person you pick up comes to the car. VERY FRUSTRATING.

    Your doctor is in a hurry because he was running late this morning and wants to hurry up and get caught up so they hurry through the appointment and as a patient you feel this (which happens as does with patients running late)

    I want to have fun in my job/life as well. This would be the best way to show myself and other patients that you truly DO CARE and have fun within your job at the same time.

    Making yourself so untouchable, that when a patient calls the office for confirmation or check on referral or check on surgery time or just having QUESTIONS,they get the run around from calling any Doctor's office.

    They are made to feel WHY ARE YOU calling again, hospital will call you with the surgery time, did you have the surgery packet I gave you? well read that and that will answer your questions and it will tell you what lab work is needing to be done, and when to arrive. A Nurse will call you and speak with you about what medications you need to take or not take, you just need to wait for them to call you, you do not need to call us here at Dr. XXXXXX office or not if they have a billion questions, take the time, they need to answer them to the best they can, especially if you are preforming surgery. To the patient surgery IS A BIG DEAL, no matter how small. It maybe routine to you but if this is a large impact to the patient and they need to feel that you do care.

    Showing the patients you and staff are having fun, show them you are HUMAN as well.

    You can only do so much, you cannot help the patient if the patient does not feel comfortable around the office/staff/doctors/radiology/blood draw lab.

    Let the patient SEE you and staff having fun, maybe crazy hat/tie/shirt day and YOU also participate, joking with staff . Syringe water fights, WHY NOT? This also makes for great fun time for staff. Not so CLINICAL. A lot of patients hate hospitals/doctors for one reason or another, usually a bad experience somewhere in their life. Let's try

    Make it somewhat easy for your patient when they come in, new patient, have you seen sometimes the size of the paperwork that gets sent to a patient? That alone can be overwhelming! Stand back and look at your office from a patients point of VIEW! The patient needs to interview you as well as you interviewing the patient, they need to know about YOU AS A PERSON/HUMAN BEING.

    • Mom/Human/Patient/Customer/Medical professional –thanks for leaving your thoughts. You bring up a lot of key points. I like your idea of putting yourself in the patient’s place, seems like an easy way to optimize potential for the best care possible each and every time.

    • Renee' Bostick

      Dear Mom/Human/Customer/Medical Professional – You are aboslutely correct. How is it that a Medical Institute is talking about “Personalized Health Care” without talking with and listening to the health care customer? Yes, Personalized health care is about translating applied research into clinical intelligence more quickly. But health care is not done to patients; it is best done with people. Real disruptive innovation is truely customer driven. OSU hosted an event this week with Sec. Sebeilius and ONC Director Dr. Blumenthal and restricted the public, including alumni, folks who work in the field and are on the Governor’s Task Force for Health Technology from attending the event. It is interesting that the focus on this meeting was on the electronic exchange of health information. OSU is to be applauded for taking steps in this direction, but not if it only views this issue from the clinican or physican perspective. The real value of electronic health information exchange is not to bound information by profession or hospital walls, but to recongize most health care takes place in the community and in homes and that health information needs to be readily accessible for community care givers and people and their families.
      For real success in personalized health care, it is essential that OSU move beyond its walls to see “patients” as people and focus on collaborative care models, such as “Medical Home,” which includes but is not limited to personalized medicine. In Don Berwick’s recent Health Affairs article on “patient-centered” care, he says the statement that “Every patient is the only patient,” which was hung in the entryway to the Harvard CommunityHealth PlanHospital at ParkerHill in Boston by CEO Arthur Berarducci conveys the concept that medical professionals are “guests” in the lives of individuals.
      Berwick, whose credentials in health care quality are impecitable, recommends that in a patient centered environment, which is the core of personalized care, take:
      (1) Hospitals would have no restrictions on visiting—no restrictions of place or
      time or person, except restrictions chosen by and under the control of each individual
      patient. (2) Patients would determine what food they eat and what clothes they wear in hospitals (to the extent that health status allows). (3) Patients and family memberswould participate in rounds. (4) Patients and families would participate in the design of health care processes and services.18 (5) Medical records would belong to patients. Clinicians, rather than patients, would need to have permission to gain access to them. (6) Shared decision-making technologies would be used universally. (7) Operating room schedules would conform to ideal queuing theory designs aimed at minimizing waiting time, rather than to the convenience of clinicians. (8) Patients physically capable of self-care would, in all
      situations, have the option to do it.
      In a similar vain, OSU needs to practice patient and person centered health care by opening up its PUBLIC institution and meetings, such as its meeting with Sec. Sebilius, moving towards the collaborative Medical Home concept, and ensuring its movement towards electronic health records includes personal health record functionality to support people (patients) where the vast majority of care is rendered.

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