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Public Health Transformation through Innovative Technology
As part of the overall Basque health transformation strategy, Accenture has collaborated on two key projects. It provided project management and all required technical advice for a multichannel health services center that allows access to healthcare through several innovative communication channels, and helped the Basque Country build a remote elderly patient monitoring system known as TEKI.
Chronic patients often receive less focus from traditional health systems which are reactive, focused on patients with acute symptoms. Today, 80 percent of patient interactions with the Basque public health system are related to chronic diseases, which use up around 77 percent of the total health budget. Patients with more than one chronic condition cost six times more than those with only one and, at current rates, health expenditure is expected to double by 2020.
Chronic illness requires a different approach. Health management using innovative technology offers continual care throughout a person’s life, and potentially prevents unnecessary hospitalisation and reduces costs. A key challenge is to increase clinicians’ efficiency: many types of consultations can be done from anywhere.
A multichannel health services center caters for any health-related query that does not require a citizen to go to a health center. This reduces the cost of care and provides greater agility and more decision making capacity for clinicians. It makes patient access to the system more convenient by enabling a choice of channels, and automating several previously disparate and manual processes such as booking appointments and managing patient medication, diet and exercise.
TEKI uses Microsoft technology originally designed for gaming to monitor and manage the health regimes given to elderly patients. All the patients using TEKI are monitored remotely from the multichannel center. Both the multichannel center and TEKI improve the accessibility and universality of health services by applying ICT and tele-medicine.
These solutions are highly innovative, even in global terms. While the reduction in the proportion of face to face consultations with doctors will most likely take a few years to settle down, it has already started decreasing. Accenture’s assistance directly contributed to several key benefits:
Some 18 percent of total interactions between primary healthcare professionals and patients are now telephonic.
Total telephonic interactions increased by 60 percent during 2011, from 10 to 16 percent of the total number of consultations.
In terms of appointments set up via the Web in 2011, 43.39 percent of patients were strongly satisfied, 52.45 percent were satisfied and just 4.16 percent were dissatisfied.
As part of the Basque country’s broader interventions to tackle the challenge of chronicity, these projects also contributed to these benefits:
Almost 4,000 iPhone and Android apps were downloaded by users (enabling them to obtain mobile appointment confirmations, medical advice, access their personal health folders).
The multichannel center has handled more than 100,000 calls for medical advice in the last 12 months.
Without any marketing, 9,000 accesses to personal health records were recorded in the first two months of operation. More than 20,000 accesses were recorded in the first two days after the public announcement of the new service.
An increment of 162 percent in the number of visits to the new Web portal.
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