We are thrilled to introduce our new Director of Clinical Pathways, Dr. Gajan Srikanthan, an internal medicine physician who recently joined us after spending the last decade as a healthcare technologist developing knowledge-based decision support solutions.
Dr. Srikanthan will bring his expertise to bear on developing Lumeon’s clinical pathway offerings. His goal is to create best practice pathways underpinned by solid operational and data models that customers can adopt or adapt with minimal resource input.
An essential element in this work is making sure that the evidence base upon which our offerings are built is appropriate to given clinicians and care settings. This requires liaising with customers to understand their pain points and ensuring the clinical safety of Lumeon’s platform and pathways.
It’s a big job, and we’re excited to have Dr. Srikanthan here to take it on. We posed a few questions to our newest team member to learn more about his perspective on this emerging aspect of healthcare.
Q: What importance do you think clinical pathway management will have to the future of medicine?
Dr. Gajan Srikanthan: As populations live longer and it becomes the norm for patients to suffer from multiple chronic conditions, healthcare systems and organisations globally are faced with providing more and better-quality care with fewer resources.
Ever-increasing clinician workloads will result in greater variation in care, with gaps in care and patients falling through cracks. By automating many of the administrative processes, there is an opportunity to help clinicians spend more time focussing on patients and delivering high-quality care.
Patient-centric care is key. Involving patients in their care, ensuring they are adequately informed, and helping them embrace responsibility for their own care is paramount. Patient care is a partnership between the clinician and the patient, and enhanced communication between the two is essential.
Additionally, from a provider and health system perspective, clinical care delivery cannot continue to be considered as a number of discrete events; it must be approached holistically. It follows that a one-size fits all care model is no longer feasible. Providers need to target the highest-risk patients with the right healthcare resources, while other patient groups can be “fast-tracked.”
Q: What are the most exciting trends in clinical pathway management you see right now?
GS: As healthcare systems move towards much more value- and outcomes-based delivery models, the prevention agenda seems to be an area of increased focus. If we can start to proactively identify those patients who are at increased risk of developing long-term conditions and intervene early, the downstream multi-year savings make these interventions cost-effective and can minimise patients’ morbidity and mortality.
Similarly, remote monitoring of patients is starting to challenge how care is delivered. Old models of siloed care delivered in brick-and-mortar institutions are changing as remote communication with patients allows multi-disciplinary teams to become more proactive in timely intervention.
Another big trend is how we are leveraging data. Sophisticated data-mining approaches analyse aggregated patient data from electronic health records, allowing clinicians to identify patient attributes that make certain therapies and interventions more or less efficacious in given cases. In the future, treatment protocols for the same condition may vary depending on demographic, social, clinical, or genomic patient determinants.
Precision medicine will evolve quickly over the coming years, and I see it as a natural evolution of Lumeon’s patient-centric pathway offering.
Q: What do you find most interesting about innovating around clinical pathways?
GS: It has to be the mix between the clinical, operational, patient, and data/informatics elements of making pathways truly useful. Our solutions need to be simple and intuitive to use, giving clinicians and patients a seamless experience.
Ensuring we are cognisant of the macro-economic context of care delivery is also important. Combining this with our expertise of all the elements required to operationalize pathways in practice, we can help customers understand the levers they have at their disposable that will most impact cost and/or quality of care.