Addressing healthcare inequities through advanced treatment validation solutions | Tiffany Avery

Health systems must implement proven tech solutions that aggregate evidence-based data and protocols to determine treatment plans that provide the best outcomes for all patients.

The challenge

Access to quality healthcare should not be a privilege for a select few, it’s a basic right.

Unfortunately, a broad range of social, economic, and environmental factors exist that often restrict access. These issues affect a wide variety of medical conditions, specifically chronic conditions—examples include heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes.

Studies show that at least 133 million Americans suffer from at least one chronic condition, and as disparities in care continue to affect populations across the country, many are not receiving the level of optimized care needed. In addition, chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and cancer account for the overwhelming majority of U.S. healthcare expenditures, with some reports citing the total annual costs at $3.7 trillion.

The healthcare ecosystem has its fair share of challenges, from administrative burdens to strenuous regulations. Amidst these issues, it may seem impossible to address and amend inconsistencies in care.

For this reason, it is important that health systems implement proven tech solutions that aggregate evidence-based data and protocols to determine treatment plans that provide optimized outcomes for all patients.

The solution

An evidence-based approach allows providers to make informed analytical decisions founded on up-to-date, valid clinical data, including an accessible database listing historically effective treatments.

Relevant, indispensable data—readily accessible to all physicians, specialists, and medical staff—can help clinicians navigate complex treatment options, and improve patient outcomes. Advanced technology bridges gaps in healthcare by pulling together discordant data and providing a clear picture of patient needs without resorting to a lengthy and costly trial and error methodology.

As an example, cancer treatment sometimes varies depending on the circumstances of diagnosis without a firm foundation of uniform, evidence-based data, and medical intelligence. It is not uncommon to find different treatments within the same provider networks.

According to the National Cancer Institute, 442.4 new cancer cases are identified per 100,000 men and women each year, and there are 158.3 cancer-related deaths. Ongoing evidence-based research evaluates new and existing treatments, producing an extensive database of proven approaches and clinical trials which are continuously updated and refined.

The challenge for providers and payers is that newly discovered evidence can frequently change the protocols, and keeping up with the new findings is increasingly complex. Treatment validation tech helps to sort through the massive amount of medical options, clinical studies, and statistical data to identify the most effective procedures.

Eliminating disparities in healthcare is only possible through a multifaceted approach at all levels of care delivery. Utilizing treatment validation tech can strengthen the relationship between all parties and make laborious administrative processes more efficient.

For example, providers and their staff often get caught up in arduous tasks like securing health records from multiple locations and wading through mounds of paperwork. The simplification of basic processes streamlines workflow and allow providers to direct their focus more toward optimizing care for their patients.

Treatment validation technology provides needed tools for improving equity and consistency in care across all conditions. While these digital solutions will unfortunately not solve societal inequities, they provide healthcare professionals the tools and resources needed to effect actual change in health outcomes.

Dr. Tiffany Avery is Chief Medical Officer for NantHealth, responsible for providing clinical strategic direction.