Leavitt Partners Future Frame Series: The Evolution Of Digital Health And Consumerism

In 2009, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) was passed to incentivize the healthcare industry to move toward the use of electronic health record (EHR) systems among providers. It took more than a decade for the industry to reach a sustainable level of digitizing health records. As we head into 2021 and beyond, how do we exchange this information in a more meaningful way, and what can we learn from that experience to expedite the digital transformation emerging in other areas of healthcare?

On Thursday, February 11, 2021, Leavitt Partners held a LinkedIn Live broadcast focused on the digital transformation of healthcare and its impact on consumerism featuring Andrew Croshaw, Ryan Howells, and Eric Marshall from Leavitt Partners. They discussed the barriers that remain around data interoperability and consumer access. They provided examples of the importance for healthcare stakeholders to adapt a model framework of collaboration to break down barriers to create an ecosystem that will enable frictionless data exchange to take place.

Drivers of Consumerism in Healthcare

There are four key drivers of consumerism in healthcare focused on policy, technology, businesses, and building trust among all stakeholders. Over the past twelve years, federal policies have been created to drive the industry towards digital health through initiatives such as shifting patient records from paper to digital, driving interoperability to push organizations to share digitized data between each other, and requiring healthcare organizations to provide consumers with price transparency.

Technology drivers of consumerism include the aggressive move by legacy systems to the cloud to be able to take advantage of computing power. Standardized data aggregation is also enabling the industry to allow for data flow between multiple systems. The industry has also been focusing on developing identify proofing solutions for patients and providers to be able to share data securely between all stakeholders.

Businesses are driving the move to consumerism by investing heavily in the creation of digital tools to help consumers gain more comprehensive access to their health information to manage their own data. Large technology businesses are making great strides forward to further disrupt the healthcare industry and drive new innovations.

The key to success for all of these drivers is the need to build trust among all stakeholders. The industry must come together in an effective and collaborative way to build trusted digital tools, frameworks, and platforms that will aggregate, store, and share data to create meaningful, holistic, and actionable information to empower individuals to manager their health.

Leaders in the healthcare industry recognize the incredible potential of great digital integration and the evolving role of consumers. Translating that potential into practice, however, requires those leaders to overcome a multitude of challenges.

The major pitfalls healthcare organizations keep running up against, largely created by their divergent interests include:

  • Inertia and cultural resistance to change at all levels of the organization.
  • Reliance on infrastructure grounded in the “old way” of operating and financial challenges of transitioning to modern infrastructure.
  • Tension between new data ecosystems that have created the opportunity to connect more comprehensive industry data and the reality that doing so requires competing entities to collaborate and share valuable information more openly.

Overcoming the Pitfalls to Achieve Greater Goals in Healthcare

Organizations with divergent interests often face common challenges and seek to capitalize on common opportunities. For more than a decade, Leavitt Partners has been facilitating consensus-based collaboration to help businesses address some of the most complex challenges in healthcare. Five critical factors can help these alliances bring parties together to collaborate  and realize the promise of digital transformation.

  1. Providing a place of independence separated from individual interests and biases.
  2. Creating a rules-based approach that fosters balance and neutrality, providing all participants with an equal voice in the conversation.
  3. Developing a clearly defined scope and purpose of why the parties should come together and what problem they are trying to solve.
  4. Bringing the right people to the conversation at the right time to balance the technical, business and policy perspectives needed to address the problem.
  5. Bringing committed members and leaders to the table to enable action that helps the parties move towards transformation.

Two examples of how Leavitt Partners has put this into action include the important work the CARIN Alliance (CARIN) and the Partnership for DSCSA Governance (PDG) have both achieved.

The CARIN Alliance is comprised over more than 70 organizations, ranging from healthcare IT companies, to payers, health systems, patient advocates, and others, working together to enable consumers and their authorized caregivers to access more of their digital health information with less friction. The alliance has been focused on including building world class security and privacy protocols, standardizing data elements and building trust frameworks, to name a few achievements of the alliance.

The PDG alliance is a collaborative forum and public-private partnership with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) dedicated to developing, advancing, and sustaining an effective and efficient model for interoperable tracing and verification of prescription pharmaceuticals in the U.S. Efficient implementation requires an intentional implementation plan that builds toward a shared vision for 2023 interoperability. As an independent, balanced, and sector-neutral governance body, PDG is working to establish an implementation plan and will provide certainty and longevity that benefits the effective, efficient implementation of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA).

Both alliances are illustrative of the problems that can be solved when trust is established between multiple stakeholders in the healthcare industry. To view a recording of our February 11, 2021 LinkedIn Live broadcast click here. To learn more about our member-based alliances, click here.




Our mission at Leavitt Partners is to advance value to make health care more affordable, sustainable, and effective. We invite community members and industry experts to join us in future dialogue on the healthcare climate. View our upcoming schedule of Future Frame discussions here and join us for our next broadcast on Thursday, February 25, 2021 at 11:00 am ET on LinkedIn Live. Andrew Croshaw, Liz Wroe, and Sara Singleton will discuss leveraging budget reconciliation to advance health policy change.