Complaints about silos in healthcare are nothing new. For a patient to fill a single prescription, there are several disconnected groups that need to work together to move the process forward. The specialist and the primary doctor have to connect and share information, and the payer and provider need to be on the same page.
Unfortunately, for patients across the country, these stakeholders are moving at different speeds and in different directions, preventing true collaboration across organizations.
Typically, the proposed solution is to increase communication or integrate different departments. It’s an issue that many have cited as something that is holding back efficiency in healthcare.
But it’s not just frustrated patients that are the outcome of this system—people are actually dying. Take Hepatitis C as an example, which is a highly treatable disease.
Yet data from Trio Health shows that 17 percent of patients don’t start their prescription and another five percent are still pending after 150 days.
A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that the number of deaths related to Hepatitis C in the US reached a record high in 2014, and that the disease now kills more Americans than any other infectious disease.
Healthcare is an inherently fragmented industry, whether between departments at a single hospital or between the broader patient stakeholders. Along a single patient’s journey, dozens of departments, specialists and stakeholders will be involved from physicians and specialists to manufacturers and pharmacists.
Consider the impact of doctors as an example. Physicians caused a 16 percent decline in real-world performance of prescription drugs for Hepatitis C patients according to a recent study.
Physicians are not intentionally putting patients at risk, but what is happening is symptomatic of a larger issue in the healthcare world, where a lack of real-world data and an absence of knowledge sharing is hurting patients.
This siloed nature of healthcare prevents physicians, pharmaceutical companies, manufacturers and payers from accessing and interpreting important data sets, instead, encouraging each group to make decisions based upon a part of the information rather than the whole.
This results in short-term fixes that don't actually do anything to improve the sustainability of operations, or to resolve the root problem. For patients this is really bad news, as it results in delays in diagnosis and delays in access to treatments and appropriate care.