June 21, 2024

As the healthcare industry seeks to adapt, it must rethink the approach to the Quintuple Aim – digital and data first, with a focus on patients.



This interview is a summarization of a 3-part series on the Quintuple Aim. 


In a recent conversation on HDM’s INSIDEinsights, Mitchell Josephson, CEO of Health Data Management, sat down with Steven Lane, MD, chief medical officer for Health Gorilla, and Pranam Ben, founder and CEO of The Garage, to unpack the intricacies in achieving the quintuple aim in healthcare.

Among other topics, the discussion highlighted the evolving landscape of healthcare goals and the pivotal role of data and digital technologies in achieving these aims.

Understanding the quintuple aim

The concept of the quintuple aim has evolved from its predecessors, the triple and quadruple aims, to address five critical objectives in healthcare: improving patient experience, reducing costs, enhancing care team well-being, achieving better health outcomes, and promoting health equity. As Lane aptly put it, the quintuple aim is an “office chair” with five legs, each representing a vital aspect of comprehensive healthcare improvement.

Progress and challenges

Lane emphasized that while progress has been made in some areas, significant challenges remain. The equity leg, for instance, is particularly complex and heavily reliant on data access and utilization. The healthcare industry is still in the early stages of defining and collecting the necessary data to address equity issues effectively.

On the other hand, there has been notable progress in improving the care team experience. Enhanced electronic health record (EHR) functionality and the emergence of cohesive care teams have positively impacted providers. AI tools are beginning to assist with administrative tasks, allowing healthcare professionals to operate at the top of their licenses, thus improving their work experience.

However, patient experience continues to lag, with many patients facing uncoordinated care and limited access to their data. Lane noted that the generational shift in healthcare expectations and the continued rise in costs highlight the need for better care coordination and value-based care models .

The role of data and digital innovation

Josephson and Ben explored the feasibility of truly adopting a data-first and digital-first approach in healthcare. Ben argued that for such an approach to be effective, there must be an architectural framework that binds all stakeholders to a collective aim, supported by a culture willing to embrace change and governance. Furthermore, patient engagement is crucial for the success of any digital or data-driven initiative.

Ben’s perspective underscores the need for democratizing access to data and digital tools across the healthcare ecosystem. He stressed that without patient engagement and a human-centric design, the potential of these technologies would remain unrealized. The journey towards making data and digital innovation a daily habit in healthcare is ongoing, with the hope that AI and other technologies will continue to drive progress.

Digital transformation and patient-centric care

Lane reiterated the importance of keeping the patient at the center of digital and data initiatives. The goal is not merely to digitize processes but to enhance patient experience by making healthcare more accessible and coordinated. He highlighted the need for balancing the analytical aspects of data with the human compassion required in patient care. This dual focus ensures that patients trust and engage with the system, facilitating better health outcomes.

Ben added that a successful digital-first approach must incorporate a human-centric design, as demonstrated in the partnership between The Garage and Health Gorilla. The vision is to create a healthcare environment where access to care is seamlessly integrated into daily life, making quality care available to everyone, regardless of demographic differences.

Personal experiences and systemic issues

Josephson shared his personal experiences with the healthcare system, expressing frustration with the lack of patient-centered care despite being in one of the world’s top health systems. His observations highlighted the gap between theoretical improvements and actual patient experiences. Ben acknowledged that Josephson’s experience is not unique and reflects broader systemic issues that need to be addressed through continued innovation and cultural shifts within healthcare organizations.

Lane illustrated the disparity in patient experiences with a story of two pregnancies managed by different health systems. One system, driven by population health management and care coordination, provided a seamless and supportive experience. The other, still entrenched in fee-for-service models, failed to offer the same level of care, leaving the patient feeling unsupported and adrift. This contrast underscores the need for systemic changes to achieve the quintuple aim fully.

The future of healthcare: Health 4.0

Looking ahead, Ben and Lane envision a future where healthcare is personalized and deeply integrated into daily life — Health 4.0. This evolution will be driven by population health management and data-driven insights, aiming to make individualized care a reality.

The transition from Health 3.0, focused on community-driven synergies, to Health 4.0, centered on personalized care, will require overcoming current administrative burdens and embracing innovative solutions.

Ben’s broader perspective suggests that while there are challenges, the advancements in care sophistication and digital tools offer hope for a more patient-centered future. Lane echoed this optimism, emphasizing the need for continuous improvement and collaboration to achieve these ambitious goals .

As healthcare moves towards Health 4.0, the vision of a personalized, accessible and equitable system seems within reach. However, realizing this vision will require continued commitment from all stakeholders to embrace change, innovate and prioritize the patient at every step. The journey is long, but the potential rewards — a healthier, more equitable healthcare system — are worth the effort.


This interview is a summarization of a 3-part series on the Quintuple Aim. 


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