About 400 students, faculty and guests gathered at the Yale School of Management on April 1 to attend the 18th annual Yale Healthcare Conference.
This year’s conference, hosted by students from Yale’s Schools of Management, Medicine, Nursing and Public Health, focused on patient-centered healthcare.
“The past two years have laid bare the challenges, inequities and inefficiencies facing our healthcare system,” said Daisy Bourne. MBA/MPH ’22, Lydia Li, MPH, HCM ’22 and Hil Moss, MBA/MPH ’22, three student health care conference co-chairs, said in a joint statement.
“Fundamentally rethinking the system will require bold, creative and innovative solutions. And it all starts with a return to the heart of care: the patient,” they added.
Yale School of Public Health Dean Sten Vermund, Anna MR Lauder Professor of Public Health, opened the conference.
“Patient preferences are considered central to treatment, but for decades it is shocking that patient perspectives have not been highlighted or respected,” he said in his opening speech.
Vermund pointed to the glaring disparities that exist between large US investments in health care and the country’s relatively poor health outcomes compared to other countries.
“The total gross natural product of Germany and India is about the same as our [U.S.] healthcare spending,” Vermund said. “It just shows the vastness of the resources and the stakes that are involved.”
Vermund cited former YSPH Dean Paul Cleary’s work with patient satisfaction surveys, known as the Consumer Evaluation Surveys of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS)as a tool that can be applied to help reduce health care costs while ensuring the delivery of quality health care.
“These surveys are increasingly being used for health system evaluation and for opportunities to increase care and trust within health systems,” Vermund noted.
Vermund also highlighted the work of other YSPH researchers, including that of Associate Professor of Public Health (Health Policy) Zack Cooper, whose 1% Steps for Health Care Reform The initiative explores small, but tangible solutions to reduce healthcare costs without compromising quality.
“The [1% Steps for Healthcare Reform] brought together the most creative thinkers in health policy and produced low-key, evidence-based interventions that would lower health care costs,” Vermund said.
Bourne hopes attendees left the conference with a better sense of what patient-centered innovation really means.
“Truly driving patient-centered change requires unpacking what that phrase means, and the many parts of our system that need to be fundamentally changed in order to achieve a goal of patient-centered innovation,” he said. she declared.