The value of collaboration, unity, and cohesion cannot be understated. As the healthcare industry today continues to evolve, it is of the utmost significance that we stand together in order to promote patient engagement, patient centeredness, patient safety, and healthcare economics. By standing together under one banner, we can provide wholesome and effective insight that will change the industry as a whole for the better. It is for this reason that I take so much pride in my involvement with the International Society for Pharmoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR).

As Co-Chair of Patient Engagement for ISPOR, I recently attended our 21st annual conference in Washington D.C.. While certainly a variety of issues were brought to light and number of questions were explored, there was one overarching theme: patient centeredness. First and foremost, what exactly is it? How do we as medical professionals in a variety of diverse fields perceive this issue in our daily lives? Ultimately, we need to understand the exact issue it is that we are approaching, and only then can we unite together to pose effective solutions.

In fact, it is this dissemination of proper uniform information that makes conferences like the one I just attended in D.C. so vital to the healthcare industry. The conference itself serves as a medium of discussion, thus allowing a multitude of medical professionals to speak face-to-face, to come to a shared understanding, and to act appropriately in light of that shared understanding. Yet, it is not simply patient centeredness that is discussed; although that’s certainly a large part of it. Indeed, we need to come to a shared understanding regarding patient engagement, regarding how to evaluate research, and regarding how to implement what we learn from that research.

By coming together and articulating what we as medical professionals experience firsthand, we are able to provide a wholesome and comprehensive portrait of the typical patient. Starting with patient centeredness, we can begin to truly learn what patients need and how to provide that care as a cost-effective solution. It is not just the cost of medical care that burdens patients; it is rehab costs. It is the cost of making homes handicap accessible. It is the cost of physical therapy. It is the cost of rent. Patients are not just patients. They are human beings with multifaceted lives, all of which are often heavily influenced by medical care.

Thankfully, ISPOR and the conferences it provides allow us to address these issues in an efficient and effective manner. Moving forward, I encourage you to share your views on how to better the current healthcare system. If you have any questions on you can get involved or any suggestions whatsoever, please do not hesitate to reach out to me either through my email ([email protected]).