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Through the Lens of a Patient: Dr. Rasu Shrestha on the Power of Patient Collaboration

At the HIMSS19 conference in February, we had the privilege to chat with Atrium Health Chief Strategy Officer Dr. Rasu Shrestha. Rasu had just wrapped up the inaugural Pharma Forum, which drew more than 225 attendees interested in new ways to foster engagement with the patient, provider and payer community.

Beyond buzzwords

There was plenty of buzz about patient-centered design thinking during Pharma Forum, but Rasu believes we need to get off the soapbox and make it real. We asked Rasu when he believes patients should be involved in the design process. He was unequivocal: “As early as possible, as often as possible, and as part of an iterative cycle over time.”

By actually starting with the patient, Rasu believes solutions can arise that are not only profitable and scalable, but they can also “have an impact on the ground” for the end user.

Using WEGO Health’s work as an example, Rasu believes that health-activated patients can offer meaningful feedback that can “transform the future of healthcare.”

There is no dearth of challenges in a healthcare industry as complex as ours, but Rasu argues that “complexity is the bane of our existence.” The cure is participatory design thinking that embraces patients as a resource in the co-creation of solutions.

“When we look at it through the lens of the patient, we’re able to suddenly open up not just our minds but our hearts,” Rasu said. We can acknowledge that “the solutions we’ve created…feed to a certain purpose,” but we also need to ask, “is it really feeding what we need it to do from the patient’s perspective? What really matters is what matters to the patient.”

Rasu’s passion for a new paradigm where patients and industry work together to transform healthcare is contagious. Take a listen.



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