Healthcare Is So Inconsistent That You Can’t Compare Which One Is Better

One of the most insightful meetings I had at the HLTH conference in Las Vegas was with Robbie Hughes, CEO and Founder of Lumeon. For those not familiar with Lumeon, they work with healthcare providers to design and automate care pathways in an effort to deliver measurable outcomes at lower cost. They’re deployed in 12 countries with over 11 million patients on their platform across 2,000 sites.

One thing that made my interaction with Lumeon unique was that they started off by admitting that every healthcare organization was different and required a customized solution. Having worked on automating care pathways across so many organizations and patients, they would know. That’s not to say that there aren’t similarities and some standards across organizations. There certainly are, but there are differences as well that must be taken into account for a digital health solution to be effective. Robbie suggested to me that in his experience about 80% of what healthcare organizations do in a care pathway is the same, but there’s a 20% nuance that comes from a healthcare organization’s operational structure or environment that must be considered to create an effective clinical pathway.

Given this variance, Lumeon takes a unique approach to implementing and leveraging their technology to automate an organization’s care pathway as follows:

The second step is no doubt a big part of what makes Lumeon successful. Once you choose one of their “blueprints”, you then localize that blueprint to make sure it works effectively with your clinical and operational teams. Far too many organizations out there want you to adapt your clinical and operational team to their solution instead of the other way around. Or even worse, you often hear health IT vendors talk about a solution working “out of the box.” No one believes them. So, it’s fascinating to hear Lumeon say that customizing and localizing the care pathway to your environment is a key step in their process.

That’s not to say that Lumeon isn’t bringing their own clinical expertise and experience to the table. Based on their experience, they have a whole series of care pathway “blueprints” that provide a solid starting point for a healthcare organization to build, measure, and improve a care pathway. Here’s a quick look at many of the Lumeon blueprint options they have available today and those that are under development:

It’s no surprise that most of these care pathways map to the most challenging parts of healthcare today.

While blueprints are a great starting point and localization is important to success, Robbie pointed out a major problem in how healthcare organizations measured the effectiveness of care pathways in the past. Every organization measured different things. Healthcare has been so inconsistent that it was impossible to really compare which approach was better.

In order to solve this problem, Lumeon includes care pathway performance analytics that are available in real-time to an organization. This includes dashboards that standardize key ROI indicators or other KPIs that ensure that a care pathway is working effectively. Plus, this data can be used to further improve the pathway or test other quality improvements.

I’m interested to learn more about Lumeon and its impact on care. Especially as it grows its US footprint after starting in Europe. Will we start to see care pathway best practices really come together in a way that variation between organizations decreases? It begs the question of how much of healthcare can be standardized? Are local nuances valuable to the local patient community? Can we at least standardize the outcomes measures so we can compare results across organizations? Lots of questions, but I was impressed by Lumeon’s approach to the problem.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.