THE PCMH Gains an International Flavor

Paul Grundy, MD named Ambassador for Healthcare Denmark

While the direction of U.S. healthcare reform continues to include an air of uncertainty, one thing we can be sure of is that internationally, new ideas related to primary care medicine in general and the patient-centered medical home in particular, are coming soon.  And a good part of that prediction is based on the fact that Dr. Paul Grundy was recently designated as one of the 12 original ambassadors for Healthcare DENMARK, a gateway for international stakeholders to experience the Danish healthcare system and its innovative healthcare solutions.

Dr. Grundy is IBM’s Global Director of Healthcare Transformation and was a co-founder and president of the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative, an organization birthed when IBM and other major US employers reached the unhappy conclusion that they were not getting what they paid for and acknowledged that the quality and price of healthcare were headed in opposing directions. Dr. Grundy has spent much of the past decade working with an international network of world class businesses, thought leaders, industry experts and medical practitioners.

In the process he has helped spread new perspectives and develop effective strategies for achieving better, more sustainable health and social outcomes at lower costs – with primary care at the vanguard. The PCMH has been an important part of his tireless advocacy and outreach.

As one of the participants in a recent Healthcare DENMARK ambassador summit, Dr. Grundy took part in presentations and panels that directed Danish strategies to international healthcare issues – of which primary care with a strong patient-centered focus was at the forefront – while also lending an international perspective to Danish health issues.

In a blog following the summit, Dr. Grundy noted that “Denmark offers some of the best primary care in world. As an ambassador for Healthcare DENMARK I will be taking the lessons learned and sharing them with my colleagues in the United States and other parts of the world. We can learn from international health systems, especially Denmark’s, which has been focused on a robust base of primary care for decades.”

Dr. Grundy goes on to urge us to look outside our own experience and notes that despite the high points of the U.S. healthcare system we are not among the leaders in population health. Our costs remain unsustainable, health coverage continues to be uneven and primary care itself is not assured of a thriving future.

As we move hesitantly at times toward true healthcare reform, the lessons to be learned from Denmark, a nation with exceptionally high patient satisfaction gained at significantly less cost when compared to American healthcare, can be enlightening and valuable.

And if you’ve admired the focus and passion exhibited by Paul Grundy so far in his efforts to promote primary care as the foundation or our healthcare system, stay tuned. Because it looks like after years pursuing that objective, he’s still going strong.   Learn more at www.healthcaredenmark.dk.