In April 1999, Michael O'Neil was a cancer patient at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. Following surgery and chemotherapy to treat non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, O'Neil began his recovery and mission to improve patient care, based on his experience. Founded on the core premise that patient outcomes can be improved through engagement, O'Neil created GetWellNetwork, a company focused on improving patient experience and results through patient and family engagement.

On this Industry Focus episode clip, we see how this 15-year-old company -- still in its infancy -- has more to look forward to on the horizon, and how it's collaborating with doctors and hospitals across the country, and with major healthcare IT players so patients can receive better care.

Healthcare relies on people to keep it functioning. On this video segment, we'll hear how O'Neil, CEO of GetWellNetwork, views the sector on a personalized level.

You can listen to the full interview here. A full transcript follows the video.


Kristine Harjes: Do you think this huge trend of hospital consolidation will actually lead to better outcomes?

Michael O'Neil: That's a great question. I will tell you, the investments required to do some of this stuff well are heavy. I would tell you, it's not just the technology investments. It's the investments in change management and in people. Healthcare is a people business, and it always will be. The benefit to consolidation is organizations that have more capital dollars to invest in the very technology that change management requires to drive better outcomes.

To that part, I think it's good. On the flip side, healthcare is local and it always will be. We live in communities where we actually need to be cared for, as do our families. These large organizations need to find a way to make sure the care stays personalized and local, while they're actually benefiting from the scale economy that they can get.

It's a balance that has to be struck that I think organizations are going to struggle with for some time.

Harjes: Hopefully, telehealth will be something that helps with that, too.

O'Neil: It's a great area of technology that can really benefit care moving forward, for sure.