Dr Bernstein: “Making A Lasting Positive Difference Drives Me Daily”

Dr David Bernstein, Harvard orthopedic surgery resident physician and senior researcher in value-based healthcare at Harvard Business School (Photo © Dr Bernstein)

Dr. Bernstein, a Harvard orthopedic surgery resident physician and senior researcher in value-based healthcare at Harvard Business School, is promoting the Luxembourgish healthcare sector in Boston. He tells us more about his role as foreign trade advisor, value-based healthcare and the need for innovation. 

Can you tell us about your role as a Foreign Trade Advisor for Luxembourg?

I collaborate with individuals and organizations in Luxembourg and Boston to develop promising partnerships and promote collaborative innovation in business, including in healthcare. In healthcare, I’ve been advocating for policies and practices that promote a more patient-centered approach that improves patient outcomes for the dollars we spend, drawing from both my professional expertise and personal experiences as a patient. Additionally, my business expertise in the Grand Duchy began in 2014, when I was the first employee of Silicon Luxembourg!

You mentioned your personal health challenges, how have your personal health challenges influenced your input in healthcare as a professional?

Unfortunately, I was diagnosed with cancer last June, which further reinforced the importance of transforming health systems to be more patient-centric. Experiencing the healthcare system as a patient highlighted its strengths and shortcomings, inspiring me to advocate for patient-centered approaches that focus on the outcomes that matter most to patients and innovative solutions that reduce the cost to achieve these outcomes.

What does a value-based care approach look like and how can this address the challenges of healthcare?

Value-based care means refocusing all we do around patients and being rewarded for optimizing health and well-being. This requires measuring outcomes (including patient-reported outcomes) that matter most to patients and cost. We must better understand “what we get” for the dollars we spend.

“By shifting the focus from volume-based care to value-based care, financial incentives are better aligned around patient outcomes and encourages the adoption of innovative solutions and technology that improve quality of life and overall well-being.”

Dr. David Bernstein, senior researcher at Harvard University

Despite the growing interest in value-based healthcare globally, one of the reasons value-based healthcare hasn’t scaled is because of the challenges in overcoming the current entrenched structure. Today, the more a doctor does, the more she gets paid, no matter the patient outcomes. It’s essential to integrate value-based principles into healthcare policies and practices to ensure that resources are allocated efficiently and effectively. It is not a “magic solution” but a strategy that should guide health policy decisions at the country and local levels. It can also encourage entrepreneurs in the space to create novel tools, digital health or otherwise, to expedite the transformation to put patients first in a value-based healthcare model.

You highlighted resource allocation and research. How can these factors be implemented for a more supportive environment for healthcare?

It’s crucial to recognize the importance of continued investments in healthcare research, including basic science, translational, and health services research. Governments, institutions, and investors need to collaborate to develop frameworks that incentivize and support research initiatives that lead to the latest pharmaceutical, medical device, care delivery model, or digital health tool that helps patients.

This may involve creating funding mechanisms specifically tailored to healthcare research, establishing partnerships between academic institutions and the private sector, and implementing policies that financially align incentives to prioritize patient outcomes and long-term sustainability over short-term profits and volume.

At the heart of Europe and with a young, yet thriving university that is considering expanding its medical education, the Grand Duchy is well positioned to help drive healthcare innovation. Dedicated investment, including the growth of international exchange programs, can really catapult Luxembourg to the next level and provide a new strategic advantage in the European Union and worldwide, both from education and business perspectives.

How did your time in Luxembourg influence your professional career?

Luxembourg is remarkably international, filled with genuinely kind and smart people who want to make a positive difference in the world and have a wide range of ideas and thoughts on how to accomplish that. My time in the Grand Duchy as a Fulbright Scholar helped me to further develop my active listening, communication, and problem solving skills across a diverse group of people.

This article was first published in the Silicon Luxembourg magazine. Read the full digital version of the magazine on our website, here. You can also choose to receive a hard copy at the office or at home. Subscribe now.

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