Sustainability Report > Patients > Healthcare Process Innovation
Sustainability Report

Healthcare Process Innovation

Management approach

Significant indirect economic impacts, including the extent of impacts


Edwards Lifesciences’ work to support Healthcare Process Innovation supports our Aspiration to Transform Patient Care Through Innovative Technologies.


Developing innovations that allow Edwards’ products to improve efficiency, safety, and effectiveness of healthcare processes.


Management Approach

Edwards is powered by the unwavering belief that patient care can always be improved. It is our goal to make the patient experience better, reduce overall healthcare costs and continuously improve quality of care.

Global Health Economics & Reimbursement

Edwards envisions a future where all patients in need have access to cardiovascular care. To that end, it is important that our treatments are cost effective for healthcare systems. Cardiovascular care innovations can pose a challenge when healthcare systems are unequipped to quickly adopt new technologies. Edwards seeks to bridge this gap by providing health economic data and tools to hospitals and healthcare systems implementing our therapies.

Our Global Health Economics and Reimbursement (GHER) team’s mission is to increase patient access by developing and defining the related clinical pathways and economic impact important to healthcare decision makers. Our dedicated GHER staff supports customer sites’ efforts to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs. They report to our corporate functions but also work directly with business units so that we use appropriate data, tools and materials to accomplish this mission. We do not tie compensation to sales performance, but rather to a broad set of clinical and economic benchmarks.

Enhanced Surgical Recovery

Edwards is more than a medical technology innovator and manufacturer—we provide solutions that transform possibilities for patient care. Post-surgery complications can increase the risk of patient mortality and extend the patient’s length of stay in a treatment center. Edwards is driving best practice standardization among hospitals with individual approaches to surgical recovery.

Our Enhanced Surgical Recovery (ESR) Program provides guidance to surgical teams as they care for patients undergoing complex surgeries. We share best practices for keeping patients in an optimum hemodynamic volume range after an operation. When implemented correctly, these strategies improve post-operative outcomes and reduce patient length of stay. Research has also shown this approach can reduce complications by up to 32 percent, enabling more patients to return to their lives, family and home. In 2017, we strive to educate another 13,000 clinicians on the benefits of Enhanced Surgical Recovery.

Therapy Awareness Programs

Edwards’ Therapy Awareness Programs (TAP) support and educate clinicians who treat patients with structural heart disease. We empower our clinical specialists, working with hospitals and physicians, to conduct regular outreach that improves awareness of diseases and available treatment options. Our objective is to help all patients to receive the most appropriate care for their needs.

1Grocott et al. Perioperative increase in global blood flow to explicit defined goals and outcomes after surgery: a Cochrane systematic review. Br J Anaesth 2013.

Annual Performance

Global Health Economics & Reimbursement

One goal of our Global Healthcare Economics Reimbursement (GHER) program is to provide reimbursement support through collaboration on quality and economic reviews with individual hospitals or health systems providing TAVR. Working with TAVR programs in support of their efforts to deliver quality care remained a top priority for Edwards throughout 2016. This year some TAVR programs found they needed to expand capacity to meet patient needs following the FDA approval of the intermediate risk indication, a change that introduced a new treatment option for many more patients. In 2016, Edwards worked with sites on understanding and adopting best demonstrated quality practices and realizing care efficiencies associated with TAVR. In turn, this led to an overall increase in patient access to care. These efficiencies also reduce the costs of care.

Another goal within GHER is to make the patient experience better, reduce overall healthcare costs and continuously improve quality of care. This year we broadened the outcomes addressed in TAVR program reviews to include quality metrics (in addition to economics). Edwards launched a set of quality measurement tools for TAVR programs that are designed to enhance understanding of performance and identify opportunities to improve quality and the overall patient experience as well as reduce costs. So that TAVR programs are empowered to take appropriate action, Edwards also identified programs exhibiting best practices and enlisted them to serve as peer mentors.

Clinicians Educated on ESR by Region

In 2016, Edwards educated more than 15,000 clinicians on the benefits and best practices for Enhanced Surgical Recovery. These trainings empower clinicians with strategies that improve patient outcomes after an operation.

  2016 2015
United States 2,000 1,700
Europe 6,300 5,500
Japan 4,505 3,690
Asia-Pacific 1,000 1,280
Canada 580 100
LATAM 550 546
EEMEA 400 468
Total 15,335 13,284

Our Aspirations

Transform Patient Care Through Innovative Technologies

Material Topics

Sustainability Targets
Educate 13,000 clinicians on patient and provider benefits of perioperative and directed therapy to achieve fluid optimization and enhanced surgical recovery by 2017.
Transform Patient Care Through Innovative Technologies
Highlight Story
Edwards Foundation Supports Heart to Heart Global Cardiac Care Peru Mission
Through the support of Edwards Lifesciences Foundation, Heart To Heart is working to bring advanced heart care to the underserved people of Peru, where heart disease is the number one killer and treatment is often unavailable. Click below to watch a video that highlights the initial mission trip to Lima in January 2016.