The top 3 transformational healthcare industry trends 2017
By David Turcotte, Global Industry Director, Public Sector, Microsoft on August 10, 2017
Filed under Health
Healthcare is an industry of continuous change and growth, representing $3 trillion in the US alone1. Across many articles and key industry gatherings such as HIMSS17 (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society), Becker’s Hospital Review and the 2017 JP Morgan Chase Healthcare Conference, a few top healthcare industry trends for 2017 have surfaced. While the future of healthcare faces change from various political, cost and care delivery pressures, three transformational trends emerge across geographic and political boundaries:
1. The current trend of increasing focus on the social determinants of health
Healthcare organizations are finally looking beyond clinical care to dramatically enhance health outcomes while cutting costs. Zeroing in on mental and behavioral health and extending care teams to include friends, family and communities helps providers improve patient wellness at a price significantly lower than an emergency room visit. Leveraging extended care teams to aid with important tasks that have an outsized impact on health outcomes, such as helping ensure patients take their medications and eat healthy diets, is increasingly key to sound healthcare strategy. Intermountain Healthcare made a $22 per member per year investment in integrated care practices and saw powerful results – decreasing overall medical expenses by $116 per member per year and reducing emergency room visits by 23 percent2. Industry leaders are catching on – Ascension, the largest non-profit health system in the US3, is investing heavily in community health initiatives like setting up food pharmacies4.
2. The health trend of continued personalization of care
Modern mobility and access to data is revolutionizing the industry and altering patient perspectives, turning care into another product or service differentiated by the patient experience. Today’s patients can compare doctors, care teams and hospitals just as easily as they rate restaurants on Yelp or goods on Amazon. In response, many healthcare organizations are stepping up their consumer engagement, placing patients and the patient experience at the center of care. Geisinger Health System successfully experimented with a money-back guarantee for patients, doling out over $500,000 in satisfaction rebates since November 2015 – a small price to pay for powerful improvements in the quality of care5 and a highly effective marketing strategy6. The continued personalization of care is about more than just competing for customers, as enhanced patient satisfaction increases adherence to recommended prevention and recovery plans with better clinical outcomes and a decreased need for care utilization7.
3. The rapid rise of digital transformation in healthcare
Healthcare organizations are achieving both an increase in focus on the social determinants of health and the personalization of care via the same path: digital transformation in healthcare. New health system technology, such as moving beyond basic EMR (Electronic Medical Record) infrastructure to full patient-focused CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solutions, has enabled providers to integrate extended care teams, enhance patient satisfaction and improve the efficacy and efficiency of care. Organizations are aggregating tremendous amounts of data – they just need to figure out how to use it to drive innovation, boost the quality of care outcomes, and cut costs.
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