Hospitals are transforming, partly due to the infusion of new technology, but predominantly because the future demands enhanced quality and value for healthcare. As the way we perceive treatment and healthcare change, the role of hospitals in delivering these services will also undergo a transformation.
Some of these changes will be tangible, like the number of doctors and beds in a hospital, but there will also be some intangible yet impact changes like improvement in physician-patient interactions or in treatment methods
For smooth navigation, the transformation change requires extra effort and commitment from everyone involved in the system. Caregivers in particular must be aware of the change, and the different performance metrics proposed by various government agencies can provide a clear sign of change in this respect.
Here are some of the major changes the industry is expected to undergo in the near future
1. Collaborate for Care Continuity:
Providers and caregivers will move from competition to collaboration to provide care continuity, leading to formation of many more cooperative groups which share duties and responsibilities. Payers aim for continuity of care to reduce healthcare costs and to benefit the patients by reducing mistakes. . This serves as a flexible system for the providers, and in turn, increases revenue and decreases variable cost for providers.
2. Focus on Population Health:
Payers will continue to incentivize population health strategies to reduce healthcare costs, pushing hospitals to concentrate on achieving a broad agenda. This method includes care programs for people with high health risk of hospitalization, and also introduces preventive measures to healthy individuals like preventive screening, creating awareness on preventable diseases or vaccination, etc.
3. Reduce In-Patient Volume:
For the past several years the healthcare system has witnessed a decline in the in-patient numbers along with a proportionate increase in outpatient care. This shift is largely credited to the improvement in technology such as minimal invasive surgeries and advanced anesthesia which allow patients to recover quickly.
As cost efficient, reliable and comprehensive patient monitoring technology becomes widespread, the need for expensive hospital rooms will decrease and patients will prefer the comfort of their homes.
4. Virtual Care:
Information technology tools will allow patients to conveniently connect with providers through a tele-based platform. Providers will be able to monitor patient vitals with the help of various smart health devices, plan treatments, and follow progress without the patient needing to step into a hospital. Providing care anywhere and anytime, this method will dramatically change the way hospitals and treatments are perceived. Although virtual care already exists at some level, connecting patients with caregivers will be vital going forward. It is crucial that caregivers use technology to provide care at the time of need to save many lives.
5. Individual-Centric Care:
Every individual will receive customized treatment depending on individual patient health history, big data analytics and even their genome information. This is a departure from the trial and error method of treatment where doctors match a list of symptoms to a disease and initiate the treatment accordingly. Each case will be treated separately and backed by data, facilitating treatment for the affected individual’s health condition rather than validating generic symptoms to arrive at some conclusion.
6. Developing Integrated Information System:
Healthcare information technology will connect the whole sector providing real time information and secure channels of communication. With data generated by multiple sources and real time monitoring devices, providers can create a single data pool of every individual under their care, making billing and reporting easier for the providers. Such a system can help health systems perform more sophisticated tasks such as data analysis, population health monitoring, etc.
The above are inevitable changes and will affect the healthcare industry as a whole, but what needs to be seen is how individual organizations decide to embrace the future. Whichever way an organization may choose to tackle this change, the future of healthcare is holistic with a more individual-centric focus.