Healthcare is evolving before our eyes. Between the sweeping policy reforms, the influx of technology, and the care model innovations, healthcare doesn’t resemble the industry it was even five years ago. Patients are different, too. With nearly instant access to medical information and resources, the tech-savvy healthcare consumers of today expect their care to be just as convenient, and just as wired.
According to InformationWeek, in 2013 alone, physician and hospital use of health IT more than doubled. A recent study by Intel revealed that patients overwhelmingly are ready to see technology play a greater role in their care. Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed report that they’d consider using technologies like ingestible monitors that collect valuable health data. Meanwhile, many providers are eagerly embracing mobile devices and telemedicine tools to better care for their patients and to increase operational and administrative efficiencies. Health systems are delving into big data to improve and better manage population health.
As these forces continue to reshape the possibilities of both medicine and healthcare delivery, 2014 will see exponential innovation. It is a prime environment for health systems, care providers, and entrepreneurs to either embrace and promote change together or be left behind.
The passage of the Affordable Care Act alongside the HITECH Act has been a significant catalyst in the recent and dramatic evolution of the industry. Cuts to reimbursements have pressured providers to find new ways to cut costs while both broadening access to and improving the quality of care. At the same time, a strengthened emphasis on patient experience has encouraged providers to develop and refine ways to better serve patients.
It has become critical for healthcare providers to shift from a position of attempting to hold on to the status quo to one that understands both the benefits and necessities of innovation. Embracing innovative approaches, system infrastructure and patient engagement in the near-term are now business strategies critical to the long-term success and viability of healthcare organizations. Today’s decisions will determine which healthcare companies and systems will thrive tomorrow.