Healthcare ranks among the top priorities and largest sectors in developed and developing nations alike. Generating employment as well as revenue, the broad industry includes medical facilities, medical devices, health insurance, telemedicine, medical equipment, and medical tourism. Growing with great momentum, this huge segment faces unprecedented challenges and changes.
Emerging Trends in Healthcare Industry
The Role of Technology
There was once a time when medical sciences had limited access to progressive technology. Traditional approach has given way to technology in the modern times. Playing a crucial role in the healthcare service delivery, technology is seen to be the game changer and major driving force behind the advancement in medical Industry.
Significance of Information Technology in Healthcare Industry
Healthcare industry is made up of two major components, namely, public and private. The private sector spearheads adoption of technology in the developing nations. In order to manage operations efficiently and to optimize costs, IT solutions have become imperative. Management information system (MIS), patient care, and process management in hospitals are dependent on effective IT solutions.
Health insurance sector is set to grow in a large scale during the coming years. This will cause a rise in demand for an efficient system for the storage and retrieval of accurate information – this will force all healthcare providers and clinicians to imbibe technology so that existing infrastructure can be modernized.
Cloud Computing and its Influence
Convergence of upcoming technologies such as wireless technology and cloud computing with healthcare is expected to make critical impact. This factor will influence the way of meeting resource shortage and improving information accessibility. Immediate future is about to witness propagation of tools such as hospital information systems (HIS), hospital information management systems (HMIS), electronic medical records(EMRs), telemedicine, teleradiology, and so on.
Cloud computing is expected to be embraced by healthcare industry on a large scale in the coming years. Being cost-effective, cloud-based solutions are going to drive increased HMIS and EMR adoption. Several benefits such as fast response during emergencies, reduced errors, patient convenience, and easy access to information regardless of geographical location are factors that will drive increased adoption.
Need for Automation
For obtaining improved efficiencies, automation of various processes will be sought by an increasingly more number of hospitals. Administration, workforce management, billing, pharmacies, finance, and patient records are a few of the important elements that are expected to be automated. As popularity of digitization in medical practices increase, the role of picture archiving and communication systems (PCAS) is likely to gather importance in the coming decade.
Challenges in the Current Healthcare Industry
Current Issues and Crises in the Healthcare Arena
- Financial Discomfort of Physicians Caused by CMS’ New Regulations
- The New Year has seen value-based purchasing programs solidly placed for care providers. Quality reporting and Meaningful use initiatives are considered a little difficult to manage in the initial stage. Reduction in reimbursements due to non-compliance may impact providers –changes and modified reporting needs are in fact overwhelming the busy physicians.
- Transformation in the Healthcare industry Caused by Progressive Technology
- Healthcare sector has been experiencing exploding proliferation of technology. There has been a range of devices and advanced technologies invading the healthcare segment – wearable tracking devices, patient-centric care, increased demand for data, data security needs, and attaining meaningful use, to name a few.
- Financial Viability is Cause for Concern for Healthcare CEOs
- One of the major concerns for hospital CEOs is the financial position of their healthcare organizations. Fueled by governmental mandates and growing demand for quality, the struggle for maintaining financial stability of facilities is expected to increase.
- Streamlining Mobile Care
- There is going to be a big shift in the future with use of mobile devices, connected medical accessories, and apps. This is fueled by consumers’ demand for anytime, anywhere observation, diagnosis, and treatment.
- Concerns over Cyber Security
- Connectivity of medical devices and mobile apps has done a lot of good, but it gives room for breaches and hacks as well. It is predicted that such unwanted occurrences will increase in future, necessitating stringent cyber security.
- Cost of Healthcare
- Similar to the growing inflation, cost of medical services also is found to be increasing on a regular basis. With healthcare consumers demanding better value for money, it is required to review procedures and processes so that efficient ways of delivering care under reasonable costs is made possible.
Healthcare Policy Changes on the Anvil
Change in political scene has started bringing several changes to the healthcare industry. With MACRA and other such legal shifts doing the rounds, and key elements of the ACA expected to be repealed, there is little wonder in the flurry of activity and heavy discussions around healthcare policy. Healthcare sector is about to see another transformation.
Author the Author
Kumar Subramaniam, Founder & CEO of 75Health.com, focuses on publishing blogs and articles on various modern healthcare technologies and related services. Their recent publications are about EHR and PHR Software.