We can all agree that the healthcare industry is constantly evolving. Therefore, decision makers must stay on top of emerging trends as it can affect the way they run their medical organizations. A few healthcare trends that most medical organizations should be aware of include:
1. Telemedicine: Telemedicine offers patients freedom and accessibility as they receive healthcare “virtually”. According to a survey from Advisory Board, 77% of consumers are interested in receiving healthcare via Telemedicine. With telemedicine, patients are able to receive medication reminders, track their health (i.e. blood pressure, diabetes), and receive daily support for a specific health issue. One major advantage of telemedicine is that it helps reduce healthcare costs for patients, but it also helps medical organizations improve patient engagement (i.e. patients can take more accountability in their own care, can have virtual doctor visits, etc.), and if satisfied with the care they can recommend the medical organization to other patients.
2. Digital Technology, Robotics, and Automated Tools: Digital technology, robotics, and other automated tools are revolutionizing the healthcare industry, and have enormous potential in resolving current and future healthcare pain points. If decision makers in medical organizations understand technology advancements, and how to merge that with patients they can have a huge positive impact – as they will get things done more productively, and with less error. According to Research and Markets, the medical robotics market is projected to reach $12.80 billion by 2021. And, by 2020 one in four hospitals with 200+ beds will have deployed robotics to manage time-consuming tasks, reduce labor, rehabilitation/physical therapy, elder care assistance etc. enhancing business operations and improving patient safety which is key for medical organizations. The good thing is that patients are already open to having robots perform work on them – in fact, 73% are willing to undergo minor surgery such as cataract, or laser eye surgery; while, 45% are willing to undergo major surgery such as knee or hip replacement, removal of tumors, or heart surgery.
3. “Consumerism” in Healthcare: The term “Healthcare Consumerism” is defined as transforming an employer’s health benefit plan into one that puts economic purchasing power and “decision making” into the hands of patients. Patients now expect transparency, and variety/choice when it comes to their healthcare experience. With healthcare changing and rising, patients are now more engaged in making sure they get the best value for their money. For medical organizations to be successful they must meet patient needs and expectations – by becoming “educators” and by providing the necessary information/tools, financial incentives, rewards and more, so that patients can take ownership of their health.
4. Hiring, and Training (ongoing trend): Whether its hiring the right physician or training current staff, healthcare leaders must assess, develop and help “sharpen” professional skills in order to remain proficient and current. This is an ongoing trend for medical organizations especially because of the way technology is quickly evolving in the healthcare industry. While most trainings remain traditional, medical organizations must become more “hands-on” by involving patients, offering alternatives to current practice, and training staff on digital technology to stay competitive in the healthcare industry. Working together with recruiting firms like MASC Medical who are trained in the field of medical, data, and digital technologies is also an advantage as they can assist medical organizations looking to hire healthcare professionals.
Overall, leaders and management in medical organizations must align their business, operations, and IT teams to develop a strategy that makes these healthcare trends a priority. As technology evolves in the healthcare space, medical organizations should always remember that their goal is to meet patient needs and expectations.