23 Jan - Customer Experience // By Productive Edge Team

Modern Trends Behind Today’s Transformation and Opportunities in Healthcare

Healthcare consumers increasingly demand seamless digital experiences while healthcare providers and payers are constantly seeking new ways to achieve a connected enterprise while lowering cost and delivering hyper-personalized customer engagement. By understanding the current landscape, including modern trends and innovations, and adopting greater connectivity through modern technologies such as machine learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and cloud, healthcare organizations like yours can transition to the proactive service model the market craves and your clients demand.

In our recent episode of The HealthTech Edge, Productive Edge’s Chief Strategy Officer, Raheel Retiwalla discusses the latest trends affecting the healthcare industry and opportunities to deliver on your business outcomes in 2023 and beyond. Keep on reading to learn more about his thoughts on the biggest drivers of transformation and opportunities for innovation to leverage today.

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Recent Trends Shaping the Healthcare Landscape

The healthcare industry is on an exciting trajectory of innovation. While it may not always appear that way in comparison to other sectors like financial services and retail, there are numerous foundational elements continuously being put into place that are paving the way for more innovation to come.

Digitization of Health Records

One of the most significant achievements in recent years has been the digitization of medical records, now known as electronic health records (EHRs). In 2009, the government mandated the use of EHRs via the HITECH Act, and today over 90% of providers have adopted them. This was a remarkable milestone, as it strengthened healthcare delivery by enabling seamless and instant communication between large datasets collected from both patients and healthcare providers. Digitization of medical records plays a pivotal role in patient care as health information of various types may be collected, analyzed, and exchanged, faster, allowing organizations to provide higher quality of care to patients while delivering on business objectives by:

  • Providing accurate and complete patient information at the point of care
  • Securely sharing electronic information with patients and other clinicians
  • Helping providers more effectively diagnose patients and reduce medical errors
  • Improving patient and provider communication via enhanced privacy and security protocols
  • Enabling accurate, streamlined coding and billing
  • Reducing costs through decreased paperwork, reduced duplication of testing, and improved processes
  • Enabling accurate, streamlined coding and billing
  • Reducing costs through decreased paperwork, improved safety, reduced duplication of testing, and improved processes

Prioritization of Patient Outcomes

The shift from a fee-based to a value-based risk sharing model has become prevalent in healthcare. This means that providers are only paid based on patient outcomes rather than services provided. This movement has the potential to not only improve patient care, but also drive efficiency and cost savings within the healthcare industry.

Increase in Transparency

The trend towards greater transparency and consumerization in healthcare is significantly driving innovation. Consumers are increasingly expecting similar digital experiences in healthcare as they receive in other industries. With access to technologies and self-service capabilities that give them more control over their own health and wellness goals.

Closing the Gap Between Technology and Patient Care

With all of these changes and mandated regulations, the overall healthcare landscape is seeing a significant shift towards value-based care, or an approach that is focused on improving healthcare quality for patients and preventing them issues before they arise. To enable and support this transformation, healthcare organizations are turning to the technology industry for support.

Improved Data Exchange

Today’s technologies that are enabling data exchange and interoperability have matured significantly. They allow healthcare organizations to establish a bi-directional access to their clinical lab social determinants of health data from EHRs. In fact, healthcare organizations like Redox and Particle Health have leveraged this technology to establish an EHR super highway, allowing providers and payers to plug into, share access, and ultimately utilize electronic data.

Additionally, technology is enabling smarter standardization of data. Traditionally, the exchange of data has been a cumbersome process as large amounts of data are transferred in various forms between providers who then must standardize it to meet their needs, driving up effort and cost. Thanks to improved technology, there is now a standard way of storing and accessing, causing the cost of information exchange to decrease significantly.

Innovation in Technologies

Technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are no longer just buzz words – they are technologies of the present and the future. Innovation and improvements in these technologies coupled with proven benefits and increased transition to the cloud is enabling the movement from the traditional reactive approach toward a proactive one, leveraging predictive and prescriptive insights to better predict potential future outcomes. These insights are incredibly powerful and are the basis for many use cases around personalized care, hyper-focused treatment plans, omnichannel engagement, and targeted alerting and notification for clinicians – all creating better patient experiences and outcomes.

Transition From Legacy Systems

Data is power –  but if it’s not providing value-added insights, it’s futile. Equally as important are the modes of data storage and transfer. Unfortunately, many organizations are faced with the challenge of disparate or legacy systems that lack the capacity to communicate to one another and offer real-time insights.

So how exactly can you drive value from insights? Essentially, by asking yourself if the information can actually be clinically used and easily understood. If the answer is no, there is no value in having large sums of data. However, you can certainly turn it into an opportunity.

When analyzing from a macro financial level, today’s clinicians typically use a plethora of data, as a result of increased access to data sharing and claims data to get a better understanding of the financial viability of things. Specifically as business models move more towards risk sharing, where there’s a high chance providers may not be compensated for a service due to their inability to deliver on the outcomes. However, if clinicians don’t fully understand what drives the outcomes, delivering on them may be an impossible task.

To avoid this, it’s crucial to take advantage of new technologies that are enabling fluid data sharing and interoperability to do things like create and understand current pathways and analyze and quantify the value of certain interventions. We know that population health and the social determinants that drive health equity are an important factor in deciding what kinds of interventions to put in place. But how can you quantify the value of it? Unfortunately it’s not something that is easily done. Analyzing population health data, translating that into meaningful intervention strategies or predicting high cost conditions like readmission risks across population and then zooming down at a personal level is not an easy feat. Companies need to generate insights that are clinically actionable.

This is where modern technology comes in. For example, Northwell Hospital leverages a tool called Nora, a conversational bot that is built as a personal assistant to clinicians. Nora provides a split second access to clinical data. It’s a conversational block so the clinician may give it commands like “let me know about the vitals of this particular patient” or “alert me when a particular test result comes in for a particular patient”. These interactions allow clinicians to provide faster, more accurate care by hyper-automating information and equipping the provider with the right data, at the right time.

Opportunities for Innovation

One of the biggest opportunities is turning the investments made in digitizing health information into a value driver. This means using that information to become more efficient in delivering care, increasing productivity, and driving growth. This includes things like intelligent care pathways, providing clinicians with the right information at the right time and context, and engaging patients by giving them access to their own information. While most healthcare organizations have adopted electronic health records, the challenge remains in accessing and sharing that information across various stakeholders, including patients, primary care providers, specialists, and insurance companies. Solving this problem will be a major opportunity in the year ahead.

Now is the time to accelerate your digital transformation goals by taking advantage of the latest opportunities in healthcare. Be at the forefront of constant change and uncertainty by implementing a tailored digital strategy that delivers consistent growth.

To learn more about the latest trends and innovations and hear from healthcare industry experts, listen to our latest content on The HealthTech Edge.

Want to get a better understanding of all our technology strategy services? Contact one of our experts today.

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Modern Trends Behind Today’s Transformation and Opportunities in Healthcare