What Healthcare Delivery Systems should be thinking about next.

As healthcare delivery systems are rapidly moving forward implementing integrated ambulatory and acute care clinical systems, preparing for ICD-10 and meeting meaningful use requirements, the market is evolving. With the front-line personnel of healthcare delivery systems working hard implementing the current initiatives, hospital leaders should be thinking about what is next. A recent article in Healthcare IT News, titled “5 CIOS Imagine Healthcare in 10 Years[1],” reflects the thoughts of the past five CIOs of the year. Below are the trends they have identified in conjunction with other market trends surfacing.

  1. Telemedicine is on the horizon and ready to explode – Broadening acceptance of telemedicine, declining cost of technology and the movement of payers to reimburse for these services is accelerating the delivery of care directly into the patient’s home.
  2. Bundled Payments across the continuum of care – Bundled Payment reimbursement will be the foundation to Accountable Care, Population Management and future reimbursement models.
  3. Tighter integration of devices into the EMR – The intersection of devices, data, and equipment are converging. The advancement and commoditization of technology supports tracking the intersection of patient, environmental, and outcome information at a detailed level.
  4. mHealth – Mobile devices are evolving to become the portable diagnostic, monitoring and reporting of a patient’s condition keeping the care giver connected to the patient. These low cost and highly effective devices disinter mediate the need for frequent and time-consuming physician office visits while delivering timely information.
  5. Virtualization of data across various care settings and legacy data – Data warehousing and conversion of legacy data to new platforms have reached their practical limits. The next step is to develop data virtualization that links disparate platforms and applications into a common presentation.
  6. Patient care coordinators guided with workflow technology – Patient care coordinators guide patients through the continuum of care. Workflow technology is a platform that enables the care coordinators to manage multiple patients in a consistent and attentive manner.
  7. Broader integration with public health data– Public health systems are integrated tighter with clinical systems at all points of care. The integration with public health systems creates a responsive network of data to quickly detect and respond to public health and bioterrorism threats.

The common threads through these trends indicate the redefinition of healthcare delivery at a lower cost in a broader range of locations while ensuring the highest level of care. The healthcare delivery system is going through a transformation of delivering the right level of care at the right time in the most cost efficient manner at locations not considered viable five years ago. Hospitals as we know of them today may be a relic ten years from now.


[1] Healthcare IT News, 02/13/2013, Monegain, Bernie, 5 CIOs imagine health IT in 10 years, http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/5-cios-imagine-health-it-10-years

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