The end of the year is a great time to take a step back and assess the state of play in healthcare. To help you evaluate the now and the next, we compiled a list of the top four healthcare trends we saw accelerating the industry in 2021.
#1: The healthcare industry is undergoing a full-scale digital transformation.
The digitization of health records was monumental, but there is a lot more to digital transformation than simply bringing paperwork online. It’s a way of using technology to innovate the care process, improve patient outcomes, and increase satisfaction on both sides of a clinical visit.
In the past, technology adoption has been a patchwork across many health systems and hospitals. Electronic health record (EHR) here … appointments app there, all leading to a somewhat fragmented continuum of care.
In contrast, today’s digital transformation has health systems viewing technology adoption as a core enabler for their evolution. According to the Health Information Management Systems Society, 80% of health systems plan to increase their investment levels in digital health over the next five years,
To help ensure a smooth transition, many healthcare organizations are elevating technology leaders to their C-suites. This helps cultivate a “culture for digital” while ensuring top-down support for innovation.
#2: Healthcare consumerization is in hyperdrive
Far from being “patients,” people now identify as “consumers,” just as they would in a restaurant or retail experience. That’s because healthcare today has more options than ever, and now people have the freedom to shop around to find the best fit for their own health journey.
So, it’s up to us to make receiving care as appealing and effortless as any other consumer experience patients know and love. Imagine a virtual waiting room that lets you read an online publication of your choice while you’re queued, or a doctor visit with mobile options that are a joy to use and pleasing to the eye – easy, engaging toggle buttons or customizable backgrounds.
The overwhelming increase in telehealth was just a small sample of how we’ve seen patients’ preferences radically evolve during the pandemic, and health systems will be increasingly compelled to become more consumer-friendly by adapting modern technology.
#3: Big data means more informed patients and better equipped hospitals—a win-win!
The healthcare industry is capturing an unprecedented amount of data. From satisfaction surveys and utilization rates, to patient monitoring on Internet of Things (IoT) devices, healthcare is generating approximately 30 percent of the world’s data volume.
But, having data is only as good as what you do with it. How we choose to put this information into action moving forward is key. Many health systems are using data to improve care, making it more proactive and holistic. For example, doctors are using artificial intelligence to screen for cancer.
Over the past year, we’ve also seen the increasing value of data for gathering business insights. Health systems are investing in technology tools that bring key metrics into focus, like revenue streams and workflow efficiency. The key is to innovate while still meeting the highest compliance and security standards.
#4: Telehealth is improving access to care
As telehealth usage grew during the pandemic, it became clear that Virtual Care would be a gamechanger for the many communities that face provider shortages. According to McKinsey, 56 percent of U.S. counties do not have a local psychiatrist and 64 percent have a shortage of mental health providers.
Virtual Care is also helping patients gain access to a range of specialty care that would otherwise be unavailable. Among the trends we’re seeing, increasing access to care stands out as one of the most important.
These trends spell good news for eVisit
eVisit is the only enterprise-wide, end-to-end care delivery platform that was built to embrace these changes in healthcare. Our integrated platform is designed to make care simple and convenient so that health systems and hospitals can optimize to their full potential and keep patients everywhere satisfied for a lifetime.
As the healthcare industry continues this technology-driven transformation, we are proud to help shape the future of care.
Schedule a consult today to learn more about the eVisit enterprise care delivery platform.