The Latest Healthcare Trends

Navigating todays evolving healthcare landscape is challenging

Navigating today’s evolving healthcare landscape is challenging for any industry but especially for healthcare administrators charged with overseeing the delivery of quality patient care, complying with numerous regulations, and supporting their institutions’ fiscal performance. This balancing act demands that they stay abreast of the latest healthcare trends.

Here are some of the latest trends as reported by South University:

  • The rise in telehealth – Telehealth, which gained heightened exposure and use during the pandemic, is now an integral component of healthcare service delivery. Applying these digital health technologies, providers are able to provide timely patient care and monitoring without the confines of a traditional healthcare setting. Not only do telehealth services facilitate early detection of potential health problems, but they reduce the incidence of unnecessary visits to hospital emergency rooms, urgent care and/or doctor offices which, in turn, keeps healthcare costs down. For healthcare administrators, the use of telehealth services demands they conduct the necessary due diligence related to telehealth technologies in order to ensure regulatory compliance.
  • The increase in digital health consumer products – Health-related mobile apps, health tracking devices and various digital platforms have become commonplace. Many people utilize these digital health products to monitor their vital signs (i.e., blood pressure, pulse rate, oxygen level), as well as to keep track of their fitness metrics (e.g., number of steps walked in a day). Healthcare administrators are now also advocating, on behalf of their organizations, the responsible use of these new digital tools.
  • Rapid medical and technological advancements – Medical technologies and scientific advancements are occurring at a rapid pace. They cross over a wide spectrum of healthcare, from new pharmaceuticals to new medical technologies used to perform both routine and complex medical procedures. Healthcare administrators acutely aware of the onslaught of modern technologies and scientific advancements now must stay informed of their development, performance and related cost impacts, while also being mindful of any relevant impact of data security, patient privacy and the integration with existing healthcare information technology (IT) systems.
  • Data and analytics – With the broader application of advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) for predictive analytics, diagnostics, drug discovery and personalized medicine come both opportunities and potential problems. Similarly, Machine Learning algorithms are used to analyze large quantities of healthcare data which helps support clinical decisions, resource allocation, and improved patient outcomes. Here too, the benefits of the data analytics also comes with potential risks associated with HIPAA compliance, for example. This requires administrators to ensure proper staff education and training relating to their use of this data and related analytics.
  • Patient-centered care – The increased focused on patient-centered care, engagement and empowerment has healthcare providers striving to better address individual patient needs and preferences, while being mindful of varying ethnic/cultural norms, as well as patient lifestyle requirements. Administrators must therefore develop strategies and methods to facilitate this elevated, curated patient care.
  • Integrating mental health – Today’s healthcare providers are more attuned to the importance of mental health and are taking steps to integrate mental health services into a more holistic patient care approach. Additionally, they are creating programs to support the mental health of their medical professionals many of whom are under a great deal of stress and suffer from such conditions as an anxiety and depression. As part of their initiatives to address the mental well-being of both their patients and staff, administrators are also fostering efforts to destigmatize mental health problems.
  • Shift to value-based care – With continually escalating healthcare costs, providers are shifting to a model of value-based care. This encompasses the use of financial incentives to drive more prudent medical care consumption, coupled with an emphasis on preventive care and healthy practices to achieve overall wellness. To facilitate the value-based model, healthcare administrators will need to conduct performance benchmarking, reviewing performance metrics to monitor patient outcomes.
  • Health equity and inclusivity – To prevent health disparities, administrators focus on promoting health equity across socioeconomic, racial and geographic areas. They are also looking to improve population health by applying preventive measures and addressing social determinants of health, identifying disparities within various populations and underserved communities.
  • Labor shortages and turnover – Addressing the healthcare labor shortages is a top priority for healthcare administrators. They are focused on retaining staff, preventing staff burnout and promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
  • Evolving healthcare policies – Healthcare providers face changing policies at both the national and regional levels largely focused on improving patient safety and quality of care. For administrators, this requires their remaining abreast of new reforms and adapting their policies accordingly. This can become a complex task, which if not effectively managed, can result in regulatory noncompliance and related legal fees and penalties.

Given the current healthcare environment, administrators are now charged with addressing news trends that introduce new challenges and a whole new set of tasks to master while keeping their focus on their organizations’ primary objective which is to provide high quality patient care.