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Meaningful Health Care Informatics Blog

Aug 6 2012   9:32PM GMT

5 areas that are shaping the health care transformation

Posted by: RedaChouffani
healthcare, transformation

We live in very interesting times, our health care in transforming before our eyes.  There have been many existing changes, and some that remain to be seen.  Technology has been helping throughout this transition, but no matter what, the realities that we have is that whatever changes we endure, they must help improve care quality, increase access to care, and improve efficiency in order for hospitals and health providers keep their doors open for patients.

There are few areas that are contributing to the health care transformation we are seeing.

Telehealth: For rural areas, telemedicine has proven to be a valuable technology that truly helped patients receive care much faster and within remote areas.  In a way this has helped improve care and convenience. Telehealth continues to improve and increase in value for health providers. In other areas, physicians are starting to adopt devices that are used to pull real time vitals on specific patients no matter where they are.

Fee for outcome not for service: The writing has been on the walls for sometimes. And for almost any new ruling and regulatory change, the focus has always been to improve care and access, and reduce health care costs. There is a good chance, as the shift we are seeing today will put for all payments to be based on outcomes and not procedures.

Retail health care: When we consider the popularity and success of minute clinics we can easily predict that more likely other retailers will consider adopting similar models.  We already see optometrists in many of the Target stores and Wal-Mart’s. But with the infrastructures and financial capabilities, these giant retailers may one day compete with health systems in our communities and provide primary care services.

Artificial intelligence: When talking about AI the first thing that comes to my mind is Watson. The super computer by IBM that is able to help physicians diagnose patients based on input from EMR, as well as data collected during the differential, lab results and voice. The system is being piloted in few health organizations.  It is highly anticipated that this system and others similar to it will be assisting care providers through their EMR with far more advanced capabilities. There have been other systems such as evidence based supporting tools that will be fully capable of  taking input, searching big data, learning and performing fast and effective analysis will prove to be great tools that will further assist physicians during the care of their patients.

Health IT: Cloud computing and mobility are still making headway across several health organizations. And health organizations will continue to see less on premise systems, and more cloud based tools such as EHR, HIS, and other productivity products. The modern medical organization of tomorrow can have all of its technology and systems deployed with a day or less.

The regulatory changes and shrinking reimbursements are continually pressuring health groups. This will be one of the main driving forces behind the transformation.  While there are many additional areas such as mobility, EHR, and advancements in effective drugs and genome that will continue to shape transformation in health care is, one constant will remain the same and that is the expectation of patients to receive improved care at an affordable price.

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