It's been quite a year for healthcare and technology innovation. As we look forward to 2018 we're also reflecting on the events that affected healthcare this year.
Here are some of the trends that had our attention in 2017.
Value based payments give the industry a boost, but may compound the physician shortage
CMS released their final rule this year for implementing clinical payment changes for Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) to enforce physician practices to measure Quality metrics such as patient outcomes and readmission rates. Medical schools are following suit and starting to include quality measures into their curriculum in order to prepare students for work that will impact them in their careers. Of course, this is all amazing news for patients and their families, however, it does come with a downside. Physicians report that reporting new measures consumes an average of 785 hours a year, which some say could be better spent treating patients. Mayo Clinic Proceedings published a study that indicated 1 in 5 physicians intend to reduce clinical hours in the next year and 1 in 50 intend to leave medicine within 2 years. If these findings are true, the physician gap will grow significantly faster than predicted, and may enforce another pivot in healthcare delivery, such as enabling RNs to deliver primary care.
Partnering with patients for personalized health
Organizations are starting to adopt the concept of Patient-family-provider co-design. This means that healthcare delivery is starting to involve patients and their families in their healthcare treatment and prevention programs. Patients will be able to work with their providers so that they can understand their needs more holistically to offer better care and an improved experience of receiving care.
The FDA’s Prescription Drug User Fee Act was passed in 2017 and allows patients to access new and innovative treatments as quickly as possible without compromising the Agency’s high standards. This is a compelling example of what can be achieved when patients are included in the decision making process, as they were able to work with the FDA, industry leaders, members of Congress, and other to achieve a common goal.
Healthcare providers and leaders at the forefront of quality care
The industry is starting to pay closer attention to their workforce, with major attention on workplace safety, staff engagement, and strategies such as executive rounding to mitigate poor job satisfaction. When we care about our workforce, they will care about their work and will try harder to treat each other and their patients in the best and safest way possible. Organizations all over North America are taking on big strategies to improve staff engagement, transparency and encourage the culture of safety.
Leadership rounds are scheduled, structured activities in which executive, managers and even board members purposefully walk through their organizations talking to staff members and customers while gathering actionable and real-time data
Finally, EHR adoption reached near saturated records (90% adoption) in 2017, allowing organizations to look to other avenues for technology adoption.
Nearly 90% of hospitals have basic EHRs. The big question for 2018 and the future is where technological innovation in the healthcare space will go next.
How has technology supported your work this year? Tell us about how you're using tech to support an initiative at your organization.