Let me share a few interesting findings with you that will help making care delivery truly patient-centric:
● Connecting the health continuum – Healthcare IT executives are recognizing that it is essential to seamlessly and securely connect devices, systems and people across the entire health continuum. According to the survey, the most popular external IT deployments include physician offices (91 percent), ambulatory surgery centers (47 percent), urgent care centers (45 percent), diagnostic imaging centers (43 percent), patient homes (42 percent) and emergency medical services (26 percent). Connecting these systems will enable providers to remove barriers and allow patients to move seamlessly across different care settings.
● Pushing the boundaries of the EMR – The survey results pointed to increasing investment in new technologies to enhance the value of existing systems (73 percent), as well as new strategies to expand access to quality care anywhere and at any time. The majority of recent investment went into new capabilities, with mobile solutions (60 percent), telehealth technologies (58 percent), and remote monitoring (38 percent) seeing significant growth in investment from last year.
● Staying several steps ahead in patient care – More than half of survey respondents plan to invest in technology that provides monitoring of vital signs, so clinicians can detect deterioration earlier and intervene before it becomes too late. We’ll continue to see these alert systems expand their reach beyond hospital walls, out into the home, and integrate with patient technologies like smart watches and other personal devices. This will be especially effective for monitoring patients with chronic diseases from home, which we know is the most effective way to manage their care. Healthcare IT executives are recognizing that the tools and platforms need to be in place today to make that a reality in the not too distant future.
The big themes at HIMMS this year were population health, analytics to stratify patient cohorts and optimize the care for them, and patient engagement, the tools to truly engage patients in their care. While many organizations have made great strides in deploying EMRs, the next steps are moving from systems of record to systems of engagement and intelligence. In my discussions with healthcare leaders from around the world, it was clear that technology alone will not bring about change. Moving from volume to value implies new reimbursement models and major organizational change. Transitioning from a system that is organized around acute events to one that supports monitoring and remote care with multi-disciplinary teams requires redesign. We see exciting and sometime turbulent times ahead for the healthcare industry and I am sure the result will be a step change in the quality and cost of care.