Expanding care beyond the hospital walls
The landscape of care delivery has been rapidly evolving. With more care being managed outside the hospital, data intake continues to grow. However, some IT infrastructures are not designed to keep pace with this influx of information. Many health systems today have a myriad of niche systems, modalities, and devices with associated software that make managing this data challenging.
Fragmented IT systems can create unique difficulties related to the delivery of care, particularly for clinical staff. In this new environment where care is not always managed within the hospital, the integration and standardization of patient information become crucial to being able to make confident, well-informed clinical decisions. As patients continue to embrace virtual care, providers will continue to offer services that were previously done in the hospital in the home, such as post-discharge patient monitoring. This means that data needs to be accessible. Patients expect transparency of information and protection of their privacy, but care teams and staff also need easy and secure access to patient information at different points in the care continuum.
In Philips’ 2021 Future Health Index (FHI) report, feedback from healthcare leaders – including executive officers, financial officers, technology and information officers, operations officers and more – explores the challenges they have faced since the onset of the pandemic, and where their current and future priorities lie. With a focus on patient-centered healthcare enabled by smart technology, their vision is shaped by a fresh emphasis on partnerships, sustainability and new models of care delivery, both inside and outside the hospital. When it comes to telehealth, nearly 64% of healthcare leaders around the world reported they would continue to prioritize telehealth when it comes to digital health technology investments.
And the interest in adopting innovative healthcare technologies to drive more efficient and effective patient care doesn’t stop there. More than half (52%) of FHI surveyed informatics leaders say that, three years from now, their hospital or healthcare facility will need to invest in implementing predictive healthcare technologies to be prepared for the future and make them more agile. But such evolution does not come without challenges. Leaders cite difficulties with data management (53%) and lack of interoperability and data standards (45%) as the biggest barriers to digital health technology within their facility.
Healthcare organizations can make the most of complicated and overwhelming data streams by having a common, cloud-based IT infrastructure, where data can be easily accessible, anywhere – an essential requirement for new models of care delivery, where patient information must be visible in care settings that include the home, outpatient clinics, and traditional hospital environments.