The 4 Healthcare Realities of 2018

Advancement, tied to progress, is an unstoppable force. Particularly in the health care world, constant changes and technological redefining is consistently taking place. As we carve deeper into the year 2018, it becomes progressively more and more evident about the state of the health market and environment today.

Things are moving quite quickly. Well, excluding waiting times in hospitals of course. That’s still an unfortunate presence overall. However, from a financial standpoint, the Canadian expenditure for healthcare almost doubled from the 15 year period separating 1999 and 2014. Quite an impressive stat to say the least! Medical organizations and associations are taking more transparent and open leaps into major advancements in technology, all while keeping a close eye on cyber-security.

2018 has brought many new openings within the medical field and will reconstruct the notion, experience, and understanding of health care. With many evident changes revolutionizing the way patient care is administered in past years, 2018 will certainly be a major year in re-constructing a more technological and secure model.


The rise of Artificial Intelligence

To begin, artificial intelligence (AI) will play a major role in health care moving forward. Employees function best when they can practice at peak performance.

According to PwC Health Research Institute, business executives overall aspire to be able to invest in the automation of tasks. Moreover, these tasks would include routine paperwork (82%), scheduling (79%), timesheet entry (78%) and accounting (69%), all administered with AI technology.  Thirty-nine percent of provider executives told PwC they were investing in artificial intelligence, machine learning and predictive analytics.

Three-quarters of healthcare executives plan to invest in AI in the next three years but many lack the ability to implement this kind of technology, according to PwC.  Furthermore, approximately 20 % of those respondents explained that they had the appropriate technology to use AI to its full capacity. Thus, this leaves a wide gap in AI’s strategic use.

Altogether, this is an advantageous situation. With the rise of telemedicine, there is a big opening for AI to increase in its share. Seeing that artificial intelligence plays a huge role in effective communication and allows professionals to get a better understanding of their patients through supplying medical data to their fingertips, it’s safe to say that AI is a useful tool to those having to make big medical decisions. And if AI can take care of tedious administrative work as well, then it’s a big bonus to medical organizations. However, with a wide gap in the artificial intelligence use, the only thing that may hold AI back in the grand scheme of things is time.


Strategizing the Patient Experience

It’s important for healthcare providers to be clear and concise in their description of the care provided. Each patient contact, including the mode of contact if it is not in-person (e.g. by telephone, email, videoconference telemedicine), should be documented according to organizational policy and professional practice standards.

Medical symptoms, physical findings and laboratory results are all elements to which a plan of care is based on for efficient clarity.  Having an appropriate documentation tool will not only help describe what information is given to the patient and their response, but also a schedule of all their interactions throughout the course of the day.

Ultimately, by keeping a clear and detailed track of a patient’s medicinal intake during the hours of the day and their distinct interactions with different professionals, this allows one to save a lot of time. Organizations today need educate both patients and clinicians on how to use the available tools and integrate them into care then administer the data they generate.

According to PwC, 73 % of provider executives say balancing patient satisfaction and employee job satisfaction is a barrier to efforts to improve the patient experience. By investing in medical tools that exemplify clarity, organization, structure, and patient-centeredness, this will definitely allow for better and happier employees that will have instant access to their patient data.

Cashing in on Social Responsibilities

Taking social responsibility has aided some healthcare organizations in maintaining and recruiting employees.  Having a cycle of consistent workforce development is important for employee satisfaction and engaging in a motivating environment.

In 2018, the American Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services granted $157 million to 32 healthcare organizations in its two-track Accountable Health Communities Model.  Fundamentally, this five-year demonstration will examine advanced payment and delivery models, such as becoming a hub to align community organizations or helping patients connect with such organizations.

From a Canadian investment standpoint, things have been bigger and arguable better than ever recently. This, being, of course, exemplified by the 2018 Canadian Budget marking the biggest investment in science and university research in national history. With a focus on investing in people and ideas for a stronger, more prosperous Canada, the budget will increase diversity in science and help develop Canada’s next generation of research leaders.

This 2018 Canadian Budget will see major million dollar investments being made to universities and science institutes for continued research. With a focus on investing in people and ideas for a stronger, more prosperous Canada, the budget will increase diversity in science and help develop the nation’s next generation of research leaders.


Prioritizing Safety and Security

Safety and security is a constant concern. It is important for hospitals and health systems must be prepared. According to PwC, while 95 percent of provider executives believe their organization is protected against cyber-security attacks, only 36 percent have access management policies and just 34 percent have a cyber-security audit process.

Technological advancements have improved the safety of medical procedures, ensuring and prioritizing safety and security. Medical digitization systems allow for an alert system that will inform you if one medication’s ingredients are counteractive with another’s. This, in turn, alleviates the notion of contradicting medication, which will cause complications for the patient and care provider.

Effective medical technology documentation presents clear and concise information to a medical worker about the patient at hand. Each patient has their very own respective personal profile where all informative content ranging from name and age to blood pressure and current weight can be stored.

Focusing on maintaining a clear and concise security plan is especially important in this day and age. With constant threats among us and around us in many ways, keeping a watchful eye is necessary to protect patient data and administrative information.


Gabriel Pugliese, Peel Solutions 2018


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