You could name a dozen trends driving change in healthcare — unsustainable costs, regulatory changes, medical breakthroughs and more — but one of the biggest is the shift in patient attitudes and expectations. Healthcare is rapidly moving away from the traditional doctor-patient model to an open, consumer-oriented view with a focus on wellness.
Patient attitudes have shifted for a number of reasons. For one, the growing capabilities of wearable devices such as fitness trackers and smartwatches have fuelled our interest in our health. Seeing behaviours quantified and having vital statistics available at the touch of a button have led to a greater awareness of the impact of our life-style choices. And exhaustive online information about health issues and potential treatments has made patients more informed. That also means they’re more likely to question doctors when they feel they’re getting a routine answer to their unique situation.
So what does that shift mean for providers? As patients increasingly seek choices, new healthcare business models will arise, challenging traditional services and treatments. New technologies will offer improved digital patient experiences, operational efficiencies, and clinical effectiveness that create new opportunities and imperatives to advance the future of care.
The takeaway for providers is clear. According to an IDC White Paper, digital transformation will favour those providers who become the most prolific innovators. The IDC White Paper, sponsored by DXC Technology, “Innovators Will Be Heroes: Shifting the Paradigm from a Focus on Data to Outcomes Through Cloud-Based Digital Health Platforms,” outlines how this new era of digital-driven healthcare is taking shape, and what providers need to do to respond.
In the white paper, researchers highlight the need for healthcare providers to deliver more convenience, personalisation and value for their patients. Innovative services that offer more transparency, patient engagement and an improved patient experience must become core clinical and operational practices to truly humanise care.
Silos that once existed between business, operations and the clinical setting must come together to form new initiatives around integrating social determinants of health, consumer and economic data. In addition, a new contract must be written in the form of enhanced digital trust frameworks that allow systems to scale in secure ways through added privacy, confidentiality and cyber resilience measures.
The global healthcare and life sciences landscape is in many ways fraught with broken and badly connected processes. It can’t remain that way. Healthcare must shift its focus from data to outcomes in an optimised, agile and humanised manner to adapt to new regulations, shifting consumer life styles, expectations and demands. Care teams using tools that help make the right decisions to drive better outcomes, higher patient satisfaction and effective aftercare plans will help retain patients and improve their health.