Into the Future: 7 steps to transforming a healthcare organization

Transforming Healthcare Organization

1. Doctor visits & points of care switch from offices to remote setup

The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a fundamental rethinking of home health care to improve the quality of care and the patient experience. Meanwhile, it has unlocked potential value for payers, healthcare facilities, physician groups, home care providers, technology companies, and investors. The final value depends on various factors in the hands of stakeholders.

2. Data is accessible both to medical professionals and patients too

In the current world, most medical data stays in the provider’s records, and not everything is accessible to the patient. Moreover, different practitioners rarely have a 360-degree view of the patient’s history, which needs to change. 

Not only should data be accessible between different practitioners, but it also should be accessible to the patient themselves. The future patient is proactive, and they have all the data they need to communicate their needs and get the best treatment possible. 

3. Physicians help patients get through tons of information

The new reality would require both clinicians and patients to be able to sort through much information available. 

Physicians, residents, and medical students are already preparing to work with data. In a survey by Stanford Medicine, more than half of physicians and medical students look for additional training in advanced statistics, population health, and coding, while a third of them are already studying AI.

Having many data through different wearables, remote patient monitoring, accessible patient history, and other tools that help better insight into a patient’s health will contribute to an ocean of information. 

Clinician’s job will be to help guide the patient through it all. 

4. Patients drop passivity and become proactive about their care

Shifting from reactive to proactive care is already happening. 

Right now, patients are passive recipients of treatments or other interventions mandated by professionals. But they will make the ones who take charge of their condition and make their decisions in the future. 

Currently, clinical visits or encounters are symptom or treatment-focused. But in the future, a holistic approach to promoting a patient’s overall health, preventing and delaying disease, and ensuring continuity of care across providers will be the core of the treatment. 

The World Health Organization estimates that 50% of the global disease burden is a chronic illness. Proactive care will also focus on disease prevention through available lifestyle factors: avoiding excess tobacco and alcohol use, getting enough exercise, and keeping a healthy diet. 

5. Physicians and patients are on equal terms instead of a hierarchy

The ideal relationship between a patient and a provider always includes mutual respect, which leads to a healthcare partnership. A true patient-provider partnership can improve patient outcomes and meet value-based care priorities. But as power hierarchies permeate the healthcare industry, these true partnerships remain elusive.

A power hierarchy is a gradual level of power in interpersonal relationships. In healthcare, these hierarchies can manifest themselves in different areas. Health professionals understand the hierarchy between clinicians, doctors, nurses, and other clinical practitioners.

Hierarchies of power are also evident among physicians, patients, and family caregivers. The traditional patient-provider relationship has been viewed as paternalistic, with the provider directing the patient through therapeutic pathways designed to alleviate health concerns.

6. Treatments switch from general to personalized

Personalized medicine is another element of preventive care. 

The benefit for patients is that doctors can more accurately predict the best treatment for a particular patient. When doctors use patients’ genetic and other molecular information for routine medical care, they can predict disease detection and prescribe more effective drugs.

Digitizing the operating room with software and infrastructure enables surgeons to drive personalized surgery based on disease, past patient outcomes, and best practice guidelines.

Personalization in healthcare goes beyond the patient. Digital operating rooms can be customized to a specific surgeon and their preferred workflows, allowing them to create and execute the best surgical plans for their patients. This plan can be updated in near real-time during surgery, enriching the digital patient model with more information and further extending the patient’s medical journey.

More patients can get pleasing outcomes if a personalized treatment process is easy for clinicians.

7. Knowledge becomes more accessible to patients

As the proactive doers taking care of their wellbeing, patients will also be able to access top-notch information and clinical research studies on their own.

Right now, the accessibility to scientific peer-reviewed papers is not that great, and many professionals have to pay to read them too. In the future, it would be a big step forward to have patients access scientific resources. Good resources would help patients make informed decisions in cooperation with their physician.

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