Has the Future of Healthcare Hit its Plateau?
When you walk into a doctor's office, clinic or hospital, it may not feel like there have been any significant changes. In fact, many aspects within the healthcare system feel like they move at a snail's pace. However, an evolution has made its way through the underbelly of the data and how that information is treated. Just because change is not readily visible to incoming patients does not indicate a lack of progress, but a seamless knitting together of normal practice and "sophisticated analytical infrastructures".
If you are wondering how daily interactions and data analytics speak to the future of healthcare, all you need to do is understand the possibilities that are available or will be as advancements continue to mature. This starts with the fact that the daily medical occurrences aren't simply filed away in a personal medical record. Each event with its many diversities and normality are stored as a means to later being able to interpret someone's situation. By pooling the vast amounts of information, a stronger foundation of knowledge is being developed and utilized by healthcare professionals.
Another step forward for this industry is found within the walls of standardization in diagnoses and treatments. Also known as Population Health Management (PHM), for those familiar with inside terminology, can provide a more cost effective yet efficient brand of care. When data regarding the workings of facilities are gathered and analyzed, a picture begins to be painted not only about traits within the organization, but also the people and community that are receiving care. This picture represents evidence-based information where and how care can more productively be administered.
In a day and age where every penny truly counts, yet the cost of everything has seemed to skyrocket, the last thing we want to spend frivolously on is medical costs. Most of us have no issue when it comes to paying for necessities, yet when it has been proven that billions of dollars are spent wastefully each year in healthcare, it is hard to see getting your money's worth. There are several groupings that waste falls into when analyzing the financials of any organization. Generally, the inefficiencies are categorized into these six groups:
• Failure to deliver proper care
• Failure to coordinate care
• Organizational complexities
• Complex or regulation laden pricing structures
• Fraud and abuse
Armed with concrete facts that point out losses in time, energy, money and resources, plans and goals can be made to reduce wasteful spending. Improvement in this area alone will facilitate beneficial outcomes for everyone involved; for example, patients could be subjected to fewer tests, especially repeated testing, schedules for healthcare provides could be more effectively dedicated to constructive time with patients, and the amount of entries for billing could be reduced.
Overall, when looking to the future, the healthcare industry is no longer sitting in the back seat hoping for technological advances, but is out there seeking and applying its most valuable asset: information. When data can be collected, analyzed and generate a fundamental representation of what is taking place, from the smallest details to the most comprehensive procedures, any wrinkles within the system will appear and be managed more efficiently.