5 healthcare business and technology predictions in 2015

Let’s face it; our industry is going through major changes. We’re seeing more collaborations and partnerships, ACO developments, mobile advancements and consumer buying behavior shifts.

With the holidays approaching fast, let’s take a moment to gather predictions, insights and expectations of how the healthcare industry will look from a business perspective.

So, looking through my healthcare crystal ball, and a few national experts from HRI, PwC, Healthcare IT News and Fierce Healthcare, I’ve compiled 5 healthcare business and marketing predictions we’ll see in 2015:

  1. More mergers, partnerships and acquisitions

It seems more and more frequently we’re reading news headlines about health systems seeking to collaborate and/or form a joint venture – especially in Wisconsin. Just this week, the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board approved three health system mergers, giving the green light to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Lakeview and NorthShore University Health System, and SwedishAmerican Health System and UW Health and Mercy Health System and Rockford Health System, to form new operations plans in 2015, together.

It is predicted that open collaboration platforms and non-traditional partnerships will push healthcare systems out of the comfort zone toward new competitive strategies.

  1. DIY healthcare

According to HRI Clinician Workforce Study, PwC, 86 percent of clinicians believe mobile apps will become important to physicians for patient health management over the next 5 years. In fact, the study further shows the top 4 mobile medical apps are healthy eating, dieting and weight loss, and exercise and health education.

Healthcare IT News editors and other experts also predict that since health care organizations are improving the consumer experience, 65 percent of transactions with healthcare organizations will be mobile by 2018. Furthermore, the need to manage many patients with chronic conditions, will lead to 70 percent of healthcare organizations to invest in consumer-facing mobile apps, wearables, remote monitoring tools, and virtual care. This in turn will lead to more demand for big data and analytics capability to support population health management initiatives.

  1. Much more transparency initiatives

Health care experts at HRI Clinician Workforce, PwC say new transparency initiatives that target clinical trial data, real-world patient outcomes and financial relationships between physicians and pharmaceutical companies will improve patient care and open up new opportunities.

  1. Focus on positive outcomes

As health care becomes increasingly outcomes-based, evidence and definitions for high-quality outcomes will be in high demand.

We’ll also see pressure to deliver better outcomes at lower cost. Payers will implement newer reimbursement models for 35 percent of their payments to providers in North America and the European Union within the next 36 months resulting in related investments in quality measurement, payment, and billing systems.

  1. EHRs could become more vulnerable

According to ECRI reports, incorrect and missing data in EHRs and other health IT systems pose a significant challenge to the integrity of the systems. “Many care decisions today are based on data in an electronic health record (EHR) or other IT-based system,” the ECRI report states. “When functioning well, these systems provide the information clinicians need for making appropriate treatment decisions. When faults or errors exist, however, incomplete, inaccurate, or out-of-date information can end up in a patient’s record, potentially leading.”

Experts also say our systems could be more vulnerable to cyber attacks if we don’t have proper security measures. According to Healthcare IT News, health care technology experts also predict that by 2015, half of healthcare organizations will have experienced between one and five cyber attacks in the previous 12 months – with a third of those attacks successful. This will necessitate investments in a multi-prong security strategy to avoid disruptions to normal operations and incurring fines and notification costs.

What other predictions or trends do you see affecting your hospital, agency or health care organization? Share below and join the conversation:

This post was written and researched by Trish Skram. If you have other news, resources or links to share, please comment below or email Trish Skram, blogger and research content specialist for WHPRMS, at trishskram@gmail.com.

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