Four Healthcare Truths in 2020
Posted On: September 10th, 2013
General Manager, Extended Care Solutions Group, McKesson
There’s so much going on in healthcare at the moment that it seems ridiculous to focus on anything beyond the near future. In fact, times of rapid change require us to take a step back and look at the long-term possibilities. If we want to succeed, that is.
At McKesson, we spend a lot of time talking about what 2020 will look like. A few years back when we started talking about it, it seemed very far away. Today, that’s no longer the case. At the National Users Conference in the spring, I outlined some of the things McKesson believes we can count on being true in 2020.
- Care will be right-sized
- Patients will expect more transparency in their care
- Patient data will flow across the entire health system
- Data and analytics will be at the forefront of healthcare
Let’s take those predictions and their potential impact on home healthcare one at a time. First, when we talk about right-sized care, we mean a significant shift in where care takes place. Patients who would have been hospitalized will be cared for on an outpatient or homecare basis, conditions that used to be treated by physicians will be taken care of at a retail clinic staffed with nurses, and so on. What’s important to remember is that although it’s a major shift, it will happen fairly gradually and will have a positive impact on healthcare costs.
Second, patients will continue to demand transparency in the form of personal health records and patient portals. Patients will have many more choices about where they can be treated, and providers that recognize the importance of transparency early on will be the winners here.
Third is the flow of patient data. Right now, this feels like a bit of pipe dream, but we continue to work toward what we call a longitudinal patient record—everything from all providers in one place.
Finally, the importance of data and analytics will continue to grow. We’ve come a long way from a decade ago when almost nothing was automated. By 2020, we’ll have successfully made the transition to systems that not only communicate smoothly with each other, but provide the exact information providers need about their patient populations at the moment they need it.
To succeed in the next few years, we’ll all need a strong focus on both technology and process. Real-time information is the ultimate goal, and if we work together, we will get there.
Next: Four steps to Better Health 2020.