Boards have a huge challenge before them as the fast pace of technology affects the way that hospitals and healthcare facilities provide care. Board directors need to understand the changes that have occurred in healthcare in recent years, as well as how they will look ten years from now. As technology evolves in the healthcare space, boards will also need the top technological advances to assist them in their duties of strategic planning and oversight.
Developments in technology will create new topics for board agendas, like how to optimize patient care in various settings, how hospitals can best address consumer needs and how to integrate digital technologies into existing systems for a customized patient experience.
Multiple Issues Are Creating Change in Hospitals and Healthcare Organizations
In addition to rapidly evolving technology, many other changes are occurring around the globe that will have a direct effect on hospitals and healthcare. Consumers are being affected by healthcare changes, and they’re becoming more interested and involved in healthcare planning. Changes in the economy, society and the political environment are also drivers of pronounced changes in healthcare service delivery.
Many patients will continue to have complex health conditions that require acute inpatient services. Despite the prevalence of acute care needs, healthcare services are trending toward home and outpatient services. These services are replacing inpatient health services.
What Will Technology in Hospitals and Healthcare Look Like in Ten Years?
The Deloitte Center for Health Solutions gathered the ideas of 33 experts on healthcare across the globe, with the goal of getting a sense of how technology could change healthcare in the coming ten years. Deloitte created this project to prepare healthcare providers for the technological advances that are about to change their world.
Deloitte introduces their report by attempting to paint a picture of what a surgical patient might experience at a healthcare facility ten years from now. The fictitious patient processes his admission on his home computer or mobile device. He then arrives at the hospital for heart surgery. Instead of being greeted by a human receptionist, the patient signs in using an electronic welcome packet. The packet contains his room number and a schedule of times and events for the duration of his stay. The hospital room has a smart ergonomic layout, bright lighting and blocks out noise from hospital employees and other patients. The patient has full electronic access to his medical records and the details of the surgery. The patient straps on a wristwatch that will monitor and analyze his vital signs and alert human caregivers to any abnormalities. Robots deliver medications and complete routine charting. Before entering the surgical room, the patient reviews the procedure in 3-D. The doctor’s wristwatch records the meeting and enters the time and date of the consultation in the patient’s electronic record.
Does that sound amazing? That’s what healthcare may look like ten years from now.
Identifying the Top Five Categories of Use Cases for Healthcare
The group in the Deloitte project used crowdsourcing techniques to identify the top five categories of use cases for the future of healthcare. They broke down the categories further to provide an indication of what services and equipment may come into play in the near future.
- Refined Care Delivery
Under the category of refined care delivery, healthcare providers may use centralized digital centers. Electronic systems may automatically perform continuous clinical monitoring with the aid of smaller, portable devices. Treatment plans may be more detailed and highly targeted than what we have today. Electronic health records will be stored in the cloud and will be accessible in real time.
- Digital Patient Experience
Technology is pacing toward streamlining patient admissions and hospital stays. We may start to see digital and artificial intelligence combine for on-demand patient interaction over a choice of devices. These technologies will join healthcare processes seamlessly.
- Enhanced Talent Development
In the future, we may see more robotic processes for medication management, surgery and more. Technology may expedite documentation, billing and other administrative processes, which will free up time for more hands-on, personal caregiving.
Healthcare providers may utilize more virtual learning opportunities to enhance skill development and continuing education. Digital technologies will use robotics more often, which will reducer turnover rates at hospitals. Digital programs will also assist hospitals in identifying and hiring the best-qualified candidates.
- Operational Efficiencies Through Technology
In the coming years, technology will bring a host of technological advances, such as robotics, automation, digital supply chains and next-generation interoperability, to drive unmatched efficiency.
- Healing and Well-Being Designs
A comfortable environment promotes healing. Technological advances are trending toward creating home-like atmospheres in healthcare settings to promote improved health and healing. Hospitals may target technology that customizes their patients’ rooms, controls lighting and manages noise. Caregiving will always require some degree of hands-on care, but caregiving will likely be more personal and portable in the future.
What Can Boards Do Now to Prepare for Technology Changes?
There’s no question that board directors of hospitals and healthcare facilities have much work in front of them. Now is the time to invest in technology that serves their purposes today, as well as their ability to plan for the future.
BoardEffect is a board management portal system that will help boards fulfill their duties now and into the future.
A board portal will allow boards to apply technological advances to renovating or rebuilding outdated infrastructures. Unlimited, cloud-based storage will provide board directors with access to an abundance of information on technological developments about healthcare.
An organized, online system for boards will help them keep pace with changing regulations like HIPAA and GDPR. A board portal will also help boards assess risks that may accompany complex technological advances, such as robotics, data information processing, automation, equipment failure, cybersecurity, and cloud-based, interoperable electronic health records.
Future board agendas will include decision-making on issues such as how to use technology to improve patient experience, finance, supply chains, human resources and revenue cycles.
We can’t predict the future for certain, but what hospital and healthcare boards can do right now is choose BoardEffect board portal software to help them be as prepared as possible as they navigate the decisions they’ll need to make about technological advances in hospital and healthcare service delivery in the very near future.