Evolution of healthcare: 6 major trends these days
During the past century, there has been a major evolution of healthcare. In just a few generations, we have witnessed the development of antibiotics, radiography techniques, organ transplantation, human gene maps and digitization of a range of medical functions. Over time, improvements in technology, treatment experience, and medical services have become the current trends of healthcare.
1. Value-based medical services
Since the first days of the century, healthcare providers have been focusing on continuous improvement in order to bring the highest possible value to patients. One of the pioneers of this movement was surgeon Ernest Amory Codman. In the early 1900s, he implemented reforms that set hospital standards and issued procedures to evaluate healthcare performance.
Subsequent innovations included the establishment of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), the widespread adoption of a common assessment system, and the use of data-related incentives for medical facilities.
Data-based quality improvement initiatives are the current general healthcare trend. More and more aspects of health activities are included in quality assessments, with corresponding rewards and penalties. In addition, the fee-for-service model starts to be replaced with a value-based care one. Success is no longer measured by the number of services provided or by the patient served, but by the health of the patient after treatment.
According to one study, value-based healthcare is changing the medical cost curve, by reducing unnecessary medical expenses by 5.6%, while improving the quality of care and connection with the patient.
In the future, efforts to analyze, automate and develop more effective value-based reports will continue. In order to sustainably transition to value-based care, healthcare institutions will need to build an in-depth understanding of the patient database, clinical conditions and services provided.
2. Improved healthcare efficiency
Advances in information technology also make it easier for patients to access higher quality medical services. Today, instead of relying on word of mouth and leaflets, patients can easily access information about hospitals, including their facilities and treatment services, as well as feedback from patients who have been treated here on the Internet. This capability is not limited to their own country – information about well-known hospitals abroad can be easily found online. This has become the foundation of the medical tourism industry.
In addition, the use of information technology has made patient care operations safer and more reliable. Specifically, physicians and nurses can use a handheld computer to save important patient data, and then share it with the patient immediately in their treatment history.
The ability to store test results, records of vital signs and other important patient data in one single place has completely revolutionized the health sector. In addition, the data collected will allow scientists to conduct research and reach new breakthroughs in medicine at a much faster pace.
3. Better ability to control and treat diseases
Thanks to software programs, the World Health Organization (WHO) was able to classify diseases, causes and symptoms into a huge database of more than 14,000 individual codes. This data warehouse allows professionals to track, retrieve and use valuable data, as well as improve the efficiency of the healthcare industry as a whole.
Software programs also play an important role in tracking processes and payment methods. This not only reduces the paperwork requirement, but also allows physicians to improve the quality of patient care.
Doctors have acknowledged the enormous benefits of building an electronic medical record system. According to patients, software programs have made things much more transparent.
4. Personalized data-based treatment plans
In the past, medical services followed the rule of using only one standard protocol for every patient. However, the current trend of healthcare is personalizing treatments based on specific situations and conditions. Today, patients have much better access to customized treatments. Maps of human genes, machines, and AI have facilitated this change.
Although they cannot completely replace the role of humans, technologies make the decision-making process of doctors much faster and more accurate. The combination of artificial intelligence with medical experts has enhanced the efficiency of diagnosing pneumonia from chest radiography.
Data science will also help identify factors that may have the most impact on predictive treatment and determine the best therapy for difficult-to-treat conditions.
5. Patient-eccentric approach
Back in the days, doctors were the main players. Now, they are only part of the treatment process, and patients are the final decision maker. In line with this trend, healthcare activities increasingly focus on improving the patient experience at all levels. As the patient’s satisfaction level increases, so does their relationship with the doctor. Research has shown an association between patient engagement and improved treatment efficacy and cost reduction.
Many hospitals now have patient and family advisory councils, who worked to improve patient and physician experience. According to Optum, in a recent NEJM Catalyst survey, 49% of clinicians said patient councils or other patient representatives were the best way to integrate a patient’s voice into treatment.
6. Support services from third parties
Despite great progress in science and technology, many patients still have difficulty accessing quality medical information. This has given rise to the foundation of medical tourism and healthcare information platforms. By connecting with these agencies, patients will be assisted in selecting quality medical services at affordable prices and provided the resources necessary for long-term healthcare operations. These companies will help you schedule doctor’s appointments, arrange transportation, and answer questions about insurance and health benefits.
Constant changes in science and society have given rise to a major evolution of healthcare. Understanding this trend and in response to the increasingly diverse needs of patients, GO.CARE was established to connect patients with the top hospitals & clinics in Asia. Our partners are all owners of prestigious certifications, including the Joint International Commission (JCI) and NCQA (National Committee for Quality Assurance). For this reason, you can be confident in their service quality and staff qualifications.
Contact GO.CARE now to schedule your treatment at the leading hospitals in Asia. Our staff will answer all of your questions, help you choose the treatment plan, as well as support you whole-heartedly throughout the treatment process.
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Five Trends in the Evolution of Healthcare. https://www.optum.com/health-insights/health-care-trends.html. Accessed on January 3, 2020.
3 Ways Technology has Changed Healthcare. https://healthinformatics.uic.edu/blog/3-ways-technology-has-changed-healthcare/. Accessed on January 3, 2020.
The Biggest Ways Healthcare Has Changed In The Last Century. https://www.healthcareguys.com/2016/02/25/biggest-ways-healthcare-changed-last-century/. Accessed on January 3, 2020.
How Healthcare Analytics Has Changed in 10 Years. https://www.streamlinehealth.net/HIM-blog/healthcare-analytics-changed-10-years/. Accessed on January 3, 2020.