More and more health care organizations and providers are recognizing that social determinants of health -- the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age -- drive the majority of health outcomes. This work is increasingly supported by public policy, health care advocacy organizations and social science research. Health care organizations that embrace this approach to service delivery are building the future of health care.
The impact of technology on the health care sector has steadily grown over the past several decades. But there has been a meteoric rise in the implementation and use of telemedicine since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. And it’s here to stay, along with the increased use of electronic medical records and data-based population health. Together, these technologies are changing the future of health care, cost structures and how health care organizations go to market.
There is an increased focus on preventive medicine and the importance of managing chronic diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes, which continue to represent a lion’s share of skyrocketing health care costs and were key COVID-19 co-morbidities. Health care providers across the spectrum must be engaged in patient outreach, health advocacy and compliance support to improve overall wellbeing and build resilience before the next pandemic.
As the cost of health care continues to rise, the shift towards value-based health care will persist. This focus on patient health outcomes over fee-for-service models increases the value of health care to the patient. To successfully transition to value-based health care delivery, hospital systems, physicians’ groups, and outpatient providers across the spectrum must integrate patient care, change core measures of success, and communicate better than ever.