Healthcare organizations are dealing with challenges from all directions — health inequity, the spread of misinformation and distrust among patients, looming labor shortages and burnout, and more. Experts are envisioning how the industry will look in the next 10 years and what impact technology will have on its evolution.
Arcadia’s CEO Michael Meucci, Chief Product and Technology Officer Nick Stepro, and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Kate Behan all have an optimistic view of healthcare’s future. The full discussion is available on Spicy Takes, Episode 1. Here are three of their predictions for healthcare in the next ten years.
3 predictions for the future of healthcare
1. EMRs will go away
A big driver of provider burnout is the overwhelming amount of data entry required every day. In one recent example, Scientific American described a situation where “physicians had to manually calculate the taper doses, which took anywhere from two to three minutes and required 20 to 42 clicks.” It went on to illustrate the potential for errors, stating “at one site the error rate reached 50%.”
Over the next 10 years, physicians won’t interact with EMRs for more than a few minutes a day. They will be replaced with a new, front end of care experience that will use new technology such as a voice-assistant. In fact, generative AI is already changing the way physicians interact with EMRs by pulling data from multiple data sources, such as claims, clinical, zip code, and determinants of health, to provide a 360-degree view of patients that supports decisions around types of interventions, behaviors to highlight, and social service recommendations.
Overall, healthcare will focus more on user experience. This change will have a downstream effect on:
- Patient experience
- Digital access to records
- Better insights for everyone on the care continuum
2. The decentralization of healthcare will continue
The decentralization of healthcare — moving care away from strictly occurring within the four walls of a facility — has the potential to solve some of the healthcare equity and access challenges society is currently facing.
In the next decade, care can move closer to the patient through an increase in home care, remote monitoring, and using wearables in productive ways. McKinsey’s research predicts that “up to $265 billion worth of care services (representing up to 25% of the total cost of care) for Medicare FFS and MA beneficiaries could shift from traditional facilities to the home by 2025 without a reduction in quality or access."
Using technology in these ways can address social determinants of health challenges, such as lack of transportation that limits access to quality care. Beth Israel Lahey Health Performance Network embarked on a program designed to increase colorectal cancer screenings by offering patients a choice to complete the screening at home. After engaging through text, FIT DNA cancer screenings increased by 400%.
3. Clinician and patient satisfaction will increase
Healthcare is a relationship business. Building trusted relationships between patient and provider has always been essential for good patient outcomes. For a long time, that interaction has been tied to a hospital or clinic and required significant data entry. Now clinicians see possible solutions to burnout, skilled professional labor shortages, and "death by 1000 clicks" in health IT systems that include adding more flexible care models and scaling the hospital-in-the-home concept to larger populations.
To date, the technology has been lacking to make it a reality at scale, but we get closer each year. With each advancement, patients realize more empowerment, autonomy, and security when it comes to their healthcare. As new care settings become available and technology solutions create more face time for patients and providers will come increased satisfaction with the system overall.
The future of healthcare: A rosy outlook
Despite the feeling that we’re moving a boulder uphill, the industry has made a lot of progress. Healthcare delivery today is dramatically different than it was just 10 years ago. The next 10 years promise to push it even further. Advances in technology will be the main factor that drives many positive changes for healthcare organizations, providers, and patients alike. Health systems that embrace technology and continue to evolve will deliver a better patient experience, succeed in competitive markets, and rise to the increasing workforce challenges the industry is facing.