Question from Rasu B. Shrestha, MD, Chief Innovation Officer at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Where does innovation fit in at a time of ‘do more with less’ in healthcare?
It has been said that the trouble with our times is that the future is not what it used to be. There is no doubt that change is coming to the world of healthcare and healthcare information technology; both in the very way we practice the noble profession, as well as in the way information technology contributes back to healthcare. We live in an era in healthcare today of ‘do more with less’. Reimbursements continue to decline, whilst there continues to be a steady march from volume-based healthcare to one that celebrates value. Arguably, this is the perfect storm for us to push for more innovation.
The healthcare industry is currently experiencing one of the greatest periods of consolidation in the last century. Consolidation is happening across hospitals, physician organizations and insurance companies. Meanwhile, healthcare reform is here, and it’s here to stay. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, also generally called the Federal Healthcare Law, represents one of the most significant regulatory overhauls of the U.S. Healthcare system since the passage of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. Even if we look at these two massive market and industry dynamics together, we see a need – perhaps an imperative – for us as an industry, to do more with data, to innovate, and to think outside the box in the very ways that we are providing care to our patients. It is indeed at times like these that we need to “double down” on innovation and leverage healthcare information technology to truly transform the way we are practicing medicine. We have a dire need to use data intelligently to push the needle forward and embrace the opportunities of value based healthcare, where quality, collaboration and care coordination are of paramount importance.
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