Hospital administrators, like leaders in many industries, are watching closely to see what’s in store for 2016. But healthcare is evolving quickly, and it’s hard to know what trends to keep an eye on. Here are a few we’re watching.
Wearables Take Over
Look at your wrist. Are you wearing a Fitbit or other device that tracks your steps, sleep or heart rate? Or do you use an app to track your health? Chances are, you do. And so do patients. In the third quarter of 2015 alone, wearable maker Fitbit reported sales of 4.5 million devices. In fact, 24 percent of consumers reported tracking their health with mobile apps, 16 percent use wearable sensors like Fitbit, and 47 percent would consider using wearables in the future if they don’t currently use them.
With wearables collecting all of this health data, what will the future hold? A new market of wearables that could become substitutes for more costly therapies. Experts predict this new generation of wearables will offer effective treatment for many diseases. Companies that create these new wearables will adopt a different business model—no longer just wellness and education—and instead focus on medical value creation.
End-of-Life Care Will Come to the Forefront
Doctors will spend more time talking with patients about end-of-life care and wishes. The increase in these conversations are thanks to high deductible plans, rising medication prices and newer payment models patients and doctors have to contend with. As a result of these increased discussions, it is predicted more pressure will be placed on drug pricing, high Net promoter scores — a calculation based on how likely someone is to recommend you or your hospital — and higher physician salaries.
Retail Clinics will Become Mainstream
Retailers are expected to invest more of their footprints in clinics like those located in pharmacies.
Hospitals Will Invest in Better Technology
Hospital mergers and closures are happening across the country. In fact, hospital consolidation has substantially increased over the last five years, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. And 20 percent of hospitals are expected to seek a merger in the next five years. As a result, hospitals will rethink nearly everything—from their layouts, how they use resources and the technologies they use in their ORs to emphasize efficiency and better patient care and satisfaction.
One thing remains at the center of most of the expected trends in the coming year: improving efficiency and patient care and satisfaction. By keeping an eye on the happenings within the industry, your organization can stay abreast of the quickly moving trends.