Healthcare needs innovation and change in culture to move forward

Mar 14, 2016 | Healthcare Industry News

The healthcare industry is in flux. Between the introduction of new technology and a transition to value-based care, many providers are struggling to keep up with all the changes. Health Leaders Media pointed to recent annual and quarterly financial reports that showed how some of the biggest health systems have experienced decreased revenue and stock prices

However, experts don't expect this effect to be permanent. Chad Eckes, the executive vice president and chief financial officer at Wake Forest Baptist Medical, said for these changes to effectively take hold, the healthcare industry needs a cultural change.

"We have these new technologies, which can help the patients and improve care, but we need to get everyone on board to make it possible," Eckes said during the HX360 Innovation Leaders program kick-off panel. "We have to get the rest of the industry up to speed with our innovators."

How can providers comply with this change?
Pravene Nath, the chief information officer at Stanford Health Care, echoed these thoughts, adding that adopting technological innovations starts with building the right platforms, which goes far beyond simply discussing them. For Cedars-Sinai Health System, this means looking for ways to improve on prior discoveries, which helps them ensure that certain ideas are safe before introducing them.

In the panel discussion, Eckes identified three tools necessary for a successful industry-wide transition: time, money and foundational IT tools. This means encouraging staff to use new technology and rewarding them when work is completed, as well as understanding that there will be risks and failures that accompany these successes.

What does this mean for the future of value-based care?
The culture change has become more important as the healthcare industry experiences falling profits in the move to value-based care. While this shift is expected to generate benefits for providers, the actual changeover will take some time. According to Jeff Hoffman, senior partner and health care strategists in the global management consulting firm Kurt Salmon's Health Care Group, providers are at the "awkward" point of change and will likely see this downward trend turn around once value-based care is fully adopted by the industry.

New technology, like telemedicine, is especially costly for providers, but Hoffman emphasizes that the point of value-based care is about the goal: reducing total cost of care and improving outcomes. For this reason, health care systems should view these transitional steps as an investment that will pay-off in the long run.

"Will we see some players grow, gain market share, justify that value and increase profits? Absolutely," Hoffman said in an interview with Health Leaders Media.

In the midst of this change, some providers choose to outsource revenue cycle management to free up resources. Then, they can focus on more efficiently implementing the technological and cultural advancements that make the value-based care model a reality. For more information about these types of solutions, contact Professional Medical Services today.