HealthcaresBigDisruption-Was Healthcare Ready-Blog-1

Was healthcare ready for the issues it's faced?

July 14, 2021
July 14, 2021

In April 2021, HealthStream asked 14 survey questions to better understand "What Are Healthcare Executives Thinking About the Past, Present and Future?"

This three-part inquiry looked at the wins, the struggles and the future priorities.

Do healthcare leaders feel that a decade of change prepared them for big challenges?

Focusing on the Past, we asked them to assess the performance of the hospital industry (across various initiatives) over the past decade, 2010-2020. 

Specifically, we asked the following question:

Overall, how well did preparations over the past decade prepare the healthcare industry to face the issues it is likely to encounter over the next 10 Years?

Over 900 healthcare leaders – 57% with more than 20 years of healthcare experience – gave their opinions. Yet … Only a small fraction of respondents rated readiness levels as very good or excellent. More information is shared in the eBook, detailed below.

Incremental progress

The U.S. healthcare system has its critics. In recent years, experts advocated for large-scale healthcare reform, and the industry responded, but slowly—on a more targeted, piecemeal basis. For most people involved in care, whether in a provider or patient capacity, the system wasn't working as well as it could.

Multiple change initiatives have been implemented in healthcare. The targets are numerous—patient safety, medical errors, care unaffordability, unnecessary hospital readmissions, conflicts of interest, and healthcare-acquired infections, to name only a few of them. As solutions to these challenges, programs like CAHPS, Meaningful Use, and Value-Based Purchasing have focused on improving care quality and encouraging clinicians to focus on patient wellness and preventive care, as well as on lowering the overall cost of care.

Simultaneously, external forces have arisen to place even heavier burdens on healthcare. Examples include demographic change and population aging, clinician shortages, cybersecurity threats, natural disasters, infectious diseases, and especially the current COVID-19 pandemic.

4, 5, 6, 7, 8?

To get more granular about the industry's readiness on specific trends, leaders were asked to rate 19 aspects of healthcare from the past decade on a scale of 1 (poor) to 10 (excellent).

How do you think that leaders rated these issues?

  • Anticipating the impact climate change has had on our industry
  • Improving digital communication with consumers
  • Protecting healthcare organizations from cybersecurity threats
  • Recognizing burnout and mental health issues of providers       
  • Thinking "big enough" in planning for traumatic events 

What else do you think we found?

Get the new eBook: Healthcare’s Big Disruption—From Disruption to Optimism: How healthcare leaders are prioritizing change in light of the pandemic. Robin Rose, Vice President Healthcare Resource Group, authors three articles which detail the results from our 2021 survey and explore implications for healthcare’s imminent evolution. Learn why it took a pandemic to create meaningful change, and where top executives believe the industry goes from here.

View all of the content in our 2021 series on Healthcare’s Big Disruption
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