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Big Picture Trends Changing Healthcare in 2018

The healthcare industry is in a time of great uncertainty, but also great innovation. This post excerpts an article by Robin Rose, Vice President, Healthcare Resource Group at HealthStream, which breaks down ten trends that are redefining healthcare.

What are some big picture trends in healthcare?

Four of the ten discussed in this article include:

  1. Gen Y is taking over the workforce

    Millennials have now surpassed Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living generation. Expected to be 50% of the workforce by 2025, what can we look for from this tech savvy, social conscious bunch with some of the following common characteristics?

    • Have an abundance of self-confidence
    • Feel they are highly valuable to an organization from day one
    • Aren’t afraid to question authority or try to change the companies they work for
    • Want meaningful work and thrive on learning new job skills
    • Willing to trade high pay for fewer hours, flexible schedules, and better work/life balance
    • May be challenging to their 50+ managers
  2. Cybersecurity issues are alarming

    The healthcare industry was the victim of 88% of all ransomware attacks in U.S. industries last year. Because healthcare information has a unique value, it can be worth up to ten times more on the black market. The number of breaches is on the rise—here are recommendations for healthcare organizations to prepare for them:

    • Study prior industry breaches
    • Purchase cyber insurance to protect yourself
    • Perform risk assessments at least every other year
    • Separate confidential from non-confidential data
    • Assume stronger oversight over vendors
    • Beware of medical devices that do not use anti-viral software
    • Document the steps you are taking to prevent breaches and why
    • Beware of special vulnerabilities during system upgrades
    • Hire “white hat hackers” to test your systems
  3. CMS is changing course

    New leadership at CMS is changing the organization’s direction. Administrator Seema Verma promises to reduce current regulatory burden. Some of the reasons and indications include:

    • Healthcare organizations on regulatory overload
    • American Hospital Association report released in late 2017 recommended changes to existing regulations
    • CMS moving to model that emphasizes outcomes over processes
    • Early changes by CMS include such things as eliminating some bundled payment models and making Stage 3 Meaningful Use optional
  4. We need to expect the unexpected
  5. Being prepared for the unknown is a key to success for today’s healthcare organizations. Two examples of what we may face include:

    • Unprecedented human and natural disasters: From the Las Vegas shooting to Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, 2017 was the costliest year on record for natural disasters in the United States, with a price tag of at least $306 billion. This trends shows us that being prepared for the unknown is key.
    • An Epidemic of Epidemics; the U.S. has faced at least 14 major threats from infectious diseases since 2011. Most notable in the last couple years was the Zika virus and Hepatitis A.

Download the full article here.

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