Quality Care

2022 Predictions: Assessing Value of Public Health, Telehealth and Data

A doctor and a mom squat to the level of a standing small child. The doctor is holding a teddy bear. All are wearing face masks.

HIMSS subject matter experts are looking ahead to the new year, drawing from their vast experience, networks and areas of expertise to provide predictions for the next 12 months and beyond in the healthcare ecosystem.

Read more 2022 Predictions:

"Honest discussions of the role of data will provide much value for years to come."
– HIMSS Thought Advisory

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect supply chains, travel, and will interrupt the normal flow of business in general. In 2022, companies and governments face difficult conversations and decisions.

In the U.S. for example, any funding for public health and pandemic infrastructure updates will probably be distributed inconsistently across the country if states have the option of rejecting the money as they did with the expansion of Medicaid.

The proposed investment exceeds the one made for the meaningful use program, so it will be watched closely. The smart approach would be to look at the data gathered in the past 10 years to identify best opportunities to improve outcomes as a result of infrastructure improvement. It is an opportunity to learn from both the successes and failures of the meaningful use program.

Cultural issues in the U.S. create tension as the value of public health efforts and the data used to protect the public have come into question. This portends an existential crisis for the very concept of public health.

Telehealth and other forms of virtual care will continue to add value and present opportunities to address access and reduce inequities. On one hand, it will be easier to help caregivers in the home. On the other, it will have an impact from a generational perspective. Access to and utilization of technology for elderly patients cannot be assumed.

Honest discussions of the role of data will provide much value for years to come. Deciding not only what data to trust will have benefits. For example, the health sector must gain the trust of the general public. This is not solely the job of the sector, as growing distrust in science and governance pervades all of society. How do we get better at telling the story? How do we demonstrate that the data collected, the organizations and the decisions they make based on that data, are trustworthy?

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