As a changemaker, trusted advisor and champion of healthcare standards, at HIMSS we are using our scale, authority and expertise to cut through the noise and lead healthcare’s reformation. Our leadership approach is strategic, impartial, member-driven and based on best practices. Our members are diverse, committed healthcare leaders from all corners of the globe. Together, we are working to create a world where no matter where you live, who you are, better health is possible.
As we look toward a brighter future in healthcare, Hal Wolf, HIMSS President & CEO, was asked to answer three questions around how HIMSS is driving what’s next for health. Here’s what he had to say.
We are witnessing an exciting and transformative period in the health ecosystem, which is undergoing unprecedented change, fueled by disruptive innovation and a renewed focus on patient-centered care. With consumer expectations becoming more and more sophisticated, the industry is being tasked to evolve to meet the customers’ demands for healthcare when and where they want it. Healthcare has always been dynamic, but today, the pace of change is virtually continuous with clear signs of a revolution on the horizon. The stakes are high.
There are a number of factors currently at play that, when working together, allow for a foundation to launch true change within the health ecosystem. The aging population and advanced diagnostics, which are identifying disease burdens earlier in individuals, are focusing more and more resources on secondary prevention and co-morbidities, thus driving consumption, and with it, collective cost. Slower growth in national GDPs mixed with a higher percentage of the population becoming dependent on health systems means fewer working citizens to handle the economic demands of increased health expenditures. With that, the economics of the ecosystem are changing while demands are growing, driving a need for innovation at its highest level to keep pace.
Part of the response is an attempt to simply shift the risk of care from the payer to the providers. In response, the use of new technologies and availability of new information and data are coming at us at an unprecedented pace. The industry at large, whether it be hospital systems, technologists, policy makers, practitioners, providers and patients, are working more closely to utilize the new capabilities making their way into the market.
Coupled with that, we are seeing more savvy, sophisticated consumers, demanding care in a way that is more consistent with services being delivered in other sectors of the economy, meeting their needs on-demand when and where they live and work.
The traditional care industry is trying to respond, but the disrupters are coming fast and as governments, payers and employers try to deal with the economics noted above, the path for new care and health models are being rapidly invented by large and small entities.
So we see a perfect storm of economic demand for change, capabilities to support new models of care evolving and a significant shift toward consumerism creating opportunities to drive change in ways never before possible.
The advancement in digital capabilities has demonstrated that payers, healthcare providers, vendors, technology solution providers and patients have become more closely linked than ever before.
We see payers providing health-related member coaching or diagnosis services (starting as a second opinion) and additional services complimenting managed care plans, which continue to grow. We see all stakeholders within the health ecosystem working more closely, importantly, with patients as essential partners.
The only way to truly transform care is to break down the physical and data silos that have been keeping us from reaching our full potential in our efforts to transform health. The health ecosystem is forcing us to look beyond the traditional methods of serving our patients in brick and mortar settings, and instead use innovation and technology to extend care outside the hospital in ways that better fit the needs of the consumer.
We have begun to see significant efforts to transform the health ecosystem, but there’s still much work to do. A few steps I feel are essential:
At HIMSS, our vision is to realize the full health potential of every human, everywhere. Be part of the community that’s transforming the global health ecosystem with courage, curiosity and determination.