As 2018 has come to a close, a new year has begun and with it new trends in the healthcare industry. The US healthcare system has begun to adopt a value-based model over volume-based. What does this mean for providers, patients and the industry as a whole? Here are a few key trends in this medical paradigm shift for 2019:
Shifting to wellness rather than illness
While the traditional medical paradigm focuses on pathology of diseases and treatment of already ill patients, modern medicine is transitioning to a wellness model. The health and wellness paradigm focuses on the whole of the person and keeping individuals as well as populations healthy instead of waiting to treat sick patients. While traditional medical practices solely hone in on the physical condition of the body, the wellness model also addresses the mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of health and aims to keep people healthy by teaching healthy habits and self-care.
Telemedicine can play a huge role in the adoption of holistic medicine by keeping patients connected with doctors who are able to answer questions and provide continual guidance throughout their health journey. With the use of telemedicine, patients can have meaningful conversations with physicians remotely and quickly, without taking much time out of their busy lives. This improves health outcomes significantly by giving patients control of their own health and keeping conversation flowing.
Technology driving patient-focused care
Technology is a critical component to the shift in healthcare delivery model that has already begun. From organizing patient health records via EHRs to assisting patients with managing chronic conditions with their doctors via telehealth platforms, technology is a driving force behind the healthcare industry’s increased focus on wellness for 2019 and beyond.
Aforementioned, but worth addressing again, is the role of telemedicine in the delivery of technology-driven care that seeks to promote health maintenance and holistic wellness over illness-driven care. Technology is rapidly increasing, and with it, people are getting smarter and more efficient with respect to their healthcare. Telemedicine serves patients in several ways: decreases physician burnout, increases patient access to care, allows for continual 24-hour support, and securely stores the patient medical records via encrypted EHRs (electronic health records). For these reasons (and countless more), technology and telemedicine specifically drive patient-focused care and will contribute significantly to the holistic health and wellness care delivery model in 2019 and years to come.
Growing importance of population level health management
It is predicted that in 2019, a far greater focus will be on population health, per the ongoing shift towards a holistic health and wellness paradigm. By now, it may be of no surprise to you that telemedicine indeed will play a significant role in population-level health management and care.
With the implementation of technology in healthcare, physicians can make better use of clinical data by organizing and analyzing group medical records to implement better preventative care. Predictive analytics can also then be utilized via the network of patient health records to identify high-risk patients and provide them with proper information, resources, and care. Advancements in telemedicine and other pioneering healthcare technologies will contribute immensely to the maintenance of population level health by overcoming barriers to accessing beneficial aggregate data due to time inefficiencies, lack of structural organization of data, and so on.
These 3 key trends, and likely many more will contribute to the shift in medical paradigm: one that is based on wellness and places value over volume.