As NHIT Week is upon us, I am thinking about the transformation of healthcare and focusing on what will drive the greatest improvements to it. According to the most recent HIMSS Leadership Survey, 72 percent of respondents report that consumer and patient considerations will have a major impact on their organization’s strategic efforts over the next two years. In other words, patient engagement, patient satisfaction and quality of care remain center stage in the healthcare industry.

This type of thinking also means that, as in other industries like banking and travel, technology will be a major driver facilitating a shift in focus, both to providing better outcomes and to creating more personal user experiences.

It’s no surprise that today’s episodic and reactive healthcare delivery costs too much and compromises patient safety, satisfaction and outcomes. In order to receive care, patients must go to a clinical setting, where decisions often lack collaboration, coordination and continuity and relevant individual and cohort data is often absent. To transcend these challenges, the healthcare IT and medical devices industries will need to seamlessly connect patients, their clinicians and their data to deliver holistic and proactive care wherever they are.

That’s why change is coming.

Growth of Distributed Care

To succeed and meet the demands of a growing and changing patient population, it’s important that the healthcare industry provide virtual and remote innovations that greatly expand coordinated and continuous care delivery options to patients beyond the clinical setting. This requires an interoperable and integrated infrastructure that facilitates distributed care and digitization across locations and at different stages of deployment and sophistication. Consider these recent findings:

By embracing a more distributed care model using telehealth technology, a revamped healthcare infrastructure would provide a compelling user experience that helps shift clinicians to a new way of interacting with patients and with each other in care decision making and delivery. Smaller, more portable and capable medical devices with better connectivity and interoperability are crucial to providing new options for care delivery that work best for patient and clinicians. Payers, providers and public policy should encourage adoption by rewarding new types of care delivery and collaboration that improve outcomes and drive accountability and flexibility into sector business models.

Make it Personal

At Intel, we’re delivering technology solutions that make it possible for patients to receive optimal, personalized care wherever they are. Our clinical analytics and big data tools empower key insights and discoveries for better, more preventive and personalized treatment. New client devices with innovative and novel user experiences deliver faster and richer clinical data flows. Our gateway, wearables, PaaS and security technologies, among others, support a distributed care platform that connects patients and their care teams with faster, easier and secure access to needed information in a variety of care settings. Our work with medical device manufacturers miniaturizes and optimizes their solutions to deliver better care when, where and how the patient needs it. Plus, Intel provides comprehensive security solutions that allow new levels of sharing and collaboration while safeguarding individual and institutional data.

The bottom line is that the individual will be the driving force in transforming healthcare in the coming years. And I envision technology being the driver of effective care plans tailored to individual needs and circumstances. From data analytics for more precision, to intuitive, adaptable and secure clients and devices, to more effective and innovative distributed care delivery options like telehealth, personalized healthcare is the key to addressing cost, quality and access while improving outcomes and patient satisfaction.

What other topics do you think will be critical to the transformation of healthcare? Find out more information on Intel based solutions and read the latest blog posts on health IT in the Intel Health and Life Sciences Community. And get in on the NHIT Week conversation: Tweet @CDW_Healthcare and @IntelHealth with the hashtag #NHITWeek.

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