Deloitte’s 2019 Global Healthcare Outlook Report predicts that global healthcare spending will rise from its current level of US$7.7 trillion to US$10 trillion by 2022, growing at an average annual rate of 5.4 percent.
Why does this matter?
One reason is that the world’s population is rapidly aging and at an increased risk of chronic diseases. Even while the use of digital technologies and other cutting-edge methods to provide healthcare is growing, these methods are frequently expensive.
Due to financial difficulties, participants in this sector, including healthcare providers, governments, customers, and insurance companies, struggle.
For instance, the federally mandated $6,600 per resident healthcare spending for the Government of Canada in 2017 was $242 billion. That accounts for more than 11% of Canada’s gross domestic product.
Even the United States, which does not have universal healthcare like Canada, invested more than $1.5 trillion in this industry in 2017. Though less than Canada’s, the figure equals around 8% of GDP, which is still incredible.
Healthcare management faces several significant issues in 2019 due to rising costs and stagnant income.
The Most Severe Healthcare Management Issues and Their Solutions
1. Increasing Healthcare Costs
According to a 2017 study of healthcare CEOs, 57 percent of respondents said that one of their top 6 worries was how to curb the industry’s skyrocketing costs. Cost overruns were primarily caused by staff inefficiency and reluctance to reduce waste, which forced providers to raise the price of essential health services while decreasing their operating margins.
The healthcare industry is opaque and inefficient, so providers are unsure how much to charge patients. According to a recent Wall Street Journal investigation, a hospital was billing patients $50,000 for knee replacement surgery even though it only cost the facility about $10,000.
Only 17% of healthcare workers, according to the New England Journal of Medicine, thought that their employers’ levels of transparency were “mature” or “extremely mature.”
Therefore, it is not surprising that patients are missing doctor appointments completely. According to recent research, 44% of Americans chose not to see their doctors while ill. Another 40% said they didn’t follow through on prescribed medication or medical tests out of concern over higher costs.
There are Various Approaches to Solving Problem.
1. One is switching from paper to digital records for patient files
This eliminates expenses like printing, paper purchases, and physical file storage.
Moving marketing spending away from expensive traditional media like print and television and toward more affordable digital media is another approach to reduce costs.
The third approach focuses more on the patient than the healthcare professional. It becomes sensitive to review retirement funding options and buy long-term care insurance in light of the escalating expense of healthcare. Some people might also wish to consider taking money out of their life insurance plans to pay for expenses.
2. Growing concerns about privacy and electronic health records
In both the United States and Canada, family doctors and healthcare professionals were required by federal law to begin storing patient records on digital platforms. As a result, 59 percent of hospitals employ electronic records in some capacity, and the percentage is continually rising.
These systems do, however, provide specific particular difficulties.
According to Matthew Ernst, director of training at Thomas Jefferson University, “EHRs are fantastic for consolidating information into one platform, but the workflows to handle this are sometimes complicated and stressful for the staff, producing fatigue.” The productivity of staff members decreases as they get overworked and begin to feel burned out, and potential patient safety issues may arise.
The price of merely buying this software comes first. EHR software adds to the already high cost of healthcare delivery and is not inexpensive.
Second, after purchasing the software, training issues arise since both medical professionals and office personnel must learn how to utilize it. Some people minimize the cultural component of EHR deployment by viewing it as purely technological.
Because healthcare administration has historically relied heavily on paper and processes, teaching nurses and doctors to record information differently calls for a change management strategy.
The third difficulty is the time and money required to upgrade your in-house IT system.
It’s possible that you were previously using an outdated electronic system, but your staff may be accustomed to it even though it falls far short of the mandate’s EHR criteria.
These issues can be resolved in a few different ways
One is to work with EHR consultants with experience managing comparable large-scale software implementation projects and who can help all parties agree on the project’s budget, timetables, and deliverables. Consultants come at an added expense, but they will significantly improve the overall smoothness of implementation.
Another option is to consider your board members’ experience. Some of them probably know about implementing IT systems in the financial, manufacturing, or other industries. These people can, in a sense, steer the ship by providing strategic counsel and managing the implementation procedure.
Despite these issues, it’s crucial to remember that digitally keeping medical records is a long-term strategy. Although there will be short-term difficulties, the long-term advantages—such as enhanced patient care and satisfaction—far exceed them.
3. Increasing Threats to Cybersecurity
There is a greater chance that hostile actors may target this data when patient records and information migrate to digital platforms. After all, hospital servers are home to a wealth of personally identifiable data, making them a potential gold mine for cybercriminals.
IBM estimates that more than 100 million patient records were hacked in 2015, making the healthcare sector the most frequently targeted by hackers, even more so than the banking and finance sector. According to another estimate, healthcare providers have lost more than $6.2 billion due to data breaches.
In contrast to social security numbers, which only fetch $1 on the illicit market, the FBI thinks electronic health records can sell for up to $50 per. Because they don’t invest in employee training programs or spend equivalent sums on cybersecurity, healthcare providers are a relatively more specific target than banks and insurance firms.
Among the strategies to combat the cybersecurity risk in healthcare are:
1. Creating Unified Security Culture:
Employees are frequently the weakest link in the chain. Doctors and nurses, for example, can benefit significantly from cybersecurity training and instruction by learning how to protect against intrusion attempts and what best practices to implement for impenetrable protection.
2. Keeping Equipment Current
Doctors, nurses, and healthcare administrators frequently access patient data on their laptops and mobile devices. That poses a security risk because the machines are vulnerable to malware or phishing attacks. You should install antivirus software and other security features on all devices that access the hospital’s network.
3. Data Backups
Even the best-laid preparations can go wrong. It’s crucial that data backups are accessible and kept separate from the primary system in case your hospital’s system is compromised. This will prevent corruption. In a similar spirit, all hospital system users shouldn’t have access to protected information, only those who need to know. IT Consulting Companies in Chicago is essential for the healthcare sector to guarantee that all information is secure and that the required safeguards are in place.
4. The current healthcare management issues with spiraling equipment Costs
Healthcare equipment is expensive and accounts for a sizable amount of operational costs.
Because you won’t be able to move your equipment around constantly, it’s crucial to get versatile and future-proof equipment.
Let’s use an illustration to clarify this since it sounds hazy.
Operation rooms that are integrated are a good example.
As video routing and distribution capabilities progressed in the late 1990s, integrated rooms were the primary buzzword in the healthcare industry when they first launched. Endoscopy techniques had a knockout impact as their use increased, necessitating more screens, pictures, and cameras.
Doctors required high-quality image viewing and the ability to record video and take pictures. To help develop the integrated operating room, hospitals were sold on the concept and committed millions of dollars to purchase appropriate touch panels, routers, and other equipment.
However, since that choice, technology has advanced so quickly that even equipment bought ten years ago outdated, and hospitals haven’t seen a return on their investment. For instance, video recording capability and camera resolution are both poor.
Similar cost issues exist for new iterations of integrated operating rooms, sometimes known as hybrid operating rooms. Additionally, there is a continuous discussion about how they should be used: should they be limited to certain types of surgery, such as cardiac or neuro, or should they be used universally?
Future operating room procurement strategies must carefully consider which technology will still be helpful in 10 years and what devices you might be able to do without.
Costs do matter, after all, and even a decrease of $20,000 to $30,000 can significantly affect the price of procedures.
Another example is lighting.
At one point, many medical practitioners believed surgical lights would completely vanish with the advent of minimally invasive surgery (such as endoscopy). That did not occur.
There must at least one set of surgical lights in the operating room.
However, there is debatable evidence about the lighting utilized in operating rooms. Surgical headlamps are an increasingly common substitute for pricey overhead lights that are expensive to buy and difficult to maintain.
In integrated operating rooms, overhead lights were a constant, although there are questions about their usability and usefulness. When more compact options are available, do hospitals need this extensive, bulky equipment?
Additionally, surgical lighting can repair without shutting down the OR completely and quickly last ten years or longer. For healthcare administrators, that is another factor.
Installing a new mount is necessary, for example, when replacing lights. However, with surgical lights, your physicians can fasten it as needed without using any particular installation methods. If you’re still unsure, we advise that you speak with IT Consulting Companies in Dallas or another location that suits you.