For centuries now, healthcare has been a big topic. More than ever, healthcare leaders are under tremendous pressure to find solutions to complex issues. For the next five to ten years, they will require efficient skills and create a plan for any potential problems that may arise.
The challenges are endless and include regulatory and policy changes, medicinal and technological advancements, funding, education and –of course- ethical issues. All of these challenges consume time, energy and useful resources.
However, according to recent research, healthcare leaders can use technological advancements for their benefit. This can only be achieved once they acquire the knowledge needed to educate not only themselves and their stuff, but the general public as well.
Let’s take a look at the top 3 future challenges that will affect healthcare leaders around the globe.
Challenge #1: Rising Costs
Back in the early 19th century, the life expectancy was 40 years. Today, it is 79.12 on average. As more and more people strive to live longer and most importantly healthier, healthcare concerns increase.
Since older people stop working and their health care needs increase, governments could be overwhelmed by unprecedented costs. Medicare coverage, available to individuals after the age of 65, could be pushed to its breaking point. And as the concerns increase, so does the cost.
Alternative methods must be found in order to combat the rising cost of care. Healthcare leaders need to find more efficient ways to find funding, and people who will help them conduct research, think outside the box, train their staff and implement the correct processes in order to make a change.
Challenge #2: Medicinal and technological advancement
According to PwC, “The financial and reputational cost of a security breach affecting patient health can far exceed the lost revenue from business disruption”. How is this relevant? In the near future, it is expected that there will be a shift from the traditional office visit to the “cyber doctor” which is nothing more than Telemedicine. This process works well for conditions such as a common cold or flu and it can also help patients with chronic illnesses that may require daily visits from the doctor.
However, the data acquired is not safe anymore. There will be more cybersecurity breaches, and hospitals and health systems must be prepared. While 95 per cent of healthcare provider executives believe their organization is protected against cybersecurity attacks, only 36 per cent have access management policies and just 34 per cent have a cybersecurity audit process, according to HealthcareITNews.
Strict privacy, legal requirements and continuous training. Even though clinical technologies increase costs, leaders should explore innovative ways to manage and store patient information. They need to understand the systems, prepare training sessions and strategies not only for their staff but for themselves as well, and keep an eye on the constant change in technology and medicine.
Challenge #3: Tax Reform
“With new tax provisions going into effect in 2018, full audits and updates to current financial reporting systems are critical to keeping up with the new information. Not only will there be new reporting requirements, in addition to the old ones, but changes to the tax code may also bring about modifications to reimbursement models, increase the number of uninsured patients, and create other risks to revenue that will leave healthcare organizations scrambling to rewrite policies and plans to minimize the damage.”
“Companies should continue to model proposed provisions’ effects and develop action plans to mitigate risks and take advantage of potential opportunities,” PwC wrote. “Organizations with advanced insight into reform’s impact will build enterprise resilience, positioning themselves to respond to changes more quickly once they take effect.”