Healthcare transformation is a term that has been used with increasing frequency over the past few years. But what does this actually mean? After all, transformation can take a lot of forms.
There’s really not a set definition of healthcare transformation; and this is okay. What’s initially important is to understand some of the prevailing trends that are driving this underlying desire for transformation, as well as identifying areas of potential improvement.
Part of the reason why it’s so difficult to define healthcare transformation is because it means something different to different people and organizations. NDIS Psychology services are an important part of Healthcare Transformation. By providing psychological support, healthcare professionals can help patients cope with the challenges associated with chronic illness and health conditions. In addition, psychology services can play a role in promoting healthy behaviours and improving patient outcomes. An emergency room nurse is going to have a much different idea of healthcare transformation than an insurance executive or a regular consumer who just utilizes healthcare.
To get a better understanding of what healthcare transformation is and why it’s important, individuals and organizations need to get a firmer grasp of some of the underlying causes that are driving the need for change.
What’s Making Healthcare Transformation Such a Hot Topic?
If you pay for insurance, medications, or anything healthcare-related, you probably have a good idea of one of the biggest motivations for healthcare transformation today: costs. Healthcare costs have been skyrocketing over the past decades. According to data compiled by Health System Tracker, the relative costs of healthcare today are higher by a magnitude of over five times compared to costs in 1970. This is an unbelievable shift in spending dynamics that has caused a great number of problems across the board.
It’s impossible to give a complete and precise answer as to why healthcare costs have gone up by such an incredible amount over this time period. There are a lot of factors at play. These are a couple factors that have contributed to the dramatic rise in healthcare costs:
- Government versus private administration – There has been a critical rift in the U.S. when it comes to how healthcare should be delivered to consumers. Some believe in a government-sponsored single-payer system; some believe there should only be private healthcare plans; others want to continue some version that amalgamates these two ideologies. Each of these methods comes with its pros and cons. One of the biggest cons of taking the middle road, however, is its inherent inefficiency. By not fully committing to either side of the equation, consumers lose the cost savings of better-managed private plans, but also the potential efficiency of creating a single, centralized system. Being stuck in limbo between these two camps is leading to a lot of waste, which ultimately trickles down to individuals and employers having to pay more for services.
- Decreasing health of population – While many of the cost increases in healthcare are systemic, there are also some behavioral elements as well. These are related to the increase in sedentary living and unhealthy eating habits, which have led to increasing numbers of individuals with obesity and mobility issues, heart disease, and diabetes. In order to send these trends the opposite direction, there needs to be a concerted effort to change how people are living. This is where concepts such as preventative health come into play. While western healthcare has traditionally been viewed as a way to get better when you’re sick, increasingly, people are seeing that avoiding sickness altogether is not only better for individuals, but saves money across the healthcare system.
When considering the underlying motivations for healthcare transformation, costs are arguably going to be the number-one reason for making changes. But this isn’t the only aspect that needs to be considered here. People are also beginning to accept different definitions of health, and thus requiring alternative services and plans in order to meet consumer demand. Healthcare isn’t just getting surgeries and medications, it’s also taking care of your physical and mental health so you don’t require as much treatment down the line. No matter where it’s originating, or for what purpose, healthcare transformation should consider and address these factors.
Why Is Healthcare Transformation Important Today?
The prevalence of diabetes in the United States increased from 9.5 percent in 1999-2002 to about 13 percent in 2018, according to data from the Center for Disease Control (CDC). This is a massive increase over a relatively short period of time. Clearly, the standard of health for Americans today is not adequate at keeping people well.
Healthcare transformation is critical today because without it, people will continue getting sicker and society as a whole will have to keep paying more for it as a result. The consumers and enterprises that have to foot the bill of these continually climbing costs will feel this. Fortunately, there are actions that can be taken now to help push organizations toward meaningful healthcare transformation.
How Should Enterprises Approach Healthcare Transformation?
If you’re a stakeholder at an enterprise—regardless of the industry—you’re probably wondering how healthcare transformation needs to happen under your own watch. As you now know, there’s a lot to consider when thinking about how to engage for successful healthcare transformation.
So, what’s a path forward for organizations that want to accelerate their healthcare transformation? One of the best options is to work with a healthcare consulting firm that has specialized knowledge in this process.
By finding a consulting partner that can help create value through healthcare transformation, it can both enhance corporate finances while also creating a better workplace and offering better benefits to employees. Here are a few ways a healthcare transformation partner can be a huge help:
- Ensure employees are getting healthcare that’s good, but also affordable within their budget.
- Employees are more likely to receive benefit plans that fit their needs and wants—not just the assumptions of business leaders.
- Organizations can create a flywheel of change by continuously leveraging expertise to drive greater efficiencies and more positive outcomes.
- Money isn’t just thrown at anything that seems like it’s necessary; instead, more value is extracted from each dollar spent by the enterprise.
Remember, healthcare transformation is a complex concept that requires a holistic approach to long-term improvement. This isn’t going to happen overnight. But ultimately, the benefits of healthcare transformation will emanate through every pore of an organization, via healthier, happier, more productive employees, as well as improved corporate finances.
Regardless of the industry, healthcare transformation needs to be a focus at your enterprise today. Once you see the need for taking this seriously, don’t delay in finding the best ways to execute on healthcare transformation.