Will health information exchanges, as a class, survive the present moment of instability? Will the ongoing advances in wearable device technology lead to a blooming of patient-generated data for care management? Will patient care organizations develop comprehensively successful strategies that make doctors truly mobile in their day-to-day practices? Will hospitals, large medical groups, and integrated health systems be able to find and cultivate the clinical informaticists leaders they need in order to move to the next level of clinical transformation? Will FHIR really “catch on” as a transformational interoperability standard? Will hospitals and other providers really be able to master the readmissions challenge—and will they be able to regularly successfully document care transitions?
These are just a few of the countless pressing questions facing the leaders of patient care organizations across the U.S.—and internationally—as the healthcare system grinds forward, pushed by policy, regulatory, and reimbursement mandates, buffeted by macroeconomic and business trends, and assisted by rapid technological advances.
Indeed, the reality is that as we grope our way forward towards what we at Healthcare Informatics are increasingly calling simply “the new healthcare”—a healthcare delivery and payment system refocused on care quality, patient safety, efficiency, cost-effectiveness, accountability, transparency, and population health—all the various trends affecting you, our audience, are becoming more and more interconnected, and in many cases, messily overlap.
In other words, more and more, separating one trendline from another is becoming an increasingly tricky business. Nonetheless, it’s up to journalists like us to help separate and articulate the various intersecting and overlapping trends, and it is in that context that we offer you, our readers, our Top Tech Trends for 2015. In the following pages, you will find ten articles looking at some of the most important trends now emerging in healthcare. Each of the ten trends has its own significance—and urgency; together, they help paint a portrait of the landscape in U.S. healthcare at a time of fundamental change and intensifying activity.
We hope this package of articles will intrigue you, engage you, and support you, our readers. Enjoy!
--The Editors of Healthcare Informatics
Top Ten Tech Trends 2015: