If you thought that the pace of change in U.S. healthcare was fast in 2016, hold onto your crash helmets, because it’s becoming turbocharged now. Indeed, even at a time of some federal policy uncertainty, the broad outlines of the trajectory of healthcare system change are clearer than ever. This is a healthcare system whose shift from fee-for-service payment to value-based payment is accelerating, fueled by the demands of the public and private purchasers of healthcare on the providers of care to improve their patient outcomes, become more efficient and cost-effective, and to enhance the patient, family and community experience of healthcare.
Accordingly, everything that contributes to improving outcomes and experience and cutting costs or become more cost-effective and efficient, is going to acquire greater energy; and everything that works against those changes will end up having to take a backseat going forward.
It is in that context that we are delighted to present our annual “Top Ten Tech Trends” cover story package. We, the editors of Healthcare Informatics, have once again assembled a package of stories in which we’ve spoken to some of the most thoughtful industry leaders, and have gathered together their perspectives, and synthesized them through analysis, to provide you with a roadmap to the future.
Reading this collection of articles over the next week will help you answer a variety of questions, including the following: Why is it that pioneers in the industry believe that the time really has come for the maturing of clinical transformation efforts? Why do the sharpest observers of the federal healthcare policy scene agree that core internal health system reform remains safe from repeal, regardless of specific legislative changes that might be up just ahead? Why do experts on interoperability believe that the FHIR standard will be valuable, but not sufficient, in the push towards full interoperability across the healthcare system? How are pioneering providers breaking new ground in harnessing the power of electronic health records to incorporate the social determinants of health into data analytics to support care management going forward? And why do experts see blockchain as holding both tremendous potential to solve data and IT security problems in healthcare, yet also faces very significant challenges up ahead?
For the answers to those questions and many more, please follow these trend stories in the coming days. We hope that this collection of articles will be helpful to you, as you plan for a future of healthcare that involves tremendously accelerating change.
—The Editors of Healthcare Informatics