The “trend cycle” in healthcare is certainly accelerating these days, driven by policy, industry, and clinical changes of all stripes. Every March, we, the editors of Healthcare Informatics, produce a special cover story package, “Top Ten Tech Trends.” If you click on this link, you can find the March issue articles, and read each of the ten articles from the 2014 cover story package.
The analyses provided in that cover story package back in March are still quite timely and worthwhile exploring. At the same time, what I’ll say here is that the overarching trend, the one that will change the face of healthcare in the next decade, is this: the healthcare system in the United States is shifting very broadly from a rather opaque, non-accountable, high-cost, relatively-low-value healthcare system focused on individual patients in high-acuity settings, to a system that is more accountable, transparent, of higher quality and patient safety, and of greater demonstrated value overall, and that is focused very strongly on intervening farther “upstream” to analyze and manage the health of whole populations, over time, and with a focus on chronic illness.
In other words, population health management, care management, data analytics, clinical decision support, mobile health, and health information exchange, are going to become absolutely essential concepts going forward, and every CIO will need to help lead her or his colleagues forward in their organizations, in ways that comprehend these shifts and advance their organizations in the current operating environment. In sum, we’re talking about the new healthcare, as we’re referring to it at Healthcare Informatics; and no CIO who wants to be successful or wants his or her organization to be successful, in the next five years, can afford to ignore this emerging reality.