As things settle down from the holiday season, many of us are in full-on planning modes for our work.
In the change-averse medical field, I think that many of us hope that nothing will change, so that we know what to count on.
But the reality is that change is happening at a powerful rate in medicine these days -- and the changes in the works are impacting every part of the healthcare system. So it's in our interest to understand what's just around the corner, so we can adapt and thrive in these new contexts.
Dr. Jerry Penso leads the American Medical Group Association, a trade group which represents multispecialty medical groups and integrated systems of care. The 175,000 physicians that are part of that group treat 1 out of every 3 Americans -- so Dr. Penso gets a pretty broad sense of the trends that are afoot for us in the American medical system. In a recent Fierce Heatlhcare article, Dr. Penso predicts the top 5 trends in healthcare that will shape our experience in 2018. He lists:
- Efficiency will become a top priority. Costs rise and revenues remain the same, so providers, groups, and hospitals are all searching for ways to become more efficient.
- Physician burnout will be a strategic imperative. Providers shortages and concern about the stability of the workforce means that burnout has changed from a concern to an immediate priority for administrators.
- Competition for convenience will heat up. Patients have decreasing patience for long waits, long drives, or unnecessarily complex care scenarios.
- Scope-of-practice issues will become more acute. Across the continuum of care, we'll continue to find ways for providers like pharmacists, aides, and PAs to expand the scope of their care.
- Practices will form more community partnerships. As value-based pay becomes the norm, working together becomes a financial imperative.
Dr. Penso's predictions certainly resonate with us as strong forces in healthcare this year. And in many cases, we see care coordination, medical collaboration, and what Dr. Penso calls "enabling technology" like iClickCare as being key pieces of the puzzle.
Realistically, as these trends catch up with us, we won't be able to respond in kind unless we find new tools, new workflows, new collaborators, and new ways of thinking about what's in our job description, that may not have been, even a few years ago.
And the good news is that we do see our colleagues starting to adapt to these new realities in medicine. Sure, not all providers relish the chance to make a change. But many providers are starting to experiment with new tools and new ways of collaborating -- even if their institution is not leading the way.
If you're reading to start 2018 with a tool that will support you in all of the ups and downs of these trends, try iClickCare: