Healthcare & Life Sciences

2022 predictions for Healthcare providers

Following the turbulence that the last two years have brought to the Healthcare industry, this sector is ripe for transformation. As is true in many industries, success is dependent upon the effective use of data drawn from every source possible and securely shared across the organization.

Here’s how I see the year playing out for Healthcare providers.

Value-based care partnerships will gain importance

The pandemic has demonstrated the resiliency created by value-based contracting and alternative payment models. Providers who engaged in value-based contracts had much better financial performance and stability through the ups and downs of 2020 and 2021. In addition, capitated payment models protected many providers when demand for elective care declined and overall provider revenue dropped. Providers will try to build on this advantage by investing in digital front-door technologies and patient-engagement systems to improve patient services and value. Expect providers to focus on expanding value-based programs to create resilience and engagement among their patient communities.

Integrating behavioral, physical healthcare will be a priority

Integrating mental and physical wellbeing is increasingly aligned to many value-based care initiatives and is an important part of engaging patients in their overall healthcare. This integration been shown to improve the effectiveness of chronic disease treatment and help engage patients in self-management to improve lifestyle behaviors that contribute to these chronic conditions. In addition, integrating care can reduce fragmentation of services and promote patient-centered care. This trend inevitably involves integrating more sources of patient data to gain greater visibility, so expect to see more efforts to bring systems together and create single platforms to improve patient care.

Telehealth continues to win fans

Many providers saw a huge surge in demand for telehealth visits early in the pandemic. According to McKinsey, telehealth utilization has stabilized at levels 38 times higher than the before the pandemic. Consumers are beginning to actively seek ‘virtual first’ providers and care plans as they gain confidence in the quality, convenience and value of virtual care. 2022 will see more investments in virtual technologies to support hybrid workplaces for broader care teams, as well as new care models designed to reduce employee burnout. 

HIEs gain traction as healthcare resiliency concerns deepen

The pandemic showed everyone how important it is that states have good healthcare data programs to quickly respond to public health issues. Health Information Exchanges (HIE) have played an essential role in aggregating and sharing data with communities to help them better understand the state of public health in their area. HIEs provide insight and actionable data for public-health authorities and providers to inform an organized response based on testing and hospitalization data. HIEs also help address health-data resiliency efforts that are being fueled by the pandemic. Strong state and regional HIEs are beginning to work together to help create healthcare data resiliency for the communities they serve and this will continue in the months ahead.

Cyber security and ransomware defense are critical priorities

Attacks on healthcare organizations have increased in number and sophistication over the last year, and the trend continues to accelerate. Attackers are exploiting unpatched vulnerabilities in overwhelmed IT security organizations. The easy access and high value of healthcare data will continue to attract organized attacks. Healthcare organizations are accelerating their movement to the cloud and adopting AI-based monitoring and detection tools to strengthen their defenses. One critical element that will be on many CIOs agenda this year will be a robust ransomware recovery playbook.  This should include a real-world test of the actual recovery strategy. 

These trends are part of the Healthcare industry’s response to radical change fueled by the pandemic. Providers who embrace these trends stand to benefit in areas like behavioral health, chronic condition management and routine preventative care. Patients and providers see clear improvements in engagement, adherence and outcomes when care is timely and convenient. But it all comes down to the data; delivering the right treatment at the right time relies on high-quality, highly available  data, so expect to see digital health platforms gain importance in 2022 as well.

Learn more about how Healthcare solutions from OpenText can help your organization meet the challenges of 2022 and beyond.

Scott Lundstrom

Scott is a long time industry analyst, CIO, and software developer supporting complex regulated businesses in healthcare, life sciences, and aerospace. Scott founded the health industry practice at IDC Research and lead this group for 13 years. Scott also held leadership roles in research focused on AI, Cloud, SaaS, enterprise applications and analytics.

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