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3 Issues Affecting Health Care Management Today

Published on November 15, 2017 by Broadview University

woman in suit in hall of hospital

Our nation’s health care system is constantly evolving. And, because all people need medical attention at some point, issues facing this industry impact nearly everyone. As a future leader in the field, it’s important for you to stay up to date on the latest technological developments, policy changes, and consumer wants and needs. Here’s a look at three key issues affecting health care management in 2017.

 

Nutrition: Focusing on Prevention and Overall Health

An annual report from PwC’s Health Research Institute reveals one of the top health care concerns of 2017 is a shift toward value-based care. Some of this entails new policies and billing models, but it also means a broader focus on the patient’s—or more specifically, a population’s—overall health. What this means is that many medical practices and public health organizations are putting an emphasis on community education, often customized to meet the needs of a specific geographical region. For example, a poor diet can greatly affect health care costs. Providing nutritional and wellness advice can go a long way, improving health and lowering costs one patient at a time.

As a manager in the health care field, you can use this information to help implement or oversee programs and processes that will help your patients and communities get healthier while also benefiting the bottom line.

 

Innovation: Using New Technologies

The health care field is starting to embrace technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), drones, and even virtual reality. CNBC reported in May 2017 that AI could help improve diagnosis, and Medical Futurist reported earlier this year that drones can efficiently send supplies and medications to people in need. According to VR Today Magazine, virtual reality could have many uses in the medical field, including training. (For example, using VR to present scenarios with patients or activities that would simulate a medical procedure.)

These innovations will create a need for skills and talent not necessarily always seen in the health care field, or it could also allow for partnerships with other industries. As a health care leader, knowing what tools are on the horizon can help your practice or organization brace for—or even lead—change.

Information: Collecting, Storing, Securing, and Using Patient Data

The term “big data” has been around for a while now; however, many health care organizations are only recently putting serious focus on electronic health records (EHR). As a manager in the health care field, it’s important to understand how valuable this data can be to making business decisions, as well as realizing how sensitive this information is. According to a June 2017 article from Health IT Analytics, health organizations need to take a closer look at how they collect, store, analyze, and present their data to staff members, business partners, and patients.”  For example, this article stated that the EHRs of one eye clinic only matched 23 percent of patient-reported data. This shows there’s often a disconnect between what patients are saying and what’s being recorded, which can lead to misunderstandings and more work for physicians and office staff. Collecting and maintaining accurate patient data helps create a more efficient work environment and provides better customer service. Protecting that data is also crucial. More and more health care providers are turning to cloud storage as a more secure and cost-effective solution.

As a health care manager, you may not deal with the day-to-day operations of data collection and analysis, but understanding how to use this information will help you make decisions to improve service, lower costs, and grow your business.

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As you enter the field of health care management, you’ll likely have a variety of responsibilities, such as overseeing people, processes, and budgets. Knowing current trends and what’s on the horizon will help you manage today and prepare for tomorrow.

Broadview University’s online Master’s of Science in Management with a health care emphasis  will prepare you for leadership roles in medical organizations. Learn more today.

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