05 January, 2022

3 major expectations for the healthcare sector in 2022

By: Omar Abdul-Hafiz

Doctor using a laptop with his stethoscope on the desk.
As we start the year 2022, the question about how to enhance the effectiveness and resilience of the healthcare process continues to pose a high priority. This is especially the case if we consider the fact that the COVID pandemic is still looming in the air as the Omicron variant is now spreading around the world. Moreover, many aspects of how healthcare services are provided now demand improvement as patients’ needs and expectations continue to evolve.

Thus, in this article, we will focus on 3 of the main requirements healthcare management professionals are expected to look out for this year.

Optimizing the Patient Experience

The entire experience from the moment a patient enters a healthcare facility until they leave must be as smooth, safe, and efficient as possible. Furthermore, it also needs to be as humane and compassionate as it can get. While this has always been the case, the demand for a more optimized patient experience is now reaching new levels.

The COVID pandemic has brought with it several lessons on how important it is to transform the traditional patient journey into a more efficient and dynamic experience. Many concepts that were not widely preferred are now becoming more mainstream and in certain cases, a must. One notable example is telemedicine.

Another concern related to enhancing the patient experience is providing patients with quicker and more convenient access to healthcare services. For one thing, patients should be able to easily access their medical information to stay on top of their treatment process.

Taking the time to enhance the patient experience can be a good step toward establishing a truly patient-centric medical process.

Patient Data Security

In the healthcare sector, there is simply no extent to which we can stress the importance of patient data privacy and security. It is definitely one of the biggest priorities especially if we are to introduce digital transformation into healthcare services. According to the HIPAA Journal, the year 2020 witnessed a year-over-year increase in healthcare data breaches in the US by 25%. The number of healthcare records breached that year alone was more than 29 million.

This is not the case in the United States alone. If we are to look at the situation in other countries around the world, the picture might prove even more serious. For that reason, there’s an urgent need for the healthcare sector to take even more steps into enhancing and fortifying its cybersecurity and patient data protection measures.

Financial Transparency

Patient-centricity is a major trend in healthcare nowadays. This poses a major need for healthcare providers to have clear answers to patients’ concerns to guarantee their maximum satisfaction. The need for more transparency in service costs is thus a case in point.

Before delivering medical services to a patient, there should be a clear understanding of the financial matters communicated clearly to the patient beforehand. In other words, healthcare providers should implement a more patient-oriented reporting where patients can at least have an idea, wherever applicable, of how much they expect to pay. Also, giving them a clear explanation of why they need this specific medical procedure instead of a more affordable one would help for sure.

One possible solution is to offer detailed pricing lists online and make them easily accessible. In fact, this is what the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), a US federal agency, had worked on from the very beginning of 2021. They produced and enforced a set of regulations as of January 2021 for hospitals to make their pricing information available online. Although this example is closely related to the US, it nonetheless shows that patients’ expectations of more financial transparency is on the rise. This, in turn, makes financial transparency and clear billing methods an important aspect to promote in 2022.

Wrapping up…

The healthcare landscape is witnessing big changes through the coming years in terms of how the services are provided. Patients are expecting more of their healthcare providers in terms of the whole patient experience. This starts with patients demanding to know how much they should expect to pay for the services to be provided. Moreover, patient data security and privacy continue to be a major concern for both patients and legislative authorities.

This is where the role of digital transformation comes into play. For the patient experience, for example, a carefully executed use of web portals and mobile apps can make all the difference in streamlining patients’ access and navigation of the different services provided by the healthcare facility. The same goes for financial transparency where web portals can provide secure access to the desired information by integrating with your financial system. Last but not least, for patient data security, digital healthcare systems can easily, and must, incorporate advanced security practices to secure the storage and exchange of all data.

Interested in learning more about advanced healthcare management systems?

Check out ESKADENIA’s high-end healthcare management software .

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