Jeff Semenchuk, chief innovation officer at Blue Shield of California, was one of nine healthcare innovation executives who shared predictions for 2021 with Becker's Hospital Review.
While the healthcare industry has historically been resistant to change, COVID-19 certainly accelerated innovation in a few key areas, which will continue into the new calendar year.
One is interoperability and standardization across medical records. To date, sharing and exchanging medical records between all of your doctors and healthcare providers has been nearly impossible because they all operate independently, and the data exists in silos. The COVID-19 pandemic has provided a glaring example for the need to access and share records digitally across your providers.
Another is remote managed care for patients with chronic conditions. New care-delivery platforms and in-home care for chronically ill people can provide community-based, physician-led care to patients who have complex health issues and multiple, specific chronic illnesses. Through delivered, home-based medical and behavioral care, social support services will offer patients 24/7 routine visits, urgent care visits and post-discharge home visits to ensure a safe transition from the hospital or skilled nursing setting back to their place of residence. As a result of COVID, patients are looking for these types of options.
The final innovation is access to resources for preventive and holistic care. Online and in-person programs to support patients’ general well-being, preventive care and disease reversal are a must. Leveraging the power of your lifestyle and combining it with research and technology will enable people to take full control in their health journey. With the cost of healthcare rising, providing tools to prevent or reverse diseases that could be costly for patients and the system is a win-win.
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