The Revolution In Healthcare
It is clear to everyone that we are engaged in massive changes across all sectors of society. Amazon has altered our notion of retail services from large, big box stores to purchasing services from the comfort of our homes. The automotive industry is facing a massive challenge as self-driving cars become a reality. The question is asked: Will people own cars in the future? And, the revolution extends to aviation, agriculture, trucking, shipping – or, virtually any industry you can imagine. So, will healthcare be affected? We believe the answer is a solid YES!
If we consider the history of societal revolutions, the first such period of massive increase in economic productivity occurred when society moved from nomadic lifestyles towards “communities” based on animal domestication and agriculture. The Neolithic Revolution occurred 15,000 – 20,000 years ago and transformed how we lived over the course of many thousands of years.
The next revolution to cause a massive wave of increase in economic productivity where dramatic changes in the production of goods and services occurred was in the Industrial Revolution. This period of change ranged from the mid-1700’s to the late 1800’s throughout the world. It cause disruptions of governments as well as commerce.
Now we are confronting similar disruptions with the onset of the Information Revolution. But, there is a major difference from the earlier periods of change. First, we are experiencing time compression. Rather than centuries or millennia, the changes occurring across society are in increments of decades. Second, there is a dispersion of knowledge that exceeds anything we’ve ever experienced. We all have access to information and all viewpoints. There is less and less distillation by professionals or craftsmen. These factors have created an environment of egalitarian access to all information which is altering the very fabric of society. Change is all around us…
Healthcare is not exempt from these changes. In fact, healthcare may experience even more dramatic disruption of its traditions in the coming decade than many other industries. Why? Because society is increasingly demanding better value from the services delivered. With nearly one-fifth (18%) of the American economy consumed by healthcare services – and, growing – there is attention everywhere on how to make healthcare better. How do we drive better outcomes? What can we do to slow the cost curve? Are there different ways of providing care that are more efficient? More effective? These are the challenges on the doorstep of the healthcare community.