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 and trucking industries are facing a massive challenge as self-driving vehicles become a reality.  The question is asked: Will people really be required for driving in the future? And, the revolution is not simply confined to these few industrial sectors. Rather, the revolution in services extends to across the spectrum of society to aviation, agriculture, shipping, telecommunications – or, in other words – virtually any industry you can imagine. So, will healthcare be affected? We believe the answer is a absolutely 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 change in economic productivity where dramatic changes in the production of goods and services occurred was during the Industrial Revolution.  This period of change ranged from the mid-1700’s to the late 1800’s throughout the world.  It caused 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 or even less. Witness the impact of the global pandemic on the use of tele-technologies for delivering and managing care.  Second, there is a dispersion of knowledge that exceeds anything we’ve ever experienced.  We all have access to the diversity of information and viewpoints across all issues.  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. As importantly, 2021 is a notable year where just over 50% of US federal government expenditures will be devoted to three areas – Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. The questions are put forward from all sides of the political spectrum: 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? How do we guarantee quality was we shift care delivery toward non-traditional providers? These are the challenges on the doorstep of the healthcare community. Not only are the challenges accumulating. They are also accelerating in their urgency for a solution!

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