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Emerging Competitive Trends in Modern Healthcare Today


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By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP

By Hope Rachel Hetico RN MHA CMP


dave-and-hope10Several trends are affecting the healthcare industry today. These trends are, in turn, having an impact on the financial performance of the entire healthcare ecosystem [patients, payers and providers], alike.

The ability of physicians, allied healthcare providers and the entire industry to respond to these trends is determined by the willingness to adapt, ability to re-train, and overall business flexibility. Central, of course, is the level of leadership in making the changes.

Perhaps the foremost trend, due to the PP-ACA, HSAs and Value Based Health Care, etc., is Patient Centered Medical Care [PCMC].



[Rapid Learning Health System in a PCHC Model]


Patient-Focused Healthcare

Patient-Centered, or Patient-Focused or Holistic Health Care has several names. It focuses on patient needs, attempting to humanize patient care. Patient-Centered healthcare therefore incorporates the following:

  • patient education;
  • active participation of the patient;
  • involvement of the family;
  • nutrition;
  • art; and
  • music.

These are thought to improve patient outcomes [1]. Furthermore, some think that patients will benefit from learning how to cope with healthcare processes before they enter into those processes and that this knowledge will result in better outcomes [2].



[The Current Healthcare Ecosystem]


An example of this would be classes to prepare couples for childbirth. These classes teach prospective parents the different stages of labor and strategies for dealing with the challenges associated with each stage. They cover options for pain management such as breathing and relaxation techniques and/or analgesics. The classes also provide education about clinical options such as induced labor and caesarian sections, and they cover practical issues such as what to wear and what kind of car seat to buy to transport the newborn home.

In fact, we know from personal experience that this type of education is enormously beneficial in reducing stress and improving the decision-making ability of patients who are involved in healthcare processes.

As a result of this movement, some healthcare organizations have tried to re-engineer the processes by which care is delivered in order to make it more patient focused. This is accomplished, in large part, by bringing the therapy to the patient rather than bringing the patient to the therapy.



[A Life-Long Continuous Learning System]


For example, storing more supplies and equipment in the patient’s hospital room means that more services can be performed in the room. Obviously, this trend has significant implications for the operations management function in healthcare organizations in the areas of layout and human resources management. Supplies and equipment may be arranged differently to facilitate patient-focused care.

Considerable staffing changes and cross training may be in order, to provide this type of service. Changes in facility layout to implement patient-focused care and reduce nonproductive movement of patients and personnel should be considered, especially when a facility is contemplating expansion or renovation of facilities.


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Citations and References

[1]  See Mang, A.L. “Implementation Strategies of Patient-Focused Care.” Hospital and Health Services Administration. 40:3 (1995): 426-525; and Kremitske, D.L. and West, D.L. “Patient-Focused Primary Care: A Model.” Hospital Topics. 75:4 (1997): 22-28.

[2]  Douglass, K. “No Pain; Big Gain.” Hospitals and Health Networks. 72:20 (1998): 38-39.

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