Estimated reading time: 1 minute
Tomorrow's Healthcare, Today
Healthcare is one of the largest and most important industries in the world. As technology advances, so do medical capabilities, and clinicians are now able to offer more innovative treatments and a better quality of care than ever before. Despite these advances, the US$7.6 trillion global healthcare sector1 is facing a number of challenges that could threaten its ability to provide access to high-quality, affordable care.
The cost of providing healthcare has risen to an unsustainable level, fuelled by an aging population that needs to be treated for longer, evolving customer expectations, and escalating drug prices. As these costs increase, healthcare organizations are also facing a decline in reimbursement, meaning they have to provide the best levels of care while still reducing expenditures to remain financially viable.
In this ebook, we'll explore how digital transformation is helping to shape tomorrow's healthcare, today. We'll explore innovative approaches, including the Quadruple Aim, the shift to value-based care, and emerging technologies that payers and providers are employing to increase efficiencies, improve the health of the population, and enable more with less.
To succeed, Healthcare must transform and innovate to improve patient outcomes, attract a new generation of tech-savvy clinicians, and deliver services in a more-efficient manner. These efforts, along with thwarting disease progression and curbing readmissions, can result in high-quality, accessible care provided at a cost that is sustainable over the long term.
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Forces of Change
Today's clinicians are using emerging technologies to advance the limits of medical possibilities with new treatments and insights that were once just a dream. At the same time, health systems have never been under such pressure to improve performance, reduce costs, and meet key challenges to safeguard their future.
Aging population and chronic conditions.
In 2017, the global population aged 60 or over had risen to 962 million. That figure is expected to more than double by 2050, and triple by 21002. As life expectancy increases, the higher demand for care will impact payers and providers as never before, requiring new approaches in care delivery to address the changing health needs of an aging population.
Projected global population aged 60 years or over.
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division,
“World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision”
In addition, the number of chronic conditions worldwide—such as hypertension, arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease—are increasing exponentially. In 2001, chronic conditions accounted for approximately 60 percent of deaths worldwide3. In 2017, that figure had risen to 70 percent4, and that increase is expected to continue. Chronic diseases also account for the vast majority of health spending. The average cost of providing healthcare for a chronic condition is five times greater than for somebody without a chronic condition. Ongoing management to prevent or delay disease progression—along with advancements in early detection and diagnosis of disease—will help minimize these costs.
Competition for caregivers.
As the number of people requiring care increases, additional services and delivery changes mean an even bigger need for healthcare workers—everyone from home health nurses to doctors and mental health professionals. However, today, nearly a third of physicians are over the age of 605, and nearly half of all registered nurses are reaching retirement age. With many caregivers leaving the industry, there is a shortfall in clinicians. And healthcare organizations are facing stiff competition to attract new clinicians to close the gap.
The new generation of caregivers—predominantly millennials—expect more from prospective employers. The attributes of optimism, fulfilling work, collaboration, and affinity for technology make them ideal candidates, but could also deter them from accepting certain positions. They want connected, mobile work experiences that let them reduce time spent on admin, and give them more time to spend on patient care. And they expect a healthy work/life balance, with simple administrative tools that let them manage their own schedules.
Health systems that provide these innovations will appeal to the millennial workforce and win the war for talent. Those that fail to modernize will struggle to attract enough caregivers to provide adequate services for patients.
"Millennials' search for work/life balance is at least partially responsible for the declining number of physicians entering full-time clinical practice." Jeffrey Bendix, "Millennials in Medicine", medicaleconomics.modernmedicine.com
Spend versus outcome.
Despite costs continuing to rise at roughly double the rate of gross domestic product growth in most developed countries6, there are still wide variations in outcomes across hospitals, regions, and countries. Put simply, the health systems that spend the most money don't necessarily provide the best care.
As costs continue to rise, and health systems face pressures on margins, the industry is moving away from its traditional, fragmented healthcare approach to one focused on consolidation, convergence, and connectivity. Technology has played a critical role in enabling these linkages, moving from disperse-and-duplicate paper records to technology as an enabler with predictive capabilities, and the ability to identify opportunities for better, more cost-effective outcomes.
"There are wide variations in health outcomes across hospitals, regions, and countries, with no clear causal relationship between money invested and health delivered." Stefan Larsson and Peter Tollman,
"Health Care's Value Problem and How to Fix It."
Transitioning to value-based care.
The shift from volume-based to value-based care is inevitable. Health systems are transitioning from traditional fee-for-service models to more outcome-based approaches, implemented incrementally and at varying speeds across the world's healthcare systems. At the heart of the value-based model are the payment mechanisms. They encourage effective treatments and create disincentives for treatments that are not cost-effective, and do not deliver value. For example, bundled payments would cover end-to-end procedures for all treatments that occur in a hip replacement scenario—consultations, the hip replacement itself, and rehabilitation—as opposed to paying for each service. This paradigm shift requires healthcare providers to understand all costs across the entire episode of care to avoid risk associated with the reimbursement level.
As patients take more financial responsibility over their health, they have more choice over where they receive care. They're increasingly influenced by ratings and reports on quality and outcomes. They're also seeking other people's opinions and reviewing experiences via social media before making decisions. For today's health systems to attract patients, they need to treat them as the informed consumers they're becoming. Accessibility of care, the consumer experience, and the availability of complex treatments are top of mind for today's healthcare consumer. Organizations that fail to address these needs will be left behind.
Health systems are responsible for managing large amounts of data, from electronic medical records to genomic data, claims data, and personal/protected health information (PHI). This makes them prime targets for cybercriminals who would look to steal and abuse that data. Should a healthcare organization fall victim to a cyberattack, they could be unable to access records and provide services, leading to patient frustration or potentially life-threatening consequences—as seen in the ransomware attack that crippled key systems for the NHS in the UK in 20177.
In addition to managing the data, health systems are subject to strict privacy regulations—such as GDPR in the EU and HIPAA in the US—to ensure everything is kept secure. Those organizations that fail to meet regulatory standards could face stiff penalties, lawsuits, and significant internal remediation costs.
Embracing the Quadruple Aim.
The Triple Aim8 —enhancing patient experience, improving population health, and reducing costs—is widely accepted as a framework to optimize health-system performance.
These steps are vital in improving the health of the population. And health systems are now realizing the necessity of a fourth goal—improving clinician satisfaction. As such, the Triple Aim is evolving into the Quadruple Aim, ensuring clinicians avoid burnout, which is associated with poor patient experiences, reduced outcomes, and increased cost.
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Healthcare and Digital Disruption
Technology is at the heart of transforming the healthcare industry today. Health systems are adopting cloud and other emerging technologies to deliver the future of healthcare.
Internet of Things.
Healthcare is using the Internet of things (IoT) in a number of ways to better manage infrastructure and resources, as well as provide new services with innovative approaches to managing care. Healthcare organizations see immediate potential for IoT in three key areas:
- Remote patient monitoring (RPM)
- Wellness and prevention programs
Remote patient monitoring can get people home faster after surgery, while monitoring for complications and keeping caregivers connected with their patients. IoT-enabled wellness and prevention programs can encourage patients to better manage their lifestyle, so they can reduce the severity of chronic conditions—all of which improve the patient experience. Also, the value opportunities in operations include energy savings, increased utilization of mobile clinical devices, and predictive maintenance to reduce downtime.
"The potential with IoT is that throughout a whole care pathway, a person's data is continuously being gathered and used to help diagnose the patient so they can receive the best treatment as quickly as possible."9 Leon Marsh, CEO, Inova Design Solutions
Blockchain is streamlining many healthcare processes. Seamless and tamperproof, blockchain has the potential to address interoperability issues associated with health-information exchanges and medical records, to more efficient credentialing and enabling smart contracts that verify pre-authorizations between payers and providers.
With chain-of-custody logging and tracking at each step of the supply chain, health systems can simplify the authentication of drugs. This means they can reduce the risk of receiving counterfeit drugs—currently estimated to cost pharmaceutical companies US$200 billion per year globally10. It can also help to flag in-transit events and make it easier to recall out-of-date drugs by quickly identifying all locations and individuals in the chain.
"How can blockchain be used in Healthcare?", Innovatemedtec.com
The secure system for sharing data is also helping to combat the problem of fraudulent health insurance claims. And by enabling the creation of time-stamped, immutable records, protocols, and results, blockchain can ensure clinical trials are effectively recorded and reported.
Adaptive intelligence and machine learning.
With the rapid growth of health data, adaptive intelligence (AI) and machine learning are being used to provide deeper insights on populations, outcomes, and cost. With the ability to recognize patterns across large amounts of data, new opportunities exist for early diagnosis, improving prescribing effectiveness, identifying fraud and population risk, and predicting security threats. Additionally, embedded, AI-powered, cognitive engagement tools (such as chatbots) can be used to automate certain tasks, increasing patient care time while improving efficiency. This enables health systems to better leverage available data and make data analysis more efficient and useful than ever before.
"Researchers have now developed artificial intelligence software that can accurately predict breast cancer risk." Sarah Griffiths, Wired.co.uk11
Clinical, omics, cost, and data integration.
One of the key innovations helping health systems to improve outcomes is the ability to consolidate and analyze clinical, omics, quality, and operational/cost data. It enables clinicians and researchers to better understand specific health risks within a population based on clinical history and genetic disposition. Armed with these insights, patients can be paired up with specific clinical trials where their condition and genetic profile match the goals of study for a higher opportunity of success. Additionally, the use of quality indicators can be used to address readmission rates, cost, and various other process improvement initiatives.
By moving workloads to the cloud, health systems have been able to significantly reduce their IT infrastructure costs. In addition, the cloud gives them increased security and access to information, as well as immediate software updates that help to drive innovation.
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
Cloud Is the Destination
For modern medicine to provide the best possible care, while still creating a sustainable future, the industry needs to go beyond simply being modern. It needs to embrace the technology of the future, innovating to stay ahead. The cloud enables health systems to advance in a number of exciting ways and meet many key challenges, including:
Reducing cost per capita.
Health systems are under increasing pressure to reduce costs to improve profitability. With Oracle Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Cloud and Oracle Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) Cloud, organizations can transform their business processes and enable profitable growth. With centralized visibility and greater insight into service lines, research grants, and planning and budgeting, providers can drive operational efficiencies while reducing costs. With supply chain accounting for as much as 30 percent of total hospital spend, Oracle Supply Chain Management Cloud can enable a patient-centric supply chain emphasizing clinical outcomes, optimized planning, and best practices that reduce cost and waste while improving availability.
"With Oracle ERP Cloud, we established a more modern, single view of financial data for all our locations—increasing visibility into our organization and improved financial control." Stan Grabish, SVP, Strategic Planning and Financial Analysis, Promise Healthcare
Increasing clinician satisfaction.
Healthcare is changing and so is the workforce. Today's caregivers expect more work/life balance and career opportunities. With high turnover and fierce competition for talent, the role of Human Resources (HR) is also changing. To keep pace with the developing workforce, organization, and business landscape, HR needs to reimagine its role and think like a strategic partner to increase clinician satisfaction.
With Oracle Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud, caregivers get an application built with simplicity and intelligence. It's a powerful suite of capabilities with embedded, emerging technology that can unlock the potential of the healthcare workforce. By leveraging technology such as Oracle HCM Cloud, HR has an opportunity to transform in a way that they never had before.
"By providing a single HR hub with Oracle Human Capital Management Cloud, we improved our ability to source, recruit, and retain the right talents to support business growth. With greater insight into workforce capabilities, we offer targeted career development opportunities and enhanced employee engagement." Kelly Dickson, Head of HR, Defence Health
Improving the patient experience.
With Oracle Customer Experience (CX) Cloud, healthcare has the opportunity to transform the patient experience—by enabling a 360-degree view of the patient—and simplifying their journey. The increasing specialization of care means that patients have to navigate across multiple care providers. The ability to attract new patients with services that make care more convenient, coupled with engagement strategies, can improve outcomes and the patient experience.
By having a single view of the patient, providers, caregivers, and patients themselves can access and share the right information at the right time. Connected-care collaboration and support is extended across every channel and device for a cohesive experience, along with campaigns that can nurture their interest and guide them to the right services.
"The right nurturing program can impact more than just the bottom line. It can help build awareness of important issues and build stronger relationships, too." Jackson Healthcare, Alpharetta, Georgia
Predicting risk to improve population health.
One of the key elements to improving the health of the population is being able to accurately predict risk. With Oracle Analytics Cloud and Oracle Big Data Cloud Service, health systems have the ability to gather and analyze vast quantities of information, including clinical, demographic, quality, cost, and genomic data. The analysis of this data can be used for comparative effectiveness or improving outcomes based on predictions.
"The NHS sits on billions of data points that have the potential to deliver tremendous value to the wider healthcare system when combined and analyzed effectively." Nina Monckton, NHS Business Services Authority
Innovating for change.
A number of emerging technologies are helping to drive innovation in every part of healthcare. AI and machine learning, for example, can enable cognitive engagement or recognize patterns across large data sets, reducing manual efforts, and shifting analysis to become more proactive, rather than reactive.
Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service provides the opportunity for interoperability, security, and traceability of health-related data with applicability to supply chains, medical records, health information exchanges, and smart contracts between organizations. Additionally, Oracle Internet of Things Cloud Service enables remote patient monitoring, wellness-and-prevention programs, and operations with the potential to provide better care and drive down cost.
Leveraging AI, blockchain, and IoT together is the ultimate value driver that combines the best of each technology for new, innovative strategies for the future.
Mitigating cybersecurity risk.
With widespread use of electronic medical records and the proliferation of health data, criminals are increasingly targeting and exploiting healthcare systems. Hackers who gain access to this data tend to be interested in protected health information (PHI), which they can sell on the dark web. Independent research reveals that people see identity protection as the responsibility of healthcare providers, and if theft occurs, they'd consider changing providers.
Oracle Management Cloud is a suite of next-generation capabilities including Oracle Security Monitoring and Analytics Cloud Service. This enables rapid detection, investigation, and remediation of the broadest range of security threats across on-premises and cloud IT assets. Oracle Security Monitoring and Analytics capabilities are built on machine learning, user session awareness, and up-to-date threat intelligence context.
Journey to cloud.
As the global population ages, pressures on cost and efficiency continue to escalate, and data security risks proliferate, an effective cloud strategy is essential. And wherever healthcare organizations are in their cloud journey—Oracle can help. Consisting of SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS capabilities, with state-of-the-art security and data encryption, only Oracle Cloud for healthcare can offer the most complete portfolio required to deliver tomorrow's healthcare today.
"We wanted to modernize our systems by moving to the cloud, but we also wanted a single, unified solution that comprehensively addressed a wide range of our business areas, with room to grow. Oracle met all these needs." Chip Dickinson, Vice President, Business Solutions, Adventist Health
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
The Latest News and Updates
To keep up with new approaches in healthcare, and take full advantage of the emerging technologies that are transforming the industry, you'll need all the facts, figures, and insights you can get. But it's impossible to read everything. That's why we've handpicked a selection of links to provide you with the best information and opinions on the hottest topics in Healthcare.
The way to cost-effective healthcare.
With aging populations, new reimbursement models, and increasing competition, we're rapidly approaching a future where high-cost providers will not survive. Most healthcare organizations have a formal costing process, but few are able to achieve visibility across the entire episode of care. The Oracle Cost-Effective Healthcare (CEH) solution provides this granularity. It also combines cost with quality and clinical data for root cause analysis to enable a competitive, financially viable Healthcare organization. Find out more about this industry solution.
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Putting faith in the cloud.
Established more than 150 years ago, Adventist Health is a faith-based, nonprofit health organization, which comprises 20 hospitals, more than 260 clinics, and a workforce of 32,700.
As a provider of modern medical care, it was struggling with a legacy IT system, which was holding it back from meeting the dynamic healthcare challenges of today. To create a long-lasting future strategy, the organization partnered with Oracle to undertake an end-to-end cloud deployment with Oracle Applications Cloud.
With Oracle Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Cloud, Oracle Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud, Oracle Analytics Cloud, and Oracle Enterprise Performance Management Cloud, the new capabilities enabled Adventist to modernize its IT systems, and radically transform the efficiency of its HR and finance functions.
"With Oracle Applications Cloud, we will have the modern tools that will enable us to best serve our workforce, our business operations, and, most importantly, our patients and communities." Chip Dickinson, Vice President, Business Solutions
An affordable protective shield.
With more than 4 million health plan members and nearly 65,000 physicians, Blue Shield of California is using Oracle Enterprise Resource Planning Cloud to increase efficiency and modernize its financial planning and budgeting systems. The application enables Blue Shield to streamline hundreds of application interfaces and reports. With improved financial analysis, the organization is able to reduce costs and pass on savings to members—enabling them to provide healthcare coverage at an affordable price.
"We selected Oracle as our partner because of their commitment to innovation in the cloud, their expertise in the health payer space, and the breadth and depth of the ERP Cloud offering." Michael Sheils, Vice President, Corporate Shared Services
Investing in efficiency.
Healthcare in the UK is benefiting from improved patient care thanks to Oracle Exadata. The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA), which implemented Oracle Exadata in 2015, has used the technology to increase efficiency—resulting in a saving of £581 million, which has been invested back into patient care.
Using Oracle Exadata, the NHSBSA is able to provide data to the NHS and other clients, helping them make better-informed treatment decisions for patients. The organization has been able to combine billions of data points on prescriptions, medicines, medical exemptions, doctor relationships, and call-center services. It uses these insights to find ways to increase efficiency and save money-which can then be reinvested to improve patient outcomes.
"Oracle Exadata has helped us make major headway so far, and we continue to uncover new ways to advise the wider NHS on improving the care it provides to patients each day." Nina Monckton, Chief Insight Officer, NHSBSA
Waking up to the cloud.
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has made strides in optimizing its finance and HR functions thanks to Oracle Cloud Applications. The organization has 14,000 employees and annual revenue of approximately US$2.4 billion, and is dedicated to improving health through collaborative innovation. In this spirit, Wake Forest partnered with Oracle to transform its business practices through modern cloud applications.
With Oracle Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Cloud and Oracle Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud, Wake Forest has been able to streamline many of its finance and HR processes. This has given it the agility to keep pace with new developments in a dynamic healthcare environment.
"Oracle's expertise in the cloud was critical for us as we sought to modernize our financial and HR systems and underlying workflow processes. Equipping our workforce with the best technology will enable us to focus more time on serving our patients and communities." Chad A. Eckes, Executive Vice President of Corporate Services