Future Strategic Direction of Healthcare – Research Paper Example
Future Strategic Direction of Healthcare
Health care has for a long time been limited to a routine that includes: medical therapy, research, drug prescription, diagnosis, self medication as well as consultations. Due to the changing nature of healthcare demands, there is an expected departure from these routines to a more receptive approach that keeps at pace with the new developments. A thorough analysis of the situation in the health care setting displays the demands as necessitated by changing demands that must be met. This study highlights some of these insights as follows, in an attempt to give possible future direction needed to accommodate changes in the sector.
Firstly, there will be attempts to formulate strategic policies aimed at tackling consumer needs. Consumer demographics must be central in the policies, with regard to their changing lifestyles and preferences to health products. For instance, age and wealth projections into the future as driven by need for consumer empowerment and consumer targeted offers. Consumers will be more likely to be inquisitive and demanding, which will be approached well by the relevant empowerment. Consumer services must be brought to their convenient reach. Influence by major policy makers on the state of healthcare control is another point of contention as changes must be effected to allow conformation with such policies. Such policy differences include the change of inpatient system to outpatient care. Apart from these changes, the major one consists that of shifting of managerial positions for health institutions from clinical professionals to non-clinical managers. There has been a shift of ideology from a medical term of service to health term. Diseases have been given a more serious eye and treatment made a little friendlier and perceptions thereon drastically changed.
Healthcare reforms as set out by government as the core policy maker will be difficult to comply with if they do not keep the promise of equal treatment of all stakeholders. Healthcare provision included in the insurance policy must not appear to rob the rich and reward the poor at the same time. Health packages as promised by the government will mostly depend on their popularity among the citizenry. Healthcare provision will continue to suffer as more standoffs exist between the government and the general public. Thorough analysis of such packages should be geared towards ensuring just criteria for identifying the correct terms of the packages. Uninsured individuals in the population are assisted to meet their healthcare by those with medical cover, but loopholes in the system must clearly be taken care of. Since the majority of uninsured fall in the poorer health category, healthcare provision must not appear punitive to those in the other category. Policy formulation for healthcare through the insurance system is a seriously risky area that requires planning. Useful criteria to be adopted must include an analysis of: reasonable amount that a family could contribute freely to health, what the government can avail and level of spending allowing necessary healthcare provision (Drake, 1994).
Secondly, due to pressure on healthcare margins, all healthcare providers will need to work together towards efficiency. Traditional health providers must be brought on board to facilitate a better and a powerful joint effort in the service provision. Competitive competition will force the two health care providing sectors to form some sort of a combined effort, putting the payment and funding pressure at rest. For instance, when distributing healthcare products, supply chain management must be optimized to cater for the changed market. Strategic commitments will eventually provide for the overhaul of the system to keep at pace with the market changes. Counterfeit products can easily cripple the supply system if relevant knowledge and training on the same is not enhanced.
Thirdly, information technology and relevant innovations to keep at pace with the current technological advancements is a major challenge. Possible introduction of electronic communication to the healthcare industry will streamline the way of doing business once and for all. Telemedicine uses electronic technology to transfer information and data of medical nature for delivery of better healthcare services. Other useful advancements in information technology regarding healthcare provision include incorporation of complex computer systems into the systems of healthcare provision. It will be necessary if it has worked in other sectors, so as to keep at pace with technology and information technology. These advancements will reduce the amount of time and cost incurred during retrieval of patients’ data (Armoni, 2000). Innovation with a technological advancement will be necessary to incorporate management inside the various rooms, be it through video conferencing apparatus or through a similar camera communication. Patient care and management can be enforced through such technology and innovation. Critical information on the patients must be put on the internet for the doctors to monitor progress at their convenience anywhere. Entering patient data on a handwritten material is a risky business and prone to errors. Technological advancements must be in line with efficient data entry on a patient and the detection of errors made a central aim of the technology (Schimpff 2007).
Armoni A., (2000). Healthcare information systems: challenges of the new millennium, Hershey, Idea Group Inc.
Drake D. F., (1994). Reforming the health care market: an interpretive economic history, Washington, D.C., Georgetown University Press,
Schimpff S. C., (2007). The future of medicine: megatrends in health care that will improve your quality of life, Nashville, Thomas Nelson Inc.