Around the world, many healthcare systems are still reactive, often configured to treat people at times of crisis in hospitals and may be poorly designed to prevent hospitalization or proactively treat people in the right care setting.
Global trends: Challenges and possible solutions
- Aging populations, coupled with multimorbidity (people with more than one long-term condition) are adding to the demands on healthcare systems
- The trend of decentralizing care, and moving care closer to home, looks set to continue
- Technology is disrupting traditional models of care, and is a vital component in joining up services to integrate care networks and systems
In the face of unprecedented pressures, healthcare policymakers, payers, commissioners, providers and suppliers need to rethink how they work.
Out of hospital, community-based services play a vital role in the move to broader integrated care networks that place the individual at the center. The benefits are significant, from improving care outcomes to reducing system-wide costs, and alleviating pressures on hospitals.
The change to this type of system does not require structural solutions, but it does need a change in thinking and attitude. High-performing health services focus on improving individual health outcomes by working in partnership across the system.
Out of hospital care covers an extensive and diverse range of activities, and there is no single model of provision. However, health systems should integrate services around the user’s needs and make the best use of their assets (workforce, technology, estate) to improve care delivery. So, what could a patient’s model of care look like?
To make healthcare systems sustainable, focus should be put on prevention and self-care and integrated services to reduce hospitalization.
Using digital technology to connect and coordinate care
Digital transformation and technologies have disrupted traditional care models, and are vital components in delivering seamless out of hospital services because they connect care. Below are a few examples of digital solutions that connect and exchange information between organizations to allow more collaborative working across local health systems.
- Connected medical devices/wearables
- Remote telemedicine
- Home health robots
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Patient networks
- Remote monitoring
- Embedded vital monitors