The Israeli public healthcare system is considered one of the world's leaders. The community system offers a complete set of primary & secondary care and is also connected with hospitals, most of which are public.
Israel’s health system is undergoing an immense digital transformation in several key areas including administrative operations, remote consultations and monitoring, decision support tools, and even self-diagnosis.
Through our work across different layers of the local healthcare system; HMOs, hospitals, technology suppliers, and universities, we have observed the following common themes:
1. HMOs - Hospitals: Hospitals act as service providers to HMOs' insured patients. This situation creates constant tension within the system and requires an ongoing delicate balance between medical services consumed in community clinics vs the services provided via hospitals (emergency, secondary, and tertiary).
2. Digital Enablement: There is a strong realization that digital enablement will enhance access to services, decision-making, patient self-management. Taken together, these improvements will also lead to better staff availability/usage. The COVID-19 experience has led to an acceleration in Israel’s adoption rate of various tools, methods, and means of accessing clinical services.
3. Fiscal Strain: Given the system-wide financial constraints and lack of sufficient public funding, there is a focus on consolidating services and improving the entire system's efficiency and sustainability.
4. Workforce: Healthcare providers are becoming more focused on optimizing medical staffs' time and in developing tools to further support their efficiency and resilience throughout the pandemic.
All four themes signal the need for a more patient-centered, connected health system driven by a digital infrastructure that supports its patients, workforce, providers, and partners.
Healthcare providers who are able to permanently scale-up digital health services will most likely be able to provide quality and more accessible services in the future and will thereby create a significant sustainable competitive advantage.