Category: Thought Leadership
August 8 2017
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The modern health care consumer has high expectations both in terms of the care they receive and the way they want to interact with the health care system as a whole. Here, we’ve rounded up five blogs that address the preferences of today’s consumer population and how the health care and health IT (HIT) industry will need to evolve. 

 1. Health Care Industry, or Consumer Health Industry?

Consumer behavior has dramatically changed with the introduction of digital and mobile mediums. Stir into the mix the near-constant regulatory updates to health care policy and the industrywide shift toward value-based care, and it’s hardly any wonder that we’re facing a new era in HIT. 

In this blog, Cerner President Zane Burke examines how HIT providers and health care organizations alike are augmenting their strategies to appeal to shifting consumer behavior patterns. 

“Health systems need to continue to adapt and engage with their patients as consumers,” Zane writes. “Going forward, consumers in this space will be empowered to dictate what constitutes as value.”

 2. How Consumer Expectations are Driving Change in Health Care Organizations

It’s no great secret: We all desire easy, convenient access to services and information. If it can’t be done in a few clicks on our phones, we don’t want to do it. The hospitality and retail industries figured out this behavior pattern long ago, and have long been giving consumers solutions that adapt to their daily lives. 

Why has it taken the health care industry so long to catch on, and what does this mean for HIT solutions going forward? Lisa McDermott, vice president of population health at Cerner, answers those questions. 

“What makes a health care system consumer-centric? It’s a focus on the person and their experience navigating the complexities of a health organization,” Lisa writes. “Consumers don’t care if an organization uses different electronic health record (EHR) suppliers within various care settings; they want access to their comprehensive record.” 

 3. APIs Will Revolutionize Health Care, Putting the Person at the Center

How many of us have only ever seen one physician at one health care organization? Not many. The reality is patients receive care across multiple venues, and that means health care providers must learn how to exchange data, including critical information in a patient’s EHR. 

In this blog, Zane Burke explores how application programming interfaces pave the way forward for interoperability and some of the challenges and opportunities along that road. 

“Interoperability is a key area of emphasis in modern health care,” Zane writes. “Though there's still a marathon ahead of us as we work toward this goal, interoperability has become the rallying cry for innovative providers devoted to putting the person at the center of care.”

 4. Consumers, Health Care Organizations and Population Health: What the HIT Industry Needs to Consider

At its core, population health is about improving outcomes for communities by improving outcomes for the individual. This means HIT providers must focus on empowering health care organizations to develop a personal connection with their consumers through an enabling, sticky experience. People want their physician to be a trusted partner in their health and wellness journey – and that means a lot more patient engagement. 

In this blog, Ryan Hamilton, senior vice president for population health at Cerner, looks at a few strategies for HIT providers to build a unified, personalized, mobile-optimized health care experience. 

“The link between consumer behavior patterns and population health strategies cannot be refuted,” Ryan writes. “If our goal is to improve the health of a population, we must design solutions that appeal to behavioral trends of that population.” 

 5. Empowering Consumers to Manage Their Health

Person-centered care is the future of the health care industry. There is a growing emphasis on consumer empowerment and easy access to EHRs – and likewise, technology is evolving to meet the trend. Patient portals were just the first step in consumer engagement. The next iteration is mobile applications, tracking devices, remote connectivity and video visits. Zane Burke gives readers a glimpse at the future in this blog. 

“By making health care easy and accessible for consumers through technology, we're enabling them to be active participants in their health choices,” Zane writes. “Devices and telehealth are only two ways in which consumers are proactively engaging in virtual health care technologies.”

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