What is quality? The dictionary defines quality as “a peculiar and essential characteristic; an inherent feature; or a degree of excellence.” For many charged with leading quality in healthcare, quality is often measured as a success in certification, a successful audit, or decreasing rejections. Instead, quality should be measured by what is experienced directly by the customer, the “value added” of what was received, and/or the perception of provider that was involved in the interaction, as both are customers of the healthcare institution.
One of the major transformations in healthcare today centers on the development of the patient as a consumer. Patients are driving a demand for increased connectivity with their providers, and have a growing expectation for convenient and customizable care.
As the consumerization of healthcare continues to evolve, the patient will play a larger role in overall healthcare IT strategy. As a result, health IT vendors will need to address changing consumer demands in an age of instant gratification and convenience. What are the driving forces behind this shift?
Over the past couple of years, there have been around 200 merger and acquisition (M&A) deals in the healthcare IT space, driven by high enterprise value and the sheer size of the industry. 49 deals came together in the first quarter of this year alone. These numbers make health IT the highest performing industry in terms of M&A activity in the consumer and retail space, and the second highest in the infrastructure/industrial space.
Between 2018 and 2019, we will see an insatiable need for increased health IT interoperability, with providers putting increased pressure on health IT vendors to deliver. This pressure – combined with the shift brought on by new regulations like MACRA around performance, measurement and outcomes – will drive one of the biggest M&A pushes we’ve seen in the health IT industry.
This is a watershed moment in healthcare. New technologies are constantly in development to help treat and prevent previously incurable conditions, and improve current processes. From leadless pacemakers to mobile applications that advance telehealth access, digital innovation is at an all-time high. The problem is that our current speed of regulatory approval for these innovations simply cannot keep up.
While many groundbreaking technologies are being created, their full promise is not being realized because they are not being approved quickly enough to be implemented and adopted by health systems. The FDA regulatory process has long been a matter of contention. However, now that the rate of innovation is increasing, things need to change accordingly. By working together to streamline this regulatory process, technology will arrive to the market faster and propel the healthcare industry forward.
Over the last few years, the healthcare industry has undergone an incredible revolution. Mobility solutions deployed across the care continuum are providing higher quality patient care. The shift from fee-for-service to fee-for-value – no matter how the political environment affects the market – is prevailing. Beyond that, innovation and digital tools are supporting this shift. In the U.S. alone, there are more than 6,000 medical device companies. Around 80 percent of them have fewer than 50 employees. Creative solutions to longstanding problems abound.
When growing a startup, there are typically three main areas of focus: sales, operations and the back office. By nature, the DNA of most entrepreneurs – including but not limited to those in healthcare – leads them to focus most of their attention on sales. This often results in a common challenge for entrepreneurs: the fixation on sales means they are not looking at the whole picture. Entrepreneurs all share the passion and vision regarding their company’s key audiences, particularly who will buy their products and how much they will sell. However, the operations and back office teams are needed as well to help drive an entrepreneur’s product to that world-changing next level. Continue reading