The following is a guest article by Andy Nieto, Global Healthcare Solutions Manager at Lenovo. Andy is one of our A-List speakers at our new EXPO.health Experience Series. Andy will join Ed Marx and other health IT leaders in an interactive discussion about digital transformation in healthcare and how you can develop your digital strategy amidst all the changes that are happening in the world today. Learn more about this truly unique experience here.
The evolution of care
For generations, healthcare was centered at home. House calls, home remedies, and convalescence. Childbirth and death. Healthcare came to us.
But as healthcare became an industry and hospitals became organizations, scaling care delivery meant a shift in healthcare’s home base. Healthcare became places and people you traveled to for answers, advice, and aid.
Fast-forward to now. Our healthcare localities are entrenched. Doctor’s offices, hospitals, urgent care clinics, and skilled nursing facilities all treat patients in a designated location. Leaving home to get care is the norm.
Medical science has taken us places we couldn’t have imagined. But the practice of medicine and the administration of healthcare are constrained by a serious and accelerating capacity problem.
Shrinking resources, burgeoning need
The US is facing a critical shortage of clinicians. And the ones we have are burning out — in part due to capacity constraints, which not only impact quality of care but take an emotional toll on caregivers. Our health systems are increasingly challenged with meeting the needs of an aging population with chronic conditions and complicating comorbidities.
Meanwhile, technology is advancing, and so is our acceptance of its role in and benefits to our lives. We now have desires and expectations for healthcare delivery — from how we communicate to how quickly our providers respond — that require technology.
Not so long ago, the idea of keeping medical records on anything but paper was akin to science fiction. The thought of meeting a provider online was inconceivable. Modern consumer devices and apps are changing our thinking. And the focus on customer experience common in other segments now extends to healthcare. As consumers, convenience is a core value. And nothing is more convenient than healthcare delivered when and where we need it, especially at home.
So, we’ve come full circle. But this is not your great-grandmother’s home. Spurred by capacity constraints, pushed by patient demand, and enabled by technology, new care delivery models are making home a fixture on the care continuum.
If not a new paradigm, it’s certainly an era of change. Shifting the location of care from the facility back to the home changes our relationship to care. It’s not where you go, but where you live (or work or study). It’s not just convenience, but also personalization and empowerment.
As patients, we can take charge of our healthcare and be more active participants. Technology helps us fully engage — from self-scheduling appointments to monitoring blood pressure, glucose, and weight. Technology also makes possible a continuous connection with providers, who use our data to customize and adjust care plans. The availability of videoconference visits means less waiting to be seen, more immediate response to issues, and better access to specialists.
For providers, delivering care this way begins to mitigate the capacity problem. While patients receive care at home, clinicians can deliver that care from anywhere — including home. Care delivery becomes more convenient and less stressful, and allows for staffing flexibility. What’s more, this model enables a shift from the traditional one-to-one provider-patient relationship to a more efficient one-to-many.
Once patients are engaging remotely with providers, technologies like remote monitoring and automated administrative tasks improve efficiency further. And one-to-many holds promise for the supportive — and effective — dynamics of group models of care.
Patient-first healthcare enabled by people-first technology
Supported by new technology, we can assess our unique health goals, make a plan, and make that plan a reality. You might call it a personal healthcare transformation roadmap. Just like enterprises map out digital transformation strategies, we can take advantage of technology to both plan and implement the care-at-home models that best fit our lives.
For healthcare IT, this new and renewed home-centric landscape presents an opportunity and a mandate. Technology can pave the way for care delivery evolution, supporting what’s emerging now and pioneering what’s next. To keep pace with accelerating change, the industry must embrace digital transformation.
At Lenovo, we believe in patient-first healthcare enabled by people-first technology. Every Lenovo healthcare solution begins with a challenge that, when solved, will improve care delivery, experience, and outcomes. From mobility to workflow, security to data analytics — Lenovo devices, software, and services are a trusted foundation for care delivery transformation everywhere on the care continuum.
Digital transformation strategy is the focus of an exciting upcoming event with Ed Marx. Join the event for free on October 6th at 1pm ET. Learn Ed’s “Five Keys to Developing a Digital Strategy,” and see how they’re applicable to your healthcare enterprise and your life!
About Andy Nieto:
Andrew Nieto is the Global Healthcare Solutions Manager at Lenovo. He is a Colorado native who started his career in healthcare with roles including EMT, paramedic, trauma technician and surgical team assistant. With advanced degrees in biology and chemistry and extensive experience, Andy has been a healthcare technology leader fusing both clinical and technical knowledge allowing him to deliver exceptional solutions. Andy has a passion for improving the flow of information inside and outside of clinical networks with a focus on improving patient outcomes.