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Reflections on the healthcare environment in 2022, and thoughts on… – Healthcare IT News

The past 12 months have allowed the nation and our healthcare organizations to work toward achieving a new normal in terms of patient care delivery and the management of our information services teams.

Two of the particular most significant trends of 2022 were the transition of COVID-19 toward endemic status as well as the impact of the “great resignation” – particularly within our clinical communities.

Many health care systems faced the departure of front line clinicians, who bore the brunt from the pandemic, and left the healthcare space in droves. A significant void in personnel remained with the significant task to maintain clinical operations.

While leaders in the industry addressed this situation by using the services associated with temporary staffing agencies in order to supplement plus provide the necessary clinical talent, it created financial strain on medical establishments at a substantial cost that was much more than budgeted.

This scenario, along with other supply chain and inflationary burdens, has placed the majority of healthcare provider organizations under significant financial pressure.

Given these challenges to health care delivery, and the lingering pandemic, our own efforts in the upcoming year and beyond will need to focus on using the particular power plus innovation of technology to minimize expenses, enhance revenues, further engage patients and reduce clinician burnout.

Most healthcare provider organizations have made significant strides in deploying their electronic health record that serves as the foundation and digital glue, connecting the providers with their patients.

Continued enhancements made to the EHR platform and supported expansionary efforts have become part of the particular standard care and feeding of the EHR. The stage has been set for this fundamental platform in order to be used to address the pain points that have come to a head within 2022. I believe that the EHR is key to advance newer technologies and support the needs associated with this ever changing atmosphere.

From the particular perspective of the Penn Medicine organization, our Epic EHR (branded as PennChart) is critical to leveraging our investment for future technology innovations that impact patient treatment within the most optimal ways.

At the organization, additional strategies, demonstrated through several key initiatives below, are currently underway to help set a steady course for the future as we head into 2023.

  • It is still all about the people! While we rely on technology to ease some associated with the burdens felt from 2022, focusing on our employees is key, whether they are the particular technicians designing the newest features or the caregivers using them in support of patient care. Understanding an employee’s career goals and working with them to develop a career path that leverages their subject matter expertise, profession aspirations, plus remain connected to their organization is paramount. Without the strong team, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to enable the many operational objectives from the organization.

  • Due to the closure associated with multiple large regional healthcare facilities, our region offers seen a good explosion in the need for behavioral health support. With the majority of behavioral wellness patients arriving in our own emergency departments, enhanced EHR functionality and referral capabilities will be deployed to assist address this issue through the deployment of the behavioral health module.  

  • Penn Medicine has made extra strides into value based care reimbursement models. These relatively new financial models will require additional technology design of continuity of treatment functionality plus data analytics reporting to properly track and report on patient activity and outcomes.

  • Creating further digitization to manage the overall patient engagement experience will help reduce friction within gaining access to the needed doctors plus medical care that individuals need. Enhanced telephony solutions, combined with a more seamless and personalized customer relationship management experience, will further engage our patients in their care in a more convenient and cost effective manner.

  • As a leading academic medical center, Penn Medicine has been and will continue to be on the forefront of incorporating precision medicine into health care by using discrete genomic results plus other research enabled discoveries into the particular EHR to provide the most optimal patient clinical treatment.

  • We are beginning the early stages of analysis, investigating ambient listening technology. With the goal of reducing documentation typing with regard to our companies, allowing more physician/patient time and improving overall physician satisfaction, we have observed that this emerging technologies has the particular potential in order to be a game changer for our physicians.  

Whilst I predict that 2023 will be another year associated with significant change; it will require organizations to display nimbleness to execute their strategic plans. Because evidenced in other industries, those that can successfully navigate the identified difficulties will come out of this turbulence even stronger compared to before.

The collaboration between information solutions and our own operational representatives is actually more crucial. Teamwork will be the critical component for successful healthcare businesses in 2023. I’m proud of our organization’s past and present ability to collaborate in some of the particular most hard situations plus know this particular teamwork will propel Penn Medicine to new heights in the upcoming 12 months.

Mike Restuccia is the chief information officer of Penn Medicine

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