If there’s one healthcare industry trend that has been constant in recent years, it’s this: change.
As an industry in transition, healthcare is undergoing massive shifts in the way it interacts with patients and conducts business. So what are some of the biggest changes happening in healthcare today? Below, we highlight three of the top healthcare industry trends.
Top Three Healthcare Industry Trends
1. “Retailization” of healthcare
There’s a mindset shift happening in healthcare – from both a patient and organization standpoint. Patients have started to ask, “Why can’t receiving care be like receiving any other service?”
Patients want choices when it comes to healthcare providers. They want to know prices up front. They want convenience. They want customer service. In short, they want healthcare to be more like retail.
Healthcare providers are responding by viewing patients as consumers and opening “retail” style health clinics. These clinics are in convenient neighborhood locations, offer walk-in appointments and extended hours.
2. Movement away from long-term patient/physician relationships
Another healthcare industry trend is one that few would have predicted a generation ago. Rather than developing a long-term relationship with a primary care doctor, more and more patients are taking an “on demand” approach to care. This is especially true for millennials, who will be driving healthcare industry trends for many years to come.
Urgent/immediate care clinics are meeting the need for short term care, as are telemedicine providers. The challenge for healthcare systems will be to use these alternative sources of care as the entry point to ongoing, preventative care.
3. Healthcare providers playing a bigger role in population health management
In the spirit of “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” healthcare providers are playing a bigger role in encouraging the local population to take steps to improve their health.
This often takes the form of direct communication focused on healthcare reminders.
While many factors contribute to the success of a population health management program, one is certainly the relevancy of the messaging. Healthcare providers need to take a targeted approach to communication by segmenting the patient base, as well as potential patient households, and sending the right messages to each.
Need Help Navigating These Trends?
If your organization is opening retail-style health clinics, expanding its urgent care offerings, or ramping up its targeted marketing efforts, Buxton can help.
Download our report "5 Lessons Healthcare Organizations Can Learn from the Retail Sector," to learn more.