Rising costs, preventable deaths, shifting demographics, and an uncertain regulatory environment are throwing the already complex healthcare industry into disarray.
There’s a serious need for new ideas and deeper innovation in healthcare systems. And while billions are poured into healthcare R&D every year, the results, return on investment, and impact on patient lives is often disappointing.
There are a number of factors forcing healthcare’s hand in the pursuit of innovation, and while some are new problems to the healthcare industry, others have been around for years and will continue to plague systems that can’t adapt.
Here are just a few areas where new ideas (and better management of them) could spur serious innovation in healthcare.
The implementation of new technologies.
- Improvements and innovation in every industry are most often driven by new technologies, and innovation in healthcare is no different. But the process of discovering, reviewing, and implementing those technologies is reliant on a steady flow of new and actionable ideas.
Caring for an aging population.
- As Boomers age, a huge portion of the population will transition into a new set of health needs and healthcare providers will need to follow suite. New ideas for fresh services, staff adjustments, and facilities updates will all play a role in better serving this group of patients.
Attracting a booming younger population.
- Millenials are often seen as a wildcard in society, and healthcare systems are trying hard to figure them out. As they develop their careers and age, new ideas to attract them to healthcare services as both patients and employees will continue to be a top priority.
Providing faster service and care.
- People are busy, and now more than ever want fast service and to be in and out as quickly as possible. From sitting in waiting rooms to returning for follow-up visits, the healthcare industry needs to find a way to require less time for care.
Improving system-wide communication.
- A huge source of inefficiency in most industries is in relaying information. With patient lives on the line, it is of utmost importance for healthcare providers to find new ways to communicate effectively in both their day-to-day operations and to ensure new ideas can be heard and acted upon.
Adjusting to changes in regulations.
- On both sides of the political aisle, regulations within the healthcare industry are always a hot-button issue. With many changes carrying legal ramifications, finding new ways to adjust operations and offerings to align with regulations requires new information, ideas, and perspective.
Saving patient lives.
- As one of the leading causes of death in US, medical errors are a serious problem. From more intuitive patient processing to deeper education and training, innovation in healthcare should always aim to find new ways to reduce hazardous, deadly, and preventable errors.
Improving overall satisfaction.
- Everyone wants the best for their loved-ones. Improving satisfaction and comfort for not just patients, but their families, friends, and care-takers as well can go a long way in improving public perception and willingness to interact with a healthcare organization.
If there’s any industry that needs better idea management, its healthcare. From identifying problems to collaborating on solutions, the pursuit of innovation in healthcare needs input from those tasked with providing care to patients and their families.
Still, potential improvements and changes typically come from small groups, external “experts”, or disconnected decision makers miles away. While their input is helpful and changes impactful, the most powerful ideas for improving patient care aren’t being heard. The solution?
Look to the front-lines of healthcare. Nurses, doctors, technicians, and care-givers have the unique insights needed to find those actionable solutions to make a serious difference in patient care. From improving hand-off times to reducing readmission rates, healthcare professionals deal with patients every day.
They hear their stories, process paperwork, literally save lives, and have the ideas that can improve the experience for everyone involved. But for those employees to play a more impactful role, a larger focus must be put on transparency and collaboration inside healthcare systems. Employees need to know where they can help, a process for sharing their feedback, and have a set path for getting their ideas reviewed, tested, and implemented.
With some crowdsourcing and coordination, alignment of resources, and effective communication, they will play a vital role for driving innovation in healthcare around the globe.
Learn how Healthcare can better manage their innovation efforts with a free two-minute video.