Healthcare News & Insights

New technology may decentralize your hospital’s care delivery

It seems like new technological advances are released every week, which makes keeping up a struggle. From basics like telehealth equipment and updated medical devices to major advancements like artificial intelligence, healthcare technology continues to change – and it’ll continue to impact your organization. 

Although traditional healthcare delivery options have mostly been limited to hospitals and medical offices, technology is broadening the scope of where care can occur, and your facility will need to adapt.

A new survey from IMEG Corp. and Transwestern,The Convergence of Healthcare Delivery in the U.S.,” talked with healthcare leaders about where the industry is headed and how technology will continue to play a significant role in all aspects of care delivery – even real estate and physical location.

When asked what healthcare delivery will look like in 2020, most experts emphasized the increasing importance of telehealth and digital medicine in changing how patients and providers interact. 

“We will definitely continue to see healthcare take lessons from the retail and hospitality side with regard to the patient experience,” said an anonymous executive from a large Chicago health system. “Home health care will continue to grow, and delivery outside the traditional exam room and hospital room is something we will see more.”

New types of facilties

One of those new methods of delivery? Microhospitals.

Increased technological improvements will allow more specialty care to be delivered in microhospitals, which are smaller neighborhood facilities that can customize care to the specific needs of the communities where they’re located.

Rather than relying on one hospital building to be the center of health care for a community, healthcare leaders predict care settings will spread to retail spaces, acute care clinics or patients’ homes.

These new care delivery facilities will also change how spaces are designed, since technology and efficiency will be emphasized.

Another change: Non-medical devices like wearable sports monitors and voice-activated devices like Amazon’s Echo may allow care to move to outpatient settings and decrease the number of patients receiving direct care from hospitals. 

Next steps

Although you may not have much control over your health system’s real estate investments, make it clear that adaptability and flexibility are now the name of the game.

Consider introducing pilot programs to see if microhospitals or other smaller care settings would be successful in your region, or partner with smaller hospitals in the area to increase care offerings.

And make sure you’re consistently investing in innovative solutions to stay ahead of the curve.

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