The Facilitation of Change in Health Care

Recently, the Washington Post gave an in-depth analysis from the frontlines of the pandemic in Eau Claire, Wis. The moving piece portrays the compassion and ingenuity needed from frontline providers to meet patient needs during a COVID-19 surge. It is a portrayal of excellence that reminds me why so many pursue work in health care. 

The article highlights the deployment of a hospital-at-home model to increase hospital capacity for the surge. Rita Huebner’s experience in Mayo Clinic’s advanced care at home offering provides a great exemplar of how technology facilitates patient-focused change within the health care system.  

Recently, Paul Cerrato and I published “The Digital Reconstruction of Health Care,” where we explored the digital transformation in health care that will facilitate care delivery change. Artificial intelligence and remote monitoring enable new knowledge generation, cost efficiencies and expand the care continuum. Our analysis examines the transition from brick-and-mortar to online care, providing a rationale for the shift. 

Many industries have undergone digital transformation. Nine years ago, Uber launched an app and ride-sharing service that focused on connecting users seamlessly to the ubiquitous “black” cars prevalent in the major cities. This service's facilitation through Uber’s platform grew in popularity, expanding to ordinary cars and flipping the taxicab industry on its head.

Health care is experiencing a similar digital renaissance that will change how some elements of care are delivered. COVID-19 has accelerated the adoption of telemedicine, hospital-at-home and remote patient monitoring. The capabilities offer valuable methods for scaling the health care system, achieving cost efficiencies, and expanding the care continuum. However, as we see in Wisconsin, people will remain at the heart of the strategies and care.

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