Healthcare Industry 2014 Outlook
As we look ahead at what will no doubt be a tumultuous year for the healthcare industry,considering the contextual landscape that has been created by the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act, what issues and challenges can we expect to encounter during 2014?
Last month's Top Health Industry Issues of 2014 report from Price Waterhouse Cooper's Health Research Institute outlines ten predictions that they expect will shape the health economy during the coming year. Comprised of interviews with one thousand consumers and industry experts, the study illustrates that healthcare organizations are facing significant changes that are reshaping the industry, and creating both threats and opportunities.
First and foremost, the industry as a whole is expected to become more competitive and therefore more consumer-centric and consumer-driven in 2014. Findings from the PwC report show that consumers’ experiences in other industries are continuing to drive their expectations for healthcare, especially with regard to convenience and overall value. Healthcare industry performance, however, lags and has slipped from 5th to 6th place compared to last year's survey when ranking the customer experience across eight different industries. “Hospitals/healthcare” came in at a dismal 6th place, trailing retail (#1), banking (#2), utilities (#3), hospitality/hotels (#4), and automotive (#5).
PwC's survey findings illustrate an urgent need for healthcare organizations to improve the customer experience. Technology, and specifically engaging digitally with patients will be key to addressing consumer expectations. In fact, two of PwC's ten predictions involve the growing use of web and mobile technologies to improve patient care and health management.
Millions of consumers are already taking control of their health by using mobile device apps to count calories, track fitness goals, manage diabetes, and plan pregnancies. As we have seen in other industries, the real challenge involves integrating the new Web 2.0 data (via social and mobile platforms) with other sources of data to get a macro-level picture useful for identifying market trends and opportunities for innovation. Although the use of mobile apps is not yet widespread, industry experts believe this year will mark a turning point for the adoption of mobile technologies, including health-related apps for consumers and healthcare providers. "Going social" to better understand consumers' healthcare needs and experiences is no longer an option that can be put on hold.
For insights into all of PwC's ten predictions, a free copy of the full report, or further information how IntelliQ Health might be able to assist your organization better understand consumer healthcare related needs and expectations, just give me a call send me or an email.
Have a great 2014!