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Top health IT trends for 2023

Dec 21, 2022

As healthcare organizations plan for the coming year, a variety of trends will continue to drive disruption and transformation in the industry. To help our customers, we've rounded up the top health IT trends Forward Advantage anticipates for 2023. As always, we are happy to discuss any challenges you are facing – including strategizing your organization’s roadmap for a successful future.

  • Enforcement of the Cures Act rules, including limitations on surprise billing and information blocking, will be much more stringent in 2023, along with the imposition of growing financial penalties.

  • Use of AI and machine learning in healthcare will grow, along with concerns about bias in the underlying algorithms and a push for greater transparency. Models that are trained on insufficient data can also be flawed. Recently, Epic had to overhaul its sepsis prediction algorithm because of poor performance.

  • Workflow automation will become a higher priority for healthcare organizations as they seek to improve efficiency and productivity amidst growing staffing and cost challenges. Solutions that eliminate or reduce manual steps for repetitive tasks will gain in popularity and adoption.

  • AI is driving dramatic improvements in chatbot functionality, expanding their capability to handle more complex conversational interactions. OpenAI recently released ChatGPT, a bot that converses with humans via cutting-edge artificial intelligence, built on recent A.I. breakthroughs.

  • Cybersecurity will remain a priority for healthcare organizations, and consolidation of multiple security tools into broader platforms will continue as CIOs seek to centralize command and control and reduce reliance on point solutions. Cybersecurity insurance costs will grow due to the increases in breaches and other security incidents.

  • Broader interoperability will remain an elusive goal in 2023, although progress will be made through the implementation of the TEFCA framework and the onboarding of QHINs in preparation for full exchange. However, given that participation is voluntary, it remains to be seen whether all healthcare providers will commit to open information exchange. At the end of the day, it also requires them to comply with all the terms of participation, which many might find onerous or threatening to their competitive market position.

  • The push for a national patient identifier will continue but will face challenges with a divided Congress. Use of biometric IDs will grow, but certain methods, such as facial recognition, will encounter regulatory pushback and scrutiny will grow over storage and use of biometric data due to privacy concerns. Facial recognition company Clearview AI was recently fined more than £7.5 million by the UK’s privacy watchdog for illegally storing facial images and ordered to delete the data of UK residents. France also fined Clearview AI 20 million euros, the maximum amount possible, for GDPR breaches and failure to comply with several prior injunctions.

  • Consumerism will continue to influence healthcare. Expectations are driven by consumer experience in retail, hospitality and travel industries. However, many organizations are struggling to deliver against these expectations, due to fragmented engagement tools and divided organizational responsibilities.

  • Patient communication and engagement will become more personalized and accessible via digital tools. Healthcare organizations will increasingly deploy digital front door solutions that combine multiple channels for patient engagement and interaction. A survey of 115 healthcare executives foundthat 55% believe integrating their disparate patient engagement capabilities will be a high priority in the coming year, but 84% believe it will be tough to accomplish with existing technology.

  • Remote patient monitoring will gain traction as regulatory scrutiny of hospital readmissions increases, the population of patients with chronic conditions expands, and wearable health devices grow in sophistication and use. Better reimbursement for these services will also support increased growth.

  • Large tech companies and retailers will continue to disrupt healthcare, as they build scale in areas like primary care, urgent care, and home care. Walgreens-backed VillageMD has agreed to acquire Summit Health for $8.9 billion, including debt. Walgreens also bought the remaining 45% stake in post-acute and home care services provider CareCentrix for roughly $392 million earlier this year. Best Buy is also expanding its footprint in the healthcare space, leveraging several acquisitions. Over the past few years, the company has acquired GreatCall, a mobile medical alert company, Critical Signal Technologies, a senior remote monitoring service, and Current Health, a hospital-at-home tech firm.

The takeaway

Collectively, these trends and their associated impacts are driving healthcare organizations to become more focused on linking their clinical, operational, and financial initiatives to ensure that their strategic priorities are addressed in a comprehensive and consistent manner. Overall, improving efficiency and productivity, while enhancing care quality and patient relationships, are common areas of emphasis as organizations seek to maintain financial stability. They will increasingly rely on their vendor partners to provide comprehensive technology solutions that support their projects and programs.

Forward Advantage is committed to providing the right mix of technology and support to meet the evolving needs and expectations of our customers. Our experts can help you navigate a wide range of challenges in the new year including interoperability, cybersecurity, workflow automation, data preservation and migration, patient experience, consumerism, and positive patient identification. Ready to strategize?

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