The healthcare industry has seen a great deal of massive shifting in the last decade. Looking back, most professionals agree that it was necessary to jump into the future. The medical community was notorious for being slow to adapt to changes, especially technological advances. A lot of different advances have been costly to incorporate and confusing to organize, but they have reaped marked improvements in patient payment, compliance, and treatment outcomes.

As you plan ahead for 2019 and beyond, it’s helpful to keep current on the trends that are becoming apparent in the industry. The following list can give you some ideas on the types of protocols other organizations are implementing to determine whether they’ll benefit your facility.

Top Trends in Healthcare for 2019

  • The Opioid Crisis. Pain management considerations have been a major pain point for the medical community in the last few years. 2018 saw shifts in the way that opioids were regulated for prescription with new regulations set by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. You need to consider more than the regulatory requirements here because this epidemic has also sparked fear in patients. In 2019, you’ll see a continued need for ongoing training of staff and more concentration on way to improve pain management techniques. This is a fine balancing point, as many physicians have noted that a tightening of regulations on prescription drugs may force patients who have serious medical need to find unhealthy alternatives.
  • The Nursing Shortage. Currently, there is an explosion of need for RNs without the number of trained Registered Nurses to fill the open positions. For your organization, this may mean creative ways to schedule current nurses, different avenues to support their needs, and more consideration on the type of benefits you’re offering to entice quality staff to fill the ranks at your facility.
  • More Emphasis on Patient-Centric Medicine and Precision Medicine. Not long ago, these advances may have seemed like science fiction, but you can be sure that the patient-centric approach to diagnostics and patient care will continue to evolve. You’ll see more advances in precision medicine with global leaders continuing to work on precision medicine using analytics and genomics.
  • Artificial Intelligence Is On the Rise. You’ll see more use of AI across all departments in healthcare. Major manufacturers have added AI solutions to their software, so it’s likely that you’re already using some of these tools in your day-to-day, and they will grow exponentially over the coming years. AI can help your team manage and organize the enormous amount of data at your disposal in order to use the information more proactively. This can be an excellent benefit in pharmaceuticals to determine price costs, which physicians prescribe a higher quantity of specific medications, and whether generic substitutes can save cost for the organization and patient. AI is advancing to help with personalized patient care, and projections for the facility as well as the community’s overall health risks.
  • Added Positions to Manage Technology. Many organizations have found the need to create entirely new role to manage the sheer volume of information and new protocols available through innovations in AI and software solutions. New titles, such as Chief Data Analytics Officer or Chief Nursing Informatics Officer will become more common across the industry. This offers your organization an excellent oversight of the systems you’ve put in place with a professional who can bridge the knowledge of your staff with the analytics available through technology.

In 2019, look for the continuation of trends in technology and the need to provide a cultural environment of staff satisfaction in your organization.