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Building a healthier healthcare industry

Building a healthier healthcare industry

Customer centricity, innovation, partnerships, collaboration, data and technology will all be essential factors in the success of healthcare organisations in a competitive, demanding future.

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The Australian healthcare industry is under increasing pressure from many angles. Consumers want more transparent, affordable, flexible and effective treatment. Healthcare organisations are facing heightened demand due to an ageing population and a rise in chronic health issues. They need more streamlined processes and the ability to keep pace with treatment advances – and all while reducing costs.

As explored in the KPMG report Healthcare reimagined: Innovation trends, predictions and actions for healthcare leaders, technology innovations are spearheading change, both in terms of consumer expectations and healthcare service offerings.

However, while technology is a vital part of healthcare’s future, it is not the only change needed for organisations to remain relevant. Amid all the pressures, what should healthcare providers do?

Change must come from within

To begin, leaders must consider the future state of the industry and where they are best suited to operate, while defining the essential capabilities to achieve this. They need to foster a culture of innovation, with a multi-faceted approach to meet continual challenges. Healthcare leaders must build a workforce that is able to quickly adapt and evolve.

It will help to look outward to knowledge and developments beyond their traditional circle of influence. Embracing viable partnership opportunities (that also have the potential for monetisation) is key, including engaging with start-ups that offer unique solutions. In these partnerships, organisations need to develop a framework that supports the exploration and incubation of new ideas.

Putting the customer first

Every step of a patient’s healthcare journey must involve optimal care, operational efficiency and connectivity. New services should provide transparency for the patient, ensuring they have access to information – from health conditions to treatments to pricing – that is provided to them through a digital platform of their choice.

This is not, of course, in the hope of having repeat customers; but rather to ensure the best journey for every consumer, while freeing up facilities, encouraging positive word-of-mouth, and keeping operations running at peak, and cost-effective, efficiency.

Encouraging collaboration

Remaining relevant in future will require deep collaboration between healthcare providers, with silos removed between organisations and departments. For health professionals in multidisciplinary, fragmented environments, training that brings disparate groups together can encourage the sharing of information and result in better patient outcomes.

Embracing data

In addition to sharing knowledge, cross-organisational collaboration can also be facilitated through data.

The adoption of a standardised clinical healthcare terminology, such as SNOMED CT (Systematised Nomenclature of Medicine – Clinical Terms), would be a significant first step in improving the quality of data collected – which will lead to better insights for patient care.

Additional data can be captured via a range of consumers, from smartphones to wearable sensors – all feeding patient-specific details directly into a robust Electronic Medical Record system.

Focus on technology

Having the right technology to collect, analyse and share this data is essential. Organisations need a technology ecosystem that is open to new collaboration models and new capabilities, including data collected from the Internet of Things which can unlock valuable information about patient health in real-time.

Continual change

For healthcare providers, the years ahead will be challenging, with the need to provide the best possible healthcare services and customer experience while keep costs under control. Customer centricity, innovation, partnerships, collaboration, data and technology will all be essential to embrace, to ensure organisations are flexible enough to deal with any disruption.

Find out more about the trends and predictions within healthcare, in KPMG’s Healthcare reimagined: Innovation trends, predictions and actions for healthcare leaders.

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