It’s Battleground time! Acceleration Economy this week is hosting Industry Cloud Battleground, and I’m delighted to play a role in the event. As a healthcare analyst for Acceleration Economy, I’m participating in the healthcare roundtable, and I will be joining attendees in a discussion of the presentations throughout the day.
Each day this week, Industry Cloud Battleground will focus on a different industry; the focus on the healthcare industry takes place on Tuesday, November 16. Following are a few of the key issues that I expect to learn about from the vendors who are presenting: Google Cloud, Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce, SAP, and Workday.
Industry clouds for healthcare are evolving at a dizzying pace. There’s been a huge focus over the past year on patient-centered care. One use case that has emerged is patient portals, and the opportunity to extend and integrate these portals with other enterprise systems. A key consideration of patient portals is the need for interoperability between both clinical and finance systems.
Not only are patient-centered portals useful for patients to have a single view into clinical data, appointments, lab results, etc., but increasingly we see the addition of finance capabilities. Functions like payor integration and extending to billing departments to allow for a one-stop experience for the patient are becoming mainstream. It will be interesting to hear how the industry cloud providers — who are also leaders in supply chain, revenue planning, and ERP — are helping customers manage and improve these processes.
One of the biggest areas of recent growth has been telehealth and virtual care. I expect virtual health will continue to prosper once we get through the Covid pandemic, in part because virtual care is vital to overcoming social determinants in care. Virtual care eliminates many of the social factors that affect care outcomes in underserved populations. For instance, it can help lessen healthcare access issues based on race, gender, or even a patient’s neighborhood.
As healthcare organizations continue extending services beyond the walls of clinics, hospitals, and health system networks, we see use cases for integrating with other platforms and applications. For example, providers are increasingly collaborating on care and treatment plans. Cloud-based collaboration also becomes an invaluable toolset for organizations that may be struggling with staffing shortages or financial issues associated with wage increases.
Given the growing importance of addressing, and relieving, organizational stress from staff and other concerns, remote cloud-based care and collaboration need to work seamlessly, regardless of whether the patient and care team are in the same room or across the world. Integration with traditional apps becomes paramount and helps drive productivity and patient flow. This, in turn, can help with patient access to care, help break down social barriers, and reduce staffing pressure.
In addition, smart scheduling, cost savings, and staff engagement are all enhanced with cloud-based collaboration. And those improvements can lead to increased productivity and a better work-life balance.
A discussion of industry clouds for healthcare wouldn’t be complete without tackling the issue of data interoperability across platforms and systems. Interoperability is important in the clinical space, in facilitating exchange between providers and patients, and in the payor-payee relationship.
There’s also the closely related issue of data security. We are seeing more healthcare payment-related fraud. Misdirected claim payments and fraudulent Medicare and Medicaid charges require organizations to harden security in the complex interconnected systems involving patients, providers, and payers.
In addition, healthcare organizations must consider the clinical care and fraud components of payor-payee engagement, and streamline the process for patients to settle balances. This becomes important as the rules around payments and wellness evolve.
There are many other aspects to healthcare clouds. Other promising use cases for tele-health include virtual behavioral health and substance use disorders. Remote care has grown exponentially, and healthcare organizations must now strengthen bottom lines.
The accelerated growth in the healthcare industry has been remarkable. As someone who not only follows industry developments as an analyst but is also a founder of a service and product company in the healthcare technology space, I’m looking forward to learning more about patient-centered care, cloud collaboration, and interoperability.
Join the Acceleration Economy community to see how each of these vendors industry cloud offerings have evolved as they plan for this next phase of growth in healthcare in 2022 and beyond. See you there!