Every year, tens of thousands descend on San Francisco in early January for the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference. Rooms are packed, copious notes taken, and important discussions are had about the future of the industry.
To me, JPM19 came down to this: While hospitals and health systems have developed the core tenets of their care platform, 2019 presents unprecedented opportunity to add new layers of innovative solutions that will allow for rapid development of new, profitable opportunities.
Two factors drive this seize-the-moment opportunity for hospitals and health systems: scale and integrated EHR technology.
Market consolidation has paved the way for economies of scale and market share gains, creating leverage to make a larger impact beyond traditional catchment areas. EHR integration primes the pump for rapid uptake of add-on technologies to improve quality, decrease costs and improve patient satisfaction.
The industry is actively being disrupted. To maximize opportunity and avoid roadblocks, hospitals and health systems need look no further than these six strategies (with some sensibilities garnered from Clayton Christenson’s The Innovator’s Dilemma weaved in):
1. Mandate to innovate.
Have a management environment of swift innovation. Understand that this magic moment won’t last long and that the mantra of “this is how we have done things” won’t suffice in this market. Allow for the potentiality of failure but get there sooner and pivot.
2. Know your core competency.
You can’t always do everything in your own house. Understand that partners with vertical solutions will be the fastest and most efficient way to expand the impact on efficient outcomes and meaningful market share gains.
3. Focus on the next need.
Patients are now buyers with choices. They care less about allegiance and more about convenience. Prioritize the patient experience and anticipate a patient’s needs before they do. Steve Jobs thought this way about Apple’s innovation process.
4. Add value for current patients.
Your current patients are your greatest asset. Create competitive advantage by surprising and delighting them at every turn. Deliver educational marketing directly related to their needs via the latest technology.
5. Move beyond the walls.
In 2019, “healthcare has no address.” Embrace digital & virtual care solution partnerships to help untether from the brick-and-mortar sensibility defining the “old era” of hospital success.
6. Create a Golden Thread.
Applied analytics pave the way for new opportunity. The hospitals and health systems that can track and know a patient across EHRs and throughout their journey stand to have a greater impact on health outcomes and retain more value. Track propensity for healthcare issues among the “healthy half” to know and grow the wellness/preventative side of the market equation. Earn that relationship now for the day when they move to the “other half.” Essentially, automate predictive health models.
This is the most exciting time to be in healthcare in a generation, if not ever. These conditions mandate and reward those who innovate. Hospitals and their selected solution providers who can both innovate and demonstrate new value will be the ones that inherit this new, expanded vision of healthcare.