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What’s next in health care I think are three major trends that our global conference in Rome identified late last year. The first global trend that I think is going to be very, very pertinent for health systems is using patients as partners.
Now, what do I mean by that? Well patients either can create value, or they can destroy value, and a health care system can see patients as passive recipients of care, or active partners in care.
There’s an increasing body of evidence both in North America, Europe, and indeed in parts of Asia, that starting to partner with patients produces better health outcomes at lower costs. So that’s the first big thing that I see globally in health care.
The second big thing that I see in health care, partly stimulated by the financial crisis, is that most health care systems in the world now are realizing and coming to understand that transformation of a health system is really very important if that country’s finances are to be sustainable.
Now, the natural response of health systems pre-the financial crisis, was to think about transactional efficiencies, so making hospitals more efficient and lean, making payrolls more active, efficient, and lean. But actually thinking about payrolls and providers, and developed and developing countries, people are now realizing that you can’t really just transact your way out of trouble.
And because of the rising population, the aging population, and the explosion of long-term conditions or co-morbidities, we have to think about transformation of health systems.
The third big trend that I see, and possibly the most fashionable word in the global health care lexicon, is integration. So people understanding now that trying to make improvements in little care pathways, or indeed larger care pathways, is necessary but no longer sufficient.
So thinking about actually integrating care from the patient’s perspective, creating new value chains, that look at primary care, secondary care, domicile recare, and community care, and not organizing that care in silos, but starting to rearrange all of those care pathways to provide personalized, highly specific care programs for patients, especially with long-term conditions.
So they’re the three big what next trends that I can see. And the good news is, because everyone’s got something to teach, and everyone’s got something to learn, our global network in KPMG is right at the forefront of some of those debates giving solutions to our clients.
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