Guest post by Pete Melrose, IBM Worldwide WebSphere Industry Marketing Manager, Healthcare & Life Sciences
Transformation of the healthcare and life sciences (HCLS) industry is finally happening, and with dramatic energy, driven by a fundamental shift in the expectations of all stakeholders: patients, providers, governments, payers, employers, manufacturers, research organizations and others. Today the market is rejecting the three major structural deficiencies that have resulted in the industry’s systemic challenges:
an over-emphasis on expensive advances in medical technology that yield incremental improvements in outcomes with inadequate consideration to cost;
the myopic focus on capacity for acute care to the detriment of wellness, prevention and population health strategies; and
the use of volume-based reimbursement models.
Most HCLS organizations realize that they must reconsider the consequences of their value proposition and its impact on the health and economic vitality of their institution and the individuals, communities and nations they serve. The leaders in the industry already are pushing innovation aggressively into the core of their business and service models, not to achieve incremental change, but to change fundamentally their way of thinking about the service they deliver. To do this, HCLS organizations are developing the competencies to redefine value to their stakeholders. Thoughtfully, they are assuming and managing risk and also focusing on wellness and outcomes in order to remain viable. As value becomes understood as a measure of health and well-being, organizations that respond are establishing the characteristics required for a more coordinated, efficient and purposeful healthcare system and HCLS ecosystem to emerge.
Though mandatory, the transformation to smarter healthcare is no small undertaking. No longer is the industry making incremental changes. There is dramatic energy to change, of a magnitude never seen before; which is forcing organizations to reconsider their business models, reorient their operations around the patient and re-imagine the future of healthcare. It also is forcing them to develop powerful, new competencies to meet the new demands of the market. HCLS organizations must collaborate with unfamiliar business partners, attract and retain a different mix of talent, adopt new information technologies (IT) and in some cases abandon traditional sources of revenue. For organizations to survive and thrive, they must make hard, thoughtful and informed decisions about every aspect of their operations.
Many HCLS organizations already have begun to develop new competencies to support strategic decision-making, while also building the organizational agility necessary to adapt to changing market and medical conditions. In working with hundreds of clients across the global HCLS ecosystem, IBM® has identified several essential competencies that prepare them for the future: collaboration and partnering, information proficiency, personalization of health, talent creation and retention, and IT enablement. The common thread connecting these essential competencies is “smarter processes” – the real-time application of process, decision and case management; supported by data management, connectivity and integration; and supplemented with retro-/prospective analysis, constant monitoring and optimization. Only IBM can provide the complete smarter process portfolio with the degree of reliability, scalability and security needed to meet the IT operating standards that healthcare and life sciences organizations require.
To learn more about this IT-intensive approach to enabling a re-imagined healthcare and life sciences ecosystem, please attend IBM's IMPACT 2013 event in Las Vegas, Nevada, Session 3059 on Tuesday, April 30, from 5:15 PM - 6:15 PM entitled, "Enabling the Expert Engaged Enterprise (E3) for HCLS with IBM Middleware and Analytics." Since the focus of HCLS organizations is the continuously operating homeostatic biological entity called the human body, every HCLS organization must become an expert engaged enterprise (E3) in order to maximize the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of health management, medical practice and healthcare delivery. The critical E3 characteristics are these: just-in-time is real-time, experts are everywhere, processes are predictive, decision-making is dynamic, systems and staff are symbiotic, and knowledge accrual is automatic. The session agenda includes a series of case studies with client video testimonials, followed by IBM subject matter expert discussion and demonstration of the software components required for HCLS E3 enablement, and concluding with ample time for attendee questions and discussion.
Read more HCLS blog posts in the 2012 industry series.
Find out more about IBM WebSphere software and solutions for Industry at Impact 2013.