The transition between the old year and a new one is usually when people take stock of strategic issues. But another excellent time to do so is halfway through the year. A recap and readjustment can let you recalibrate your plans to make them more effective.
That makes this a good time to look at developing concerns of healthcare. These are all long-term considerations but, as such, they have short-term implications.
Cultural resistance to change
Change is the byword for the healthcare industry now and going forward for the foreseeable future. Much is unknown, as in regulations and economic realities, and much will have to change to improve health and decrease the cost of doing so.
There are also changes in how organizations are managed. Data and analysis have become more important than ever before, particularly as care providers turn to population health management and other ways of constraining costs through earlier interventions.
In most organizations, change clashes with the inertia of internal culture. Corporate cultures develop over time, are usually the indirect products of many factors, and don’t adapt easily. The single biggest challenge to moving provider organizations where they need to go is the barrier of culture.
Another issue is cost. It is a problem for consumers, for employers, for insurance companies, and for providers. The higher costs run, the fewer resources the organization has to address the costs and lower them.
That is why efficiency will be a key goal in virtually every area of operations. Unless you can reduce waste and increase economic effectiveness in the organization, it might lack the resources necessary to achieve the changes it needs. The little problems become like drips from faucets throughout a building. No single one is a big problem, but added together, the waste is phenomenal.
Cybersecurity is a topic that many in all types of businesses discuss but few manage well. It can be like an amorphous blob. You push back on one point and others try to slip ahead. For big companies, the issue becomes one of risk management. They can tolerate a certain amount of breaches because their losses, over time, are still less than the cost of making everything more airtight, as absolutely security isn’t possible. Security only has to be good enough.
But in healthcare, the loss of personal data is devastating. Not only can there be large penalties to pay, but the privacy and even the health of people can be in danger. In addition, should there be a large and public breach, the trust of patients may evaporate.
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