The 5 fundamental challenges to address
Healthcare systems differ greatly across countries and regions. It is challenged by many external factors to deliver higher levels of service at constant or even lower cost, which means simple efficiency measures are no longer sufficient.
Most of the existing healthcare systems have proven to be inefficient and outdated. Many countries are struggling to address increased costs, inadequate quality care, insufficient levels of service vs. expectations, and problematic access to treatment. These challenges are further exacerbated by predicted changes in client demographics in the healthcare systems. As a result there are a number of fundamental challenges that healthcare providers in developed and developing countries face.
- Shift of Disease Type While communicable diseases are expected to decrease, the share of chronic diseases has risen from 1990 to now. Physicians will be further forced to shift from ‘one-time intervention’ to on-going treatment of multiple diseases combined with long-term care in case of related disabilities.
- Population Growth and Ageing in Developing Countries The population of the 49 least-developed countries is expected to grow nearly twice as fast as the rest of the developed countries. And where the share of 30 adults and elderly in this pool of underdeveloped countries now accounts for about 40%, it will within 20 years be close to 50%.
- Customer Centric Providers and Wastes in Existing (Non-) Clinical Processes Existing medical facilities function with a predominant provider point of view, causing the customer to feel unacknowledged and to share their negative experiences with their peers. Unlike other sectors, personal and peer experience is one of the key drivers for provider selection. First steps to customer centricity require current processes to be examined for waste and redesigned to eliminate waste. The patient has to be the driver behind these improvement efforts.
- Lack of Qualified Professionals Due to pressures on healthcare systems over the world there is an urgent need for skilled medical and support staff. Despite this fact it seems that many facilities have not yet developed, let alone implemented adequate strategies to optimise usage of available skills and building of new capacity.
- Stakeholders Integration The overall healthcare system encompassing providers, enablers, payers, patients and regulators has to be aligned. Misalignment can be observed at enabler side with physician centred delivery of care with little regards to the role of support staff or patients. At public side financial and regulatory policies are not sufficiently aligned with broader country and regional healthcare agendas.
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