03 Apr 2018

Move over. The healthcare consumer is taking the wheel.

With smartphones setting today’s standard for instant information, consumers’ expectations for data access are high. This, of course, includes their own healthcare data. Whether the data is generated inside or outside the healthcare system, consumers want to see it instantly. Add to this the recent demands for interoperability and connectivity coming from The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for HIT, as well as laws like the 21st Century Cures Act, and you have a healthcare system in which the consumer is sliding into the driver’s seat.

Consumerization is changing healthcare.
Faced with the rapidly evolving consumer experience, many industries have experienced challenges. Not long ago, financial investment customers found it difficult to transfer their accounts and financial records from one brokerage house to another due to cumbersome, manual file-transfer processes. But when investment firms began to provide customers with online account access, users quickly became accustomed to – and then demanded – this new level of service. As a result, the financial industry became more transparent and accountable.

A similar evolution is happening in health IT, with an arguably bigger impact. Enterprise imaging makes patient data available – not just within healthcare organizations, but to patients as well – enabling new levels of personalized care and empowering patients as active participants in their own care.

The road to patient-centered health.
As consumer demand for direct access to healthcare data expands, the focus on developing a secure and trusted framework intensifies. According to the ONC’s “interoperability roadmap,” as we approach the six-year agenda mark in 2020, the new standard for image sharing will be a secure and authorized open image exchange,* a critical step in data protection. Our next stop will be the ONC’s ten-year agenda in 2024. This is where we’ll arrive at the nationwide interoperability of a full learning health system.

The final destination.
Healthcare IT is headed toward improved patient health, lower healthcare costs and increased transparency. To learn more about the impact of healthcare consumerization, contact us.

* The Office of the National Coordinator for HIT’s Connecting Health and Care for the Nation: A Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap.