Important Trends in Healthcare

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Healthcare was a key discussion topic in the White House and Congress for most of 2017. In 2018 the healthcare industry will continue to experience rapid change. From blockchain tech to precision medicine and artificial intelligence, change in the healthcare system shows no signs of slowing down.

High-Value Care

A movement rather than a trend, high-value care is replacing healthcare’s volume-based model. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) list lower costs, better care for individuals, and better health for populations as three goals of value-based care. Primary care providers can deliver value-based care by considering the implementation of several models.

Collaborative Care Model (CCM)

The CCM model is a team-driven model that’s designed to provide care for a defined segment of patients like pediatrics or geriatrics. Its clinical decision making is marked by systematic reports that drive measurable disease outcomes, and it also uses evidence to allow teams to aim for improved health outcomes using scientifically proven treatments. It’s a model that works: according to a review of 79 studies, it’s linked to significant improvements in depression and anxiety incomes.

Patient-Centered Medical Home

The key characteristics of the patient-centered medical home include comprehensive care, where patients receive care for physical health, mental health, disease prevention, wellness, and acute and chronic conditions. The model is also patient-centered, as each healthcare practitioner partners with the patient and their family and makes an effort to understand and respect the patient’s unique culture, needs, values, and preferences. Coordinated care accessible services and a commitment to quality and safety are also key metrics to the patient-centered medical home model. It also shows great potential: according to 21 recent studies, it’s demonstrated an improvement in cost metrics.

Independence at Home

A key metric in the independence at home model is a demonstration of greater accountability as healthcare providers spend more time with their patients and therefore carry greater responsibility for the patient’s care. The model also focuses on timely and appropriate care, as well as insuring care-team leadership provided by a physician or an NP. A Medicare demonstration improved quality performance and cut costs by 11% over two years.

Technology Takeover

Blockchain technology, patient data analytics, and AI are becoming a reality. This reality is one ripe with many opportunities in healthcare.

Blockchain Opportunities in Healthcare

Blockchain technology’s capacity to generate complete transaction histories would curtail Medicare fraud, an issue that’s costs an estimated $30 billion over the last 20 years. Its decentralized nature would also offer a new approach to security, as its data is traceable and unalterable. Blockchain tech could also drive a smart payment system, which would help make claims processing more efficient. Additionally, it could improve healthcare providers’ capacity to have timely access to electronic health records, leading to better patient treatment.

Patient Data Analytics

A dedication to analyzing patient data will lead to improvements in population health. It’s also driven by the belief that critical decisions affecting treatment should be based on reliable, real-time data. In order to bring fairness to healthcare, transparency in inpatient data is also vital.

Artificial Intelligence

Studies show that 88% of consumers are willing to share data derived from AI-infused “wearables” with healthcare professionals. AI could be a valuable tool for physicians and nurses, as deploying smart machines to amplify their natural abilities, performance, and quality will be improved. AI is not an intimidating concept to patients, as two in three individuals would use AI-based after-hours services. Robots could also provide caregiver relief by reminding patients to take medication and leading patients through exercises.

Precision Medicine

Precision medicine is an innovative approach that takes into consideration individual differences in people’s genes, environments, and lifestyles. The promise of precision medicine gives medical professionals the resources they need to target specific illness treatments, further the development of scientific and medical research, and keeps families healthier.

Precision medicine can help reduce acute hospital admissions resulting from medication side-effects and adverse reactions. This can also lead to shifting treatment from conditions to predictive and preventative care. Additionally, precision medicine can use data to spot prescription inefficiencies. It can be used to study how genes affect a person’s response to particular drugs, as well.

The Method for Introducing a New Competency Genomics (MINC) Toolkit

The MINC Toolkit is designed for healthcare practitioners interested in integrating genomics into their practice. This process is built upon an action plan, where organizations must first assess their teams and resources, identify challenges learn needs, and observe the attitudes of their workforce toward adopting genomics. Additionally, the MINC toolkit offers examples, tips, and strategies of organizations that have already implemented genomics.

Changes for Nurses

Genome sequencing will display DNA perturbations that increase the risk of certain illnesses and conditions. Nurses also will have access to genetic information that will allow personalized, tailored treatments.

There are a few challenges. For instance, nurses will need a more in-depth knowledge of each patient’s disease profile as opposed to just general diagnosis. Possibly the biggest obstacle in fully adopting precision medicine is time, as collaborations among patients, healthcare practitioners, and researchers are vital.


Though trends bring the promise of exciting change, change isn’t always embraced. In healthcare, trends like AI, data, and precision medicine aim to improve the quality of care and population health. Advanced practice nurses must do their part to embrace and lead change by staying cognizant of developments. That way, they’ll be better equipped to work together with other healthcare practitioners and educate their patients.

Learn more by checking out the infographic below created by Duquesne University’s Online School of Nursing

How technological advances and analytical innovation are driving the direction of the ever-changing healthcare industry.

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About Duquesne University’s online Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree Program

Duquesne University’s innovative DNP program provides skills, training, and education for future nurse leaders. The 100 percent online curriculum allows experienced healthcare professionals to work from anywhere at any time. The university’s DNP program builds on existing skills in preparation for roles in public policy, education, and leadership.

Additional Reading

Duquesne University Blog, “2017 Healthcare Policy Trends for Nurses”
Duquesne University Blog, “Trends in Nursing Management”