PwC’s Health Research Institute Issues Report: Next Few Years Will be Crucial for Health Systems

PwC’s Health Research Institute (HRI) releases a new report, Healthcare delivery of the future: How digital technology can bridge the gap of time and distance between clinicians and consumers. The report reveals a shift in attitudes among clinicians, suggesting an increased openness toward using digital technology, and offers detailed recommendations for how healthcare companies, clinicians, and new entrants can harness developing technologies to benefit patients and the industry.

“Digitally-enabled care is no longer nice-to-have, it’s fundamental for delivering high quality care,” said Daniel Garrett, health information technology practice leader, PwC US.  “Just as the banking and retail sectors today use data and technology to improve efficiency, raise quality, and expand services, healthcare must either do the same or lose patients to their competitors who do so.”

As part of its research, HRI surveyed 1,000 industry leaders, physicians, nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants, including members of the board of the eHealth Initiative, finding that caregivers and consumers share similar views on how digital technology can:

“The adoption and integration of digital technology with existing healthcare processes has not yet fulfilled its potential to transform care and value for patients,” said Simon Samaha, MD, Principal, PwC. “The next five years will be critical, with leaders emerging from those who use digital technology to innovate and revamp the interactions between consumers, providers and payers.”

Through its survey and interviews with 25 healthcare executives, HRI found that leaders across health plans, hospitals and the pharmaceutical industry all anticipate major shifts in how care is delivered. However, data-sharing, consumer consent, privacy and security, fragmented workflows and digital investment constitute barriers.

As the report details, HRI’s recommendations for healthcare companies include:

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