Predictions for Healthcare Technology Trends in 2022 by Wolters Kluwer


Building trust in an age of digital information overload

Digital health investment in 2021 has focused mostly on technology innovation and workflow improvements. What I’m seeing in the digital health space is akin to the implementation of EMRs, which really focused on the technology itself and not the content inside, which creates the experience for both clinical users and consumers. What’s missing from digital health strategy, and what providers will need to focus on in 2022, is increasing access to high-quality, evidence-based health content that consumers and providers alike can trust and understand. This ease of access is crucially important to overcome the infodemic of COVID-19, with an influx of misleading and rapidly evolving information we’ve seen expand across all areas of healthcare. Effective, engaging digital health requires more than the right technology, but a full-fledged experience that informs and motivates consumers towards evidence-based action.

    – Jason Burum, General Manager, Healthcare Provider Segment, Clinical Effectiveness, at Wolters Kluwer, Health

More compliance, less burden

The pressures of COVID-19 spurred USP to issue interim guidance that provided flexibility for compounding pharmacies, but 2022 is likely to represent a return to stricter compliance. In September, USP issued a Notice of Intent to Revise (NITR) for both USP <797> and USP <795>. With COVID-19 cases continuing to surge across the country, I anticipate hospitals and pharmacy staff in 2022 will increasingly rely on expert solutions and technology to automate and standardize compounding operations in accordance with best practices and the latest compliance requirements. Burnout and technician shortages are happening in pharmacies too and software tools will help alleviate burdens pharmacy staff face right now.

  – Annie Lambert, PharmD, BCSCP, Clinical Program Manager for Compliance Solutions for Clinical Surveillance & Compliance, Wolters Kluwer, Health

Pitting AI against HAIs

Data show that while hospitals have allocated more resources to infection prevention and control efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, it has largely come at the expense of controlling other far too common healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). It’s true that a larger volume of sicker patients at higher risk of infection and sepsis have been admitted to the hospital over the last year, but the CDC concluded that 2020 increases in HAIs were also a result of lacking surge capacity and other operational challenges. Looking ahead to 2022, as hospitals take aim at controlling all HAIs in addition to COVID-19 with more resilient care teams, they will be looking more closely than ever at AI-powered technology to support proactive and real-time monitoring of patients to empower staff with quick risk identification abilities and opportunities for earlier clinical intervention.

  – Mackenzie Weise, MPH, CIC, Infection Prevention Clinical Program Manager for Clinical Surveillance & Compliance, Wolters Kluwer, Health

Telemedicine grows up

Contrary to some news stories, telemedicine will prove resilient well past the pandemic and will establish itself as a permanent, significant fixture in the healthcare ecosystem. In 2022, I expect healthcare providers themselves will strengthen and formalize training to research and promote telehealth best practices to their clinicians. It’s already happening, and I expect to see specialties like mental health and urgent care shifting to a predominantly virtual model in 2022. Ultimately, I believe that the rise of telehealth will drive more dialogue around modes of access as an issue not only of tech but also equity in the years to come. This in turn will have big impacts in the future of medical practice.

   – Vikram Savkar, Vice President & General Manager, Medicine Segment of Health Learning, Research & Practice

Accelerating changes to clinical practice with new evidence

Health systems are still grappling with the far-reaching effects of the pandemic, yet their focus on quality improvement amid the broader shift to value-based care must continue. Quality improvement research initiatives at these organizations hold the key to better patient outcomes and financial performance, but these are time-intensive programs that make it difficult to efficiently surface and implement new evidence into clinical practice. In the wake of a pandemic that laid bare weaknesses of our current delivery system, I anticipate an accelerated uptake of tools and solutions designed to shorten the cycle between identification of clinical problems and implementation of clinical solutions based on evidence.

   – Vikram Savkar, Vice President & General Manager, Medicine Segment of Health Learning, Research & Practice

Virtual simulation and technology transforms nursing school

In 2022, advanced technology like virtual simulation and online learning will become more valuable and commonplace in nursing education. And with critical nursing shortages, the technology can eliminate traditional roadblocks such as a lack of physical training sites as well as potentially staffing challenges with flexible solutions for faculty. To get nurses up and running, technology tools can strengthen NCLEX prep and clinical judgement preparation and ensure nurses enter the workforce prepared for the realities of real-world practice (e.g., clinical decision-making and a diverse patient population and practice environment).

   – Julie Stegman, Vice President, Nursing Segment of Health Learning, Research & Practice business at Wolters Kluwer

Resilience is key to retaining the nursing workforce

Resilience has been one of the biggest challenges in nursing since COVID-19 first appeared, and it’s only getting worse. We knew there was a nursing shortage, and that many nurses were already feeling stressed and overworked. COVID-19 has only brought this problem to the forefront. Nurses are exhausted, morally injured, burnt out, with many considering leaving the profession earlier than they normally would. Looking ahead, healthcare organizations will need to make substantial, proactive efforts to foster resiliency and workforce wellbeing to combat the staffing crisis and academic institutions need to solve for the lack of faculty that are needed to educate our future nurses. 2022 will focus on restoring a safe work environment with adequate personal protective equipment, and staffing models that are based on acuity of the patients and competencies of the workforce.

   – Anne Dabrow Woods, DNP, RN, CRNP, ANP-BC, AGACNP-BC, FAAN, Chief Nurse of Wolters Kluwer, Health, Learning, Research and Practice

Care models will experience a necessary shift

To meet patient needs effectively and efficiently, healthcare models must migrate from traditional nurse-to-patient staffing models to a more agile one in times of crisis, that facilitates flexibility and supports the best care for patients. Staffing must be based on acuity of patients and competency of the workforce. In times of crisis, team-based care models accompanied by an increase in float pool nurses, will allow hospitals to mitigate hardships caused by future public health events or insufficient staffing. Increasing the number of nurses in float pools that are specially cross-trained across adjacent specialties, will help alleviate pressure on the staff. Being able to be flexible and adjust care models based on facility need will boost organizational and individual nurse confidence in their ability to deliver excellent patient care to patients across care settings — something that has become even more crucial in the aftermath of a global pandemic.

   – Anne Dabrow Woods, DNP, RN, CRNP, ANP-BC, AGACNP-BC, FAAN, Chief Nurse of Wolters Kluwer, Health, Learning, Research and Practice

Building health equity into health data

The COVID-19 pandemic put a spotlight on health disparities in the U.S. and the industry can no longer turn a blind eye. 2022 will be a pivotal year for making healthcare data help and not hinder the bigger goal of delivering the best care everywhere. How data collection, standardization and exchange can be improved is becoming urgent. The critical success factor will be unlocking the 80% of healthcare data that is in unstructured form and making it widely accessible and actionable for stakeholders across care settings.

   – Karen Kobelski, Vice President and General Manager of Clinical Surveillance Compliance & Data Solutions, Wolters Kluwer, Health

Restoring payer insights

Delayed and forgone care during the pandemic will inevitably lead to inaccurate incomplete assessments of patient health status, projected healthcare needs, and predicted cost of care by payers in 2022. Traditionally, payers look at the last year to figure out what they’re going to do differently the next year; that won’t be a good proxy this time. Payers will have to take a deeper dive into all corners of a member’s record, go back more than the past year and improve the way in which they leverage data to identify clinical insights that can better inform care moving forward.

   – Karen Kobelski, Vice President and General Manager of Clinical Surveillance Compliance & Data Solutions, Wolters Kluwer, Health

Company: Wolters Kluwer Health

Wolters Kluwer Health, a leading global provider of trusted clinical technology and evidence-based solutions that engage clinicians, patients, researchers and students with advanced clinical decision support, learning and research and clinical intelligence.

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