The healthcare industry has undergone massive changes in the past several years. From the implementation of telehealth, which allows patients to have video or telephone consults with their healthcare providers, to the use of healthcare analytics, which leverages data sets and algorithms to predict patient outcomes, the landscape is rapidly evolving. Consequently, it’s paramount that healthcare administrators stay on top of current and emerging trends in the industry.
Professionals who are interested in taking their careers to the next level may find that completing an advanced degree can provide them with the skills and knowledge to remain at the forefront of the healthcare field. An online Master of Health Administration degree, with a Health Informatics and Data Analytics concentration, provides students with the practical experience to take on new responsibilities as health care evolves.
Why Telehealth Is Among the Most Important Healthcare Industry Trends
Telehealth has become increasingly utilized by hospitals and clinics across the country, and since its inception, it has enabled thousands of individuals to receive care. This technology has revolutionized the healthcare landscape because it has led to fundamental changes in how and where services are provided.
For example, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has begun to use telehealth and telepsychology technologies to ensure veterans can receive adequate care regardless of the time or their location. It’s also being used to help increase access to care among children in rural areas. In addition to reducing the need for families to travel to a doctor’s office, telehealth has helped to mitigate the primary care provider shortage commonly seen in rural communities.
Healthcare administrators need to understand how to guide and implement telehealth systems and procedures. This includes staying abreast of the laws regarding reimbursements from insurance providers, as the policies can vary widely by state, practice and insurance company, in addition to reviewing and modifying policies for specific patient populations.
The Role of Big Data in Healthcare
The increased use of big data, including algorithms used to draw conclusions from large data sets, is transforming the field of healthcare. For example, in August 2019, Forbes reported that a computer program is helping to personalize drug treatments. The program’s algorithm “uses genetic information from millions of patients to predict the effects of drug therapy that is personalized to each individual using their specific genetic makeup.”
The article also highlights a computational algorithm used by cancer researchers “to analyze data obtained from tumor samples to better understand and treat cancer. [The algorithm] uses advanced mathematics to identify patterns across multiple molecular data types, such as gene expression and genetic mutations, that when taken together can accurately predict what treatments would be best for a given patient.”
Healthcare administration professionals who complete an online Master of Health Administration with a Health Informatics and Data Analytics concentration from Duquesne University will understand how to decipher large quantities of data. Remaining current on this healthcare industry trend will also help healthcare administrators understand how to leverage data to improve patients’ lives.
Using AI and Other New Technologies to Improve Patient Care
The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare is also increasing. In addition to using machine learning to find patterns that can’t readily be spotted by humans, clinics have found they can use AI to make accurate predictions about what may happen in the future. An example of this would be using data sets and algorithms to determine the probability that a patient will have a heart attack within four months.In February 2019, Forbes reported that hospital executives believe AI has the potential to cut costs, improve treatment and increase accessibility. Other takeaways on AI and healthcare:
- Top AI applications in healthcare include robot-assisted surgery, virtual nursing assistance, fraud detection, dosage error reduction and preliminary diagnosis.
- AI applications are being used to make operational costs less expensive, improve how patients interact with healthcare providers, and develop new products and services that use algorithms to provide health advice and diagnoses to patients.
- AI investment in healthcare is expected to reach $6.6 billion by 2021.
- The top AI applications in healthcare may result in annual savings of $150 billion by 2026.
As such, healthcare administration professionals with a background in health informatics and data analytics are likely to be better positioned as leaders who can use their skills to make a positive impact.
Learn More About Duquesne University’s Online MHA Program
Professionals who are interested in acquiring the specialized skills and knowledge they’ll need to stay on top of emergent healthcare industry trends will be well served by completing an advanced education. The online Master of Health Administration with a Health Informatics and Data Analytics concentration at Duquesne University has been designed to provide healthcare administrators with the tools and technological acumen they’ll need to succeed. Graduates often find they understand how to promote value-based care by developing systems that support collaborative, data-driven decisions. Discover how Duquesne University can help you take the next step in your career today.