With 2017 winding to a close, many leaders in the healthcare industry have already turned their attentions to 2018. From budgeting talks and strategy discussions, these individuals are looking for any and all opportunities to grow their healthcare organizations and improve patient outcomes. But it’s important to remember that just because the calendar changes, it doesn’t mean that your vision for the future is being drawn on a blank slate.

Instead, your healthcare planning for the New Year should focus upon the successes you experienced in 2017, and be designed to avoid making the same mistakes. And of course, you’ve got to assess the larger prevailing themes that define the healthcare industry, too.

2017, for instance, was declared by Forbes to be the Year of the Empowered Customer. Healthcare leaders continue to emphasize customer experience as a key competitive differentiator. Similarly, patients have greater access to information, and technologies, too.

Healthcare Trends to Expect in 2018:

Customer Experience Goes Introspective

There’s no question that customer experience will continue to drive healthcare leaders in 2018, but it’s now time to shift the focus inward. By integrating solutions into your organization that will make the lives of your personnel easier, they’ll be happier, more productive, engaged and aligned with your corporate vision. Not only will this support improvements to internal processes, but it will also help to foster better relationships between your personnel and patients.

Last Mile Delivery Challenges Circumvented with Telehealth

Last mile delivery is another angle of the customer experience issue, and was a big factor for retail pharmacies in 2017. Major chains, threatened by the potential entry into the market by Amazon, made significant pushes to make it easier for pharmacy items to make it the last mile down the supply chain from the store location into the individual’s home. Look for telehealth services to keep eating into this market in 2018, circumventing traditional retail models and using advanced telecommunications capabilities to get practitioners directly into the homes of patients.

Healthcare Heads to Washington

The Trump Administration and a Republican-led Congress made the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act a top priority for 2017, which kept healthcare in the spotlight all year. And after the Administration failed to pass any healthcare reform, it seemed the matter was settled. However, elements of the earlier healthcare debate have made their way into the tax reform legislation that has been debated throughout December. It is possible that this legislation will be signed into law before the New Year begins, potentially setting the course for the year right out of the gate.

Ultimately, only time will tell what the New Year has in store for the healthcare industry. Discover how Trapollo can help your organization stay ahead of the competition no matter what 2018 brings.

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