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Why Healthcare Leaders Worldwide Are Rebooting Priorities

Image courtesy of Wavebreakmedia Ltd FUS1406 / Alamy Stock Photo Healthcare priorities get a reboot, photo of a red "reboot" button
Healthcare leaders are re-evaluating priorities to address key challenges coming out of the pandemic, according to a new report published by Philips.

The world has changed. Now it's time for healthcare to change with it. 

Based on research from nearly 3,000 respondents conducted across 15 countries, Royal Philips' Future Health Index (FHI) 2022 report: ‘Healthcare hits reset: Priorities shift as healthcare leaders navigate a changed world’. Now in its seventh year, the Future Health Index 2022 report explores how industry leaders are harnessing the power of data and digital technology as they look to address their key challenges coming out of the pandemic.

The 2022 report paints a picture of a sector that is radically re-evaluating priorities as it strives to deliver improved patient care.

“As we emerge from the pandemic, healthcare leaders worldwide are embarking on a reboot,” said Jan Kimpen, chief medical officer at Philips. “Many are refocusing on both new and existing priorities, from addressing staff shortages and extending care delivery, to leveraging big data and predictive analytics.”

Below are some of the key takeaways from the report.

Staff satisfaction and retention top the priority list for healthcare leaders

Image courtesy of Robert Kneschke / Alamy Stock PhotoTired nurse sits with head in hands during the global healthcare staff shortage.

Globally, around one in three healthcare leaders (30%) say staff satisfaction and retention combined is a top priority. However, what is driving this priority differs from country to country, the authors note. For example, in the United States and Germany staff satisfaction and retention is driven by the 'great resignation’. In India, the ever-increasing demand for more health professionals is the predominant driver. Across all countries, healthcare leaders’ investments in digital technologies will help to improve the staff experience.

While data is seen as an enabler, the potential of predictive analytics remains unfulfilled

Image courtesy of RUSLAN NESTERENKO / Alamy Stock VectorPredictive Healthcare Analytics Graphic.png

Healthcare leaders have confidence in predictive analytics with 71% trusting predictive analytics in clinical settings, and 72% in operational settings. Overall, industry leaders see the positive impact of predictive analytics, particularly in health outcomes, patient experience and staff experience, and more than half (56%) have already adopted, or are in the process of adopting, predictive analytics in some form. However, uptake remains uneven, with a marked difference in adoption among developed and emerging countries (65% vs 48%). The FHI 2022 research also indicates even those who are furthest along in adoption of predictive analytics are not leveraging the full potential of the technology.

Overcoming the barriers to effective data use is crucial to gain widespread adoption

While confident in the value of data, healthcare leaders remain frustrated by ongoing barriers to effective data usage, including siloed data (51%) and infrastructure limitations (23%). With cyberattacks increasingly targeting the healthcare sector, one in five (21%) cite concerns about data privacy and security as a top barrier to using data to its full potential. They also say greater data security and privacy systems and protocols are the top way to strengthen their trust in predictive analytics in both clinical (38%) and operational (35%) settings. Additionally, only 19% of healthcare leaders have all the internal expertise they need to fully use the data they have available, while 24% cite the availability of data specialists as a top factor in helping to better utilize data. Despite seeing the potential of data, as a result of these frustrations, nearly half of healthcare leaders (48%) view data as more of a burden than an asset today.

Leaders are fast-tracking social responsibility 

The pandemic threw a spotlight on health inequality and industry leaders are responding. One-quarter (25%) see addressing health inequality as a priority today, compared to only 12% in 2021. Technology can play a part: two in three healthcare leaders (68%) agree that predictive analytics can have a positive impact on helping to reduce health disparities by providing fast and accurate insights on risk scores to help identify more vulnerable groups for proactive planning to help better manage community health issues like disease outbreaks, cancer incidences, and more.

The 2022 report also sees leaders fast-tracking their sustainability plans. In 2021, just 4% of health leaders worldwide were prioritizing environmental sustainability. This figure has jumped to 24% today; a more than six-fold increase year-over-year.

Since 2016, Philips has conducted original research to help determine the readiness of countries to address global health challenges and build efficient and effective health systems. Get details on the Future Health Index methodology as well as the full Future Health Index 2022 report here.

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