Expectations & Resolutions 2017

tree-silhouette-in-blue-sky-stanley-zimnyBlog post by Colin Hung

Happy New Year! …and welcome to another fantastic year of #hcldr. Can you believe that it’s already 2017? Where did 2016 go?

Since many people are still recovering from the holidays, I thought it would be nice to start the year with a bit of a “softer” #hcldr topic. So this week we’re going to discuss our expectations and resolutions for 2017. The #hcldr community is full of people who are passionate about changing healthcare and I’m super excited to hear what you expect to see this year.

I don’t think there can be any doubt that we are heading into a year of tremendous change in healthcare – and not just because of who is the US President-Elect. All around the world, healthcare organizations and governments are getting aggressive on:

  • Reducing healthcare costs as a % of GDP
  • Medication pricing
  • Infectious diseases & antibiotic usage
  • Population health (basically anything that can keep citizens healthy)

Here in Canada, the Trudeau government is putting an emphasis on mental health (finally!) because of the significant negative impact it has on the economy. According to a 2011 study by the Mental Health Commission of Canada, the economic cost to Canada of mental health is in excess of $50 Billion with more than $6 Billion of that loss due to absenteeism and turnover.

I find this focus encouraging. But like many of you, I’m a bit skeptical given the history of governments implementing effective public health policy. Still I’m happy that the medication pricing and population health (of which mental health is an important part) is at least part of the conversation. In fact, I’m expecting that medication pricing in particular will continue to dominate government discussions in 2017. Why? Because it’s one of the few issues where the government and the people are aligned – high prices for life-saving drugs suck.

Here are some of my other expectations for 2017:

  • Telehealth enters the trough of disillusionment as its actual health impact gets measured
  • The consulting industry shifts from EHR implementation to EHR optimization
  • Consumer technologies and approaches to solving problems continue to push into healthcare
  • Physician and nurse burnout rise to historic levels due to funding and political uncertainty
  • Analytics and robotics begin to transform the delivery of healthcare

Basically I expect 2017 to be a tumultuous year in healthcare and since my professional life mirrors the industry, I’m fully expecting a challenging year ahead. In order to seize the opportunities that will present themselves in 2017, I know I’ll need a lot of energy and alertness. Therefore, I have made three key resolutions for myself:

  1. Sleep more. Yep, no more staying up until 3am reading articles or working on projects. I’m going to slowly wean off my late nights and work towards a consistent bedtime by the end of 2017.
  2. Make time for energizing activities. This not only means exercising more regularly, but also giving myself time to do things that recharge my batteries like: take vacations, read fiction, being with friends and working on my own projects.
  3. Let go. Just as Obi-wan counselled Luke Skywalker to let go and trust the Force. I need to let go of many of the daily activities that was deeply involved with in 2016. I work with an amazing team of people and it’s high time I get out of their way.

What are your healthcare expectations and resolutions for 2017?

Join us for the first #hcldr chat of 2017 on Tuesday January 3rd at 8:30pm Eastern (for your local time click here) when we will be discussing the following topics:

  • T1 What expectations do you have for healthcare in 2017? (personal and for healthcare in general)
  • T2 What healthcare technology do you believe will have the most impact in 2017?
  • T3 What resolutions have you set for yourself in 2017?
  • T4 What would you like to see more of/less of from #hcldr in 2017?

References

“Making the Case for Investing in Mental Health in Canada”, Mental Health Commission of Canada, June 2016, http://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/sites/default/files/2016-06/Investing_in_Mental_Health_FINAL_Version_ENG.pdf, accessed 1 January 2017

“Trudeau urges provinces to spend on mental-health care”, Joan Bryden, The Canadian Press, 21 December 2016, https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2016/12/21/trudeau-urges-provinces-to-spend-on-mental-health-care.html, accessed 1 January 2017

“Top health industry issues of 2017: A year of uncertainty and opportunity”, PWC, December 2016,  http://www.pwc.com/us/en/health-industries/top-health-industry-issues.html, accessed 1 January 2017

Image Credit

Tree Silhouette in Blue Sky – Stanley Zimny https://flic.kr/p/qx99Ma

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