Looking back at healthcare in 2022

Can you believe that we’ve reached the end of 2022? This year has been a truly unique one. At times this year has felt like it would never end – like when travel restrictions were still in place at the beginning of the year. At other times, I felt like I blinked and a month went by.

Since the next HCLDR tweetchat on Tuesday December 20th at 8:30pm ET will be the last one for 2022. I thought it would be fun to take a look back at the year from a healthcare perspective:

  • Q1 Where did healthcare, as an industry, make the most improvements in 2022?
  • Q2 What aspects of healthcare did not improve in 2022 that should have?
  • Q3 Is there something that happened in 2022 (good or bad) that you believe will have a significant impact in 2023 or beyond?
  • Q4 What will you remember most about 2022?

Improvements in 2022

There are two areas where significant improvements were made in 2022. The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) finally reached an equilibrium point, in my opinion. For the past several years, the hype around AI was very high and many organizations were left feeling disappointed when AI failed to live up to those sky-high promises.

I will remember 2022 as the year that “AI got real” in healthcare. Vendors were finally speaking about AI in more realistic terms and healthcare organizations were more grounded in their AI expectations.

The other area where I felt healthcare improved was in the area of health equity. We obviously didn’t solve it in 2022, but I feel that the topic “arrived” in 2022. In previous years, only a small number of champions were talking about challenge of health equity. In 2022, so many more people were aware of it and talking about it. Hopefully this means that in 2023, we will see actual improvements.

Stalled in 2022

Privacy and security didn’t get as much attention in healthcare as I would have liked to see. Inflation, financial pressures, and workforce challenges kept healthcare leaders busy. Data privacy and cybersecurity fell down the priority list. I hope in 2023 we will see more investment and attention on this important area of healthcare. As EHRs and other systems collect more information about patients, organizations and tech companies need to be better stewards of that data.

Future Impact

One of the things that flew under the radar in 2023 was the continued closing and consolidation of smaller hospitals and health clinics in rural areas of Canada and US. Some are closing for financial reasons. Some because there is a lack of staff. No matter the reason, the loss of these points of care in rural areas will widen the health equity and access gap in the years ahead. These closures come at a time when more people are deciding to move out of expensive cities.

Memorable 2022

What I will remember most about 2022 is, of course, all the wonderful people I had the good fortune to meet in-person. Hands down that was my favorite part of 2022 – going to conferences and seeing friends I hadn’t seen in many years.

I will also remember 2022 as the year when Twitter hit an inflection point. I have no idea if it will continue to be a viable social platform or it will implode. Either way, I will not soon forget all the Twitter drama that has occurred these past few months.

See you online at the next HCLDR Tweetchat!

HCLDR Tweetchats will return Tuesday January 10th, 2023!

Image Credit

Photo by Pixabay: https://www.pexels.com/photo/green-tree-268533/

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