Hot off the presses is the 2016–2021 FutureScan Healthcare Trends and Implications environmental assessment. The annual survey identifies the eight most important emerging issues and trends in health care for the next five years.

The Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development — part of the American Hospital Association — and the American College of Healthcare Executives surveyed 507 health care leaders across the country to determine what health care leaders envision as the key areas of change for the future.

A common thread throughout a majority of the findings is a belief that patients will become more involved in their own care. In fact, 99 percent of those surveyed agreed that by 2021 patients will demand a greater role in the planning of their treatment.

“I absolutely think this is a positive,” says Christine Gallery, chief strategy officer and senior vice president for planning at Emerson Hospital in Concord, Mass., and former SHSMD president. “The more well-informed the patients are, the better the outcomes will be — patients are part of the care team.”

Not only will patients take on a more active role in their treatment, but 80 percent of practitioners expect that by 2021, patients will compare their hospital’s patient experience rating against those of other hospitals before choosing a hospital for their care.

“Patients are going to use the tools that will and do exist and the reputation of hospitals is continually going to be on a one to five scale,” says Gallery. “Hospitals should be laser-focused on that experience, because it is part of our mission and should be emphasized.”

Other noteworthy findings:

  • 89 percent surveyed said that within the next five years, most of their hospital’s insured patients will belong to incentivized health plans that reduce insurance premiums for, or pay substantial cash incentives to, patients who meet certain health targets.
  • Almost 88 percent predict that at least 25 percent of patients who require care for chronic conditions or rehabilitative care will receive it from their hospital remotely, utilizing technologies that gather patient data from physical sensors.
  • Nearly two-thirds of practitioners predict that most patients in their hospital’s area who have a chronic illness will receive primary care that includes some type of psychotherapy service, such as behavioral activation or motivation interviewing.

This edition features eight thought leaders such as futurist and author Ian Morrision, who address each emerging trend. “This prompts leaders to think more broadly about what other leaders are thinking about,” says Gallery. “It doesn’t exactly give you all the answers, but it gives great information to use in your own strategic thinking.”

An essential tool for strategic planning, Futurescan 2016-2021 focuses on:

  1. Engaging increasingly value-conscious patients and consumers
  2. Exploring capital models required to finance transitions in healthcare
  3. Identifying change management skills and competencies leaders need for the future
  4. Accelerating innovations that improve the value of healthcare
  5. Developing wellness programs that improve health and reduce medical costs
  6. Reengineering healthcare at a massive scale
  7. Assuming risk in caring for defined populations
  8. Integrating behavioral health and medical care

“This survey provides a tremendous barometer of how, especially for strategists, their colleagues are thinking about key issues, “ says SHSMD President Larry Margolis.

Visit shsmd.org/futurescan for more information about FutureScan 2016–2021