Hospital of future: 4 steps towards sustainability

Hospital of future: 4 steps towards sustainability

Posted Sep 16, 2021 from

Hospitals need to undergo major transformation to address today’s healthcare needs. How can we achieve more sustainable and patient-focused care?

Hospitals for the sick have existed for centuries; places of refuge and healing that developed to become pillars of their local community. However, in today’s changing healthcare landscape, they are, in many ways, no longer sustainable and not ideally designed to address some of today’s most urgent healthcare needs.1

Factors influencing the changing role of the hospital

  • Increasing prevalence and economic burden of chronic diseases:
    Chronic diseases, or noncommunicable diseases, are collectively responsible for almost 70% of all deaths worldwide.2 According to the World Economic Forum, the cost of treating five leading chronic diseases – cancer, diabetes, mental illness, heart disease, and respiratory disease – could reach $47 trillion over the next 20 years.3  The overwhelming burden of patients with noncommunicable diseases in no longer feasible to manage in hospitals.4
  • Scientific and technological achievements: 
    Due to the advancement of medical knowledge, coupled to the rapid development of technologies, patients are now provided with alternative care pathways. Health conditions that used to require lengthy hospital stays can now be treated on an outpatient basis, or with a much shorter stay in the hospital.5  By necessity, hospitals are moving from being solely centers of inpatient treatment towards diagnostic and treatment services,5 and need to continue to find novel ways to add value.
  • Advancement of personalized healthcare: 
    The increase in available data, testing capabilities and technologies mean that the age of personalized healthcare is arriving. Prevailing business models need to be rethought to identify new growth fields, such as digital products and services, that are tailored to patient-centered health information.6
  • Shifting from fee-for-service (FFS) to value-based care (VBC): 
    Healthcare delivery systems are increasingly adopting VBC over the traditional FFS model as a means to improve inefficiencies and patient outcomes. This shift to reward providers for helping patients to live healthier lives in an evidence based way promotes preventive healthcare over reactive, or “sick” care.7


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