IBM Study Outlines Course of Action for a Sustainable Healthcare Industry
Healthcare 2015 Study Provides A Roadmap For Transformation
Nov. 11, 2006 03:00 AM
IBM has released a new study which indicates that many healthcare systems around the world will become unsustainable by 2015. The study highlights the need for public and private healthcare systems worldwide to reform how care is funded, delivered and evaluated in order to reduce costs, improve care and help nations remain competitive in a global economy.
Conducted by the IBM Institute for Business Value, the global study, titled "Healthcare 2015: Win-Win or Lose-Lose?" presents a comprehensive overview of the current challenges faced by the healthcare industry and provides a roadmap for transformation.
While medical breakthroughs, dedicated professionals and the promise of genomics, regenerative medicine and information-based medicine have promising healthcare implications, the study concludes that the problems facing the industry will force fundamental change on healthcare within the coming decade.
The study chronicles the current problems such as rising health care costs and poor and inconsistent quality. It also highlights the trouble ahead as these factors combine with a fundamentally new environment that is driven by globalization, consumerism, demographic shifts, the increased burden of disease and expensive new technologies and treatments. Healthcare systems that fail to address this new environment will "hit the wall" or collapse, and require immediate and major forced restructuring -- a lose-lose scenario for all stakeholders.
The study outlines a course of action on the part of all stakeholders, which will require new levels of accountability, tough decisions and hard work. Specifically IBM recommends:
-- Healthcare providers must expand their current focus on episodic,
acute care to encompass the enhanced management of chronic diseases and the life-long prediction and prevention of illness.
-- Consumers must assume personal responsibility for their health and for
maximizing the value they receive from a transformed healthcare system.
-- Payers and health plans must become value-added service providers both
for their members and for the care delivery organizations who serve those
-- Suppliers must work collaboratively with care delivery organizations,
clinicians, and patients to produce products that improve outcome or
provide equivalent outcomes at lower costs.
-- Societies must make realistic, rational decisions regarding lifestyle
expectations, acceptable behaviors, and how much healthcare will be a
societal right versus a market service.
-- Governments must acknowledge the unsustainability of the current
system and provide the leadership and political will power needed to guide
their nations to sustainable solutions.
To report's recommendations for shifting the healthcare industry into an era of action and accountability are based on three fundamental cornerstones:
-- Focus on value - Consumers, providers and payers will agree upon the
definition and measures of healthcare value and then, direct healthcare
purchasing, the delivery of healthcare services, and reimbursement