2024 Predictions Final Thoughts

Over the past few weeks we have heard from many of our industry experts on what they see happening in 2024. From AI to equity, from security to interoperability, from finance to payments, and from innovation to transformation, here are some final thoughts.

In case you missed some, check out all of our Predictions for 2024!

Scott Hondros, MHA, SCPM, Vice President, Services Commercialization & Strategy, CenTrak
LinkedIn: Scott Hondros, MHA, SCPM
X: @CenTrak

Patient Access and Technology
Ensuring safety, comfort, and information access for patients and their families is essential. As the use of advanced technology becomes commonplace in other sectors, healthcare facility visitors expect similar conveniences. In 2024, healthcare organizations will anticipate and prepare for these growing digital health expectations, potentially increasing the use of digital wayfinding, digital front door services, and messaging capabilities.

Healthcare organizations aim to strengthen communication channels. Integrating RTLS visibility with patient workflow software allows automated text updates for patient-approved contacts, enhancing trust, clarity, and safety. RTLS can also enable proactive patient communication, sharing updates, wait times, and navigation instructions, guiding our approach for 2024.

Annie Lambert, PharmD, Clinical Program Manager for Clinical Surveillance & Compliance, Wolters Kluwer Health
LinkedIn: Annie Lambert, PharmD, BCSCP
X: @Wolters_Kluwer

State boards of pharmacy scramble to adopt new USP standards in 2024
Now that major revisions in USP 795, 797, and 800 standards are now in effect, state boards of pharmacy around the country have their work cut out for them in 2024 in terms of developing realistic and actionable policies and plans for enforcement. As state boards adopt and develop state-specific enforcement approaches, other accreditation bodies have already announced intent to enforce the compounding standards. This will create a transitional period of inconsistent enforcement around the country. Still, compounding pharmacies should maintain their momentum to be prepared for accreditation surveys and for when their state board announces changes.

Tim Vaughan, Vice President, Product – Healthcare, pCare by Uniguest
LinkedIn: Tim Vaughan
X: @pCarebyTVRC

Quintuple Aim/ Health Equity

  • The Triple Aim has grown from enhancing the patient experience, improving population health, and lowering costs to what’s now known as the Quintuple Aim with a focus on health equity. A significant aspect of health equity is ensuring that all patients are able to access and participate in their care. The Quintuple Aim elevates the need for increased language translation and health literacy. I see this gaining more traction in 2024.
  • As patients and clinicians seek greater collaboration, it’s imperative that the two parties are able to connect regardless of language differences. This can be addressed using reliable digital solutions with interpreter tools. We cannot allow language barriers to create siloed care as we move into 2024.
  • We can expect to see significant improvements in health equity through the use of patient engagement technologies to meet the Quintuple Aim. For example, interactive patient care systems (IPS) utilize video connection, language interpretation, body language, and custom health education capabilities to engage each unique patient in the way that’s most effective.

Jeff Robbins, CEO, LiveData
LinkedIn: Jeffrey (Jeff) Robbins
X: @livedatainc

Increased Adoption of Bidirectional Scheduling Systems
In 2024, more hospitals will adopt bidirectional scheduling systems between surgeon offices and schedulers. These user-friendly, integrated platforms provide clinic schedulers with curated access to find and discover more opportunities to schedule cases without multiple phone calls, faxes, and endless keystrokes in the EHR. With patient-centered care continuing to be front-and-center, healthcare facilities that invest in user-friendly, integrated platforms will see seamless scheduling and communication between surgeon offices and perioperative teams. More cases can be scheduled as scheduling efficiency improves, increasing the hospital’s volume and margin.

Melissa James, CPC, CPMA, CRC, Senior Consultant in Health Language, Wolters Kluwer Health
LinkedIn: Melissa James, CPC, CPMA, CRC
X: @Wolters_Kluwer

More audits and scrutiny are coming for MA plans
With CMS restarting the RADV audit and an increased frequency of OIG audits anticipated, Medicare Advantage plans shift into high gear to ready up for increased government scrutiny by way of audits in 2024. This means standing up dedicated teams of well-versed and experienced audit pros to respond to likely regulatory audits such as RADV, OIG, etc. Even with legal challenges and settlements already underway, the audit train has left the station and is picking up steam in ’24. Plans that aren’t ready or are ill-prepared stand to face stiff penalties.

Calum Yacoubian, MD, Director of Healthcare Strategy, Linguamatics, an IQVIA company
LinkedIn: Calum Yacoubian, MD
X: @Linguamatics

The executive order on Artificial Intelligence is encouraging. This federal acknowledgement of the potential (and pitfalls) of AI in healthcare is a landmark executive order that puts in slate many of the concerns around AI that were recently accelerated by the rapid democratization that generative AI has brought. The vast majority of AI in healthcare remains within the “lab” – and there is no doubt that we are going to see increasing deployments of AI within day-to-day care and decision support. To make this possible, both clinician and patient acceptance are key, as well as trustworthy AI that navigates Privacy, Equity, Explainability and Accuracy.

Allison Combs, Head of Product – Payer Segment, Clinical Effectiveness, Wolters Kluwer Health
LinkedIn: Allison Combs, MS, MBA, SMP
X: @Wolters_Kluwer

CMS ties dollars to DEI and outcomes
This coming year will put an expanded focus on DEI by healthcare payers not just because it is the right thing to do, it’s also now about the bottom line. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) framework for health equity will put a financial focus on value-based care and ensuring that the gap in inequities is identified and closed. We predict that payers will be looking at solutions that support diversity while also offering ways to enhance patient engagement and meet people where they are to support them appropriately.

Dave Bennett, Executive Vice President of Healthcare, pCare by Uniguest
X: @pCarebyTVRC

Quintuple Aim and Health Equity

  • As patient expectations are ever-changing within healthcare, organizations are looking to shift performance approaches in 2024 to more equitably meet the needs of patients and their families.
  • Healthcare consumers want personalized care that factors in their unique circumstances, addresses their individualistic needs, and incorporates their loved ones. In response, the healthcare industry is moving towards a more patient- and family-centered model of care and thoughtfully leveraging digital advancements to factor patients and loved ones into facility designs and processes. This collaborative approach is the recipe for better healthcare outcomes and reduced avoidable readmissions in 2024.
  • Healthcare providers need to increasingly consider the comprehensive health history and experience of patients and families. The reduction of health siloes is crucial as care moves away from traditional methods and embraces the thoughtful support of digital technologies to improve communication and collaboration between patients and providers.
  • Impactful patient engagement is a 2-way street and involves teamwork. Patients have specific health goals and want to be an active part of the decision-making process. Emerging technologies including thoughtful facility designs and patient engagement systems can help staff focus their time on the patient, working with them to enhance value, increase health literacy, and achieve higher-quality outcomes together.
  • When patients and providers are able to openly collaborate and trust each other, patients accurately learn about their care journey while clinicians gain insights to enhance their care plan. With patient input and integrated electronic health records (EHR), the healthcare team can use anonymized data to find people with similar demographics and health histories to provide more accurate and personalized care. The best outcomes result from tailor-made care plans based on the specific patient’s background and life circumstances. Healthcare isn’t a time when one size fits all. I see this mindset being adapted more in 2024.

Cindy Gaines, MSN, RN, Chief Clinical Transformation Officer, Lumeon
LinkedIn: Cindy Gaines

In 2024, it’s time to eliminate the idea that patients are ‘discharged’ once they leave the hospital, which implies care is finished. Instead, it’s time to treat home as a fundamental care setting that needs to be well integrated into the care continuum through the application of innovative care models enabled by technology.

Anne Woods, DNP, RN, CRNP, ANP-BC, AGACNP-BC, FAAN, Chief Nurse, Wolters Kluwer Health
LinkedIn: Anne Dabrow Woods
X: @Wolters_Kluwer

Saving Nursing in 2024: health systems investing in young nurses get ahead
In 2024, healthcare organizations will need to invest in resources and training to support graduate nurses throughout the first 2 to 3 years of their employment to retain them at the bedside. While some of the top nursing schools are driving toward graduating more practice-ready nurses, not all are experts when entering the workforce and may take some time to become confident in most situations. As a result, new nurse graduates are at the highest risk of leaving healthcare organizations within the first few years of joining the workforce.

To retain new nurses and decrease turnover, investment in training through nurse residency programs, preceptors, mentor/resource nurses, and point of care, clinical decision support resources are needed to support new nurses and demonstrate they are valued by the organization. Academia and practice settings will need to partner to identify the competencies really needed for beginner nurses.

2024: the end of the primary nurse model? Innovative team approaches chart a way forward
In 2024, healthcare organizations will need to implement innovative care models to ensure safe practice and optimum patient outcomes. Healthcare organizations can no longer rely on staffing ratios alone to provide safe, quality patient care. There are no longer enough RNs at the bedside to provide a primary nurse model. Innovative staffing models that follow a team approach and consider patient acuity, nurse competency, and an adequate number of support staff will be needed to provide safe patient care and optimized patient outcomes. Healthcare organizations will need to educate nurses and support staff on delegation, scope of practice, and working in a team model of care.

Gregg Church, President, 4medica
LinkedIn: Gregg Church
X: @4medica

The White House plan for safe, secure, and trustworthy AI in healthcare is a critical step towards ensuring that this powerful technology is used for good. By establishing a mechanism to collect reports of harm or unsafe healthcare practices involving AI, and by promoting policies to provide small developers and entrepreneurs access to more technical assistance and resources, the Biden administration is demonstrating its commitment to responsible AI innovation. This plan will help us to advance care delivery, develop new and more affordable drugs and therapeutics, and protect patients from harm.

In 2024, we can expect to see significant progress in improving healthcare interoperability, data integrity, payment integrity, and pricing transparency. These advancements will be driven by a combination of technological innovation, regulatory changes, and consumer demand. As a result, providers will be able to deliver more efficient and effective care, and consumers will have greater access to affordable and high-quality healthcare.

Tim Bristol, PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF, FAAN, Director of Strategic Planning, NurseThink, Wolters Kluwer Health
LinkedIn: Tim Bristol, PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF, FAAN
X: @Wolters_Kluwer

Nursing schools will bring their curriculums into the future
In 2024, nursing college and university programs are going to have to make a choice—will they address the issues facing new nurses entering the chaos that is healthcare today, or will they continue to do what they have been doing for the past few decades. When focusing more on what is actually happening in healthcare, then students will learn how to think clinically, relying just as much on simulation in the classroom as the instructors’ PowerPoint slides and lecture. When a school decides that they will address these critical needs in healthcare, the faculty will have an improved workload and job satisfaction since nursing faculty are nurses (obviously) and their heart is more in line with what is happening in healthcare than focusing on building lesson plans.

The future of nursing and healthcare really is in the hands of each individual nursing program. Will you continue the same old path, or will you allow students to learn in a way that not only helps them, but also nursing faculty find meaning and relevance—ultimately saving patients’ lives.

Michael Gao, CEO and co-founder, SmarterDx
LinkedIn: Michael Gao

The hippocratic oath says, ‘First do no harm,’ which should apply to any technology, including AI. That said, millions of Americans — and billions of people worldwide — struggle to get appointments with doctors, to have their care explained, and to manage chronic illnesses. The question is not whether AI is better than the best, most available doctor — but whether it can help increase access to care overall.

In the coming years, AI-driven advancements in clinical documentation and pre-bill chart reviews will revolutionize the healthcare revenue cycle. This shift will ensure a higher degree of accuracy and compliance in medical billing. Healthcare providers will finally be able to accurately represent all the care they delivered, with AI algorithms detecting and correcting coding and documentation errors before they impact the bottom line.

Trevor Bidle, Chief Information Security Officer, US Signal
LinkedIn: Trevor Bidle, CISM, CISA
X: @ussignalcom

Fortifying Against Ransomware and Cyber Threats: The surge in cyber-attacks, particularly ransomware, continues unabated, targeting healthcare organizations and especially their critical third-party vendors. Building a robust internal defense strategy is more critical than ever. This year, focus on enhancing your defense in depth and extending this rigor to third-party risk management. Third party vendor security needs to be at the forefront of Healthcare IT leaders risk mitigation planning for 2024.

Pramila Srinivasan, Ph.D., CEO, CharmHealth
LinkedIn: Pramila Srinivasan
X: @charmhealth

Taking Charge: Patients shift toward active health care management
Patients will engage with managing their own health care (and its costs) in larger numbers through their portals; wearable devices; and access to online choices for doctors, connected devices, labs, prescription sites, telehealth consults, etc. Increased price transparency for prescription drugs will drive patients to actively manage their health care costs.

Mid-sized medical groups will grow in popularity
Mid-sized medical groups, through their agile implementation of modern health care technology, will grow as an attractive alternative to large groups, particularly in primary care.

Chris Sullivan, VP and General Manager of the Commercial Segment for Clinical Effectiveness, Wolters Kluwer Health
LinkedIn: Chris Sullivan
X: @Wolters_Kluwer

In digital health tech, chronic care management & remote patient monitoring leap forward through more personalized engagement
The healthcare digital technology market has been dominated the past few years by solutions for virtual care. While that market settles, there are other emerging opportunities that we see growing – chronic care management and remote patient monitoring. For these to reach their full potential will require strategies to ensure the patient and/or caregiver is engaged in and educated about their care. As vendors look to explore these markets, they need to examine integrating solutions that can provide personalized education and engagement.

Scott Gray, CEO, Clincierge
LinkedIn: Scott Gray
X: @clincierge

Historically, patient recruitment and retention have been pressing issues within the clinical trial space. 85% of trials fail to recruit enough patients and 80% are delayed due to other various recruitment problems.

However, as we approach 2024, the clinical trial space is witnessing transformative technology trends aimed at addressing these pain points.

Building Upon Decentralized Trials
In 2020, study sponsors relied heavily on decentralized clinical trial (DCT) models to keep existing studies on track and launch new trials while adhering to evolving pandemic protocols.

While the popularity of DCTs grew in 2020 and 2021, sponsors returned to a focus on engaging clinical trial sites in 2022.

Blending the personalized attention found in conventional trials with patient-focused features of DCTs represents the optimal strategy for shaping future study designs. This hybrid method incorporates the advantages of home care and telemedicine to minimize the necessity for on-site visits, all while delivering intricate treatments within the secure confines of a controlled clinical environment. By adopting this mixed approach, the demands on patients and their caregivers are lessened, making the trial experience more manageable and thereby enhancing participant retention rates.

Digitizing the Patient Experience
Emerging technologies provide the opportunity to maximize efficiencies through every phase of a trial. In addition to wearable devices and telemedicine allowing for remote connectivity, there are also opportunities to digitize how CROs and trial sponsors collect and manage patient data, feedback, and administration. This encompasses:

  • Development of sponsor, site, and patient portals that streamline communication and engagement.
  • Integrated data management solutions that ensure the seamless flow of information throughout the trial, promoting efficiency and accuracy
  • The implementation of advanced payment processing systems to simplify financial transactions, offering a more convenient and transparent experience for everyone involved.

Jane Z. Reed, Director, Life Sciences, Linguamatics, an IQVIA company
LinkedIn: Jane Reed
X: @Linguamatics

AI-based technologies such as natural language processing (NLP) will become more integral to pharmaceutical companies as they continually seek new ways to speed up drug development. With NLP, drug development researchers can improve many basic processes throughout the development lifecycle, including finding specific targets for compounds and creating target profiles and competitive analyses for specific therapeutic areas. NLP enables this by sorting through and analyzing large data sets to pull out discrete bits of data that drive insights useful for pharmaceutical development. Rules-based, deterministic NLP can provide clean accurate data sets, that can be used within LLM pipelines for question-answering interfaces or generating draft summaries.

Yaw Fellin, VP of Product and Solutions for Clinical Effectiveness, Wolters Kluwer Health
LinkedIn: Yaw Fellin
X: @Wolters_Kluwer

Analytics and data deliver direct impacts for patients and populations in 2024
Healthcare providers have long required data that can help drive better outcomes and power their institutional goals. But, despite years of effort and significant cost, too much data remains locked away or in silos; making it difficult to synthesize insights and take action. Unlocking the right data- at the right moment- could enable healthcare institutions to better personalize their care, improve treatment and raise performance.

We predict that new tech (Generative AI, Prompt Engineering, etc.), coupled with the right data sets (and workflows) will allow organizations to dramatically move the needle on getting patients to the correct first- or second-line therapy, keeping patients engaged in their care plans, and achieving successful outcomes. We further believe that health care organizations of all sizes will look to solutions that can provide measurable and valuable analytics across the organization that will support both insight and action and help them support population health initiatives.

Gaudy Jandron, Chief Information Officer, US Signal
LinkedIn: Gaudy J.
X: @ussignalcom

The adoption of wearables will grow and expand into telemedicine. Coupled with data and generative AI, wearables have tremendous potential to personalize treatment plans to drive better patient outcomes. Additionally, these advancements will improve efficiency, allowing providers to treat more patients, making up reduced reimbursements with volume.

Generative AI. The healthcare industry has struggled with keeping patients healthy (proactive healthcare) and declining reimbursements. With generative AI, healthcare will have the ability to drive positive and proactive patient outcomes while driving down costs. This will also lead to faster developments in treatment plans and medicine as we accelerate our knowledge of the biological system (I have a son who is engaged in a lot of interesting research in this area, so I’ve been learning quite a bit about some of the ongoing research that leverages generative AI).

John Showalter, MD, Chief Product Officer, Linus Health
LinkedIn: John Showalter
X: @linushealth

There has been significant press about the study that showed less than 10% of individuals with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) are diagnosed. A significant contributor to missing the diagnosis is that the classic cognitive assessments are challenging to deploy in primary care. Brief digital cognitive assessments are an exciting part of making it feasible to diagnose those that are missed, and we are looking forward to seeing an increased use of these assessments in new year.

Sean Brady, Co-Founder & CEO, Ventric Health
LinkedIn: Sean Brady

A defining test for payviders has been demonstrating value beyond costs – improving population health, access, and equity. In 2024, payviders have made promising strides but gaps persist. Investments in social determinants of health, community partnerships, and navigation services have connected more underserved patients to care. However, concerns around disparities, payer-provider consolidation, and competition require continued vigilance. Ultimately, payviders must see addressing whole person needs and health inequities as integral to their mission, not just cost control. Robust public-private collaboration is vital to ensure payvider growth benefits communities equally across the socioeconomic spectrum.

Julie Frey, Head of Product – Provider Segment, Clinical Effectiveness, Wolters Kluwer Health
LinkedIn: Julie Frey
X: @Wolters_Kluwer

Mental health care is the new primary care
The COVID-19 pandemic saw a sharp rise in people of all ages seeking mental and behavioral health treatment. The result? Primary care is now also mental healthcare. This demand has strained the healthcare system and the healthcare workforce. While there is a focus on ways to bring more providers into the system, that may take years. We predict healthcare organizations will begin to look for solutions that will enable their staff to meet this demand and offer support for diagnosis and the titration of drugs.

Tim O’Connell, MD, CEO & Cofounder, emtelligent
LinkedIn: Tim O’Connell
X: @emtelhealth

As healthcare in the U.S. continues to migrate toward value-based care (VBC), provider and payer organizations are seeking to better understand and find medical AI use cases for care and system optimization. By enabling providers and payers to extract unstructured, actionable data from EHRs at scale, medical AI can provide a holistic view of the patient and clinical performance that can inform decisions to enable successful VBC. 2024 will likely see an increasing number of production-scale implementations as vendor offerings mature and pilot projects complete successfully.