Anyone can see that healthcare has changed dramatically over the last 20 years. Gone are the days when patients would see one physician for much of their life and would seldom see specialists outside that doctor’s care/supervision. In yesterday’s healthcare facilities, the support staff was stable, ancillary work such as billing was performed in-house, and virtually all services were handled in one place, by people. In today’s environment, patients may see a different doctor at every visit.
Specialists abound, and they are often at different locations. Support staff is highly mobile and may be transient, while many ancillary services are provided by third parties outside the hospital or clinic. Today’s healthcare environment features services that are more distributed (both physically and computationally) and designed to serve more audiences, using a host of disparate devices that may not be optimized to work together. A growing number of critical applications reside in the cloud
and aren’t even housed on the network.
Today’s patient has changed as well. Where once trust was put into an individual, more credence is now given to the facility where care is delivered, as well as to the technology that is housed there. Hospitals, once a single building entity, have become “healthcare systems.” This has created a growing sense of brand consciousness which, while not new to healthcare, has previously been more focused on individuals within the system. Patients as a whole are also becoming more technologically savvy as services move to the Internet, and more transactions/communications move online.
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