LONDON, July 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — The healthcare industry is rapidly moving from a provider-centric, individual physician expertise-based service sector to a patient-centric, consultative and analytics-driven industry. This collaborative approach will be quickened by innovations that lend momentum to the integration of healthcare systems. Integrated care services can be achieved along four lines: patient engagement, workflow management, new healthcare models, and home care.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Innovations in Home Medical Devices and Integrated Care Systems, finds that the integration of healthcare systems has several connotations. Integration can either be vertical, which results in consolidation of similar services, or horizontal, which aims at expansion of organization infrastructure and patient base. Integration can also be more microscopic, involving functions, organisational policies and clinical locations.
"The holy grail of integrated care systems is achieving end-to-end integration, which would require both vertical and horizontal consolidation that results in the streamlining of treatment services, products, ancillary and support systems as well as geographical expansion," said Technical Insights Research Analyst Bhargav Rajan.
The biggest challenge to integration, especially in emerging economies, is the highly fragmented healthcare market. Enforcing common management policies and patient services among different practices to achieve functional clinical integration will be an uphill task.
In such regions, integration can be achieved by targeting readily available avenues for growth, such as implementing technological resources to ensure care of patients at home and in the community. In turn, remote patient monitoring and telemedicine will not only serve as tools for clinical services and patient integration, but also as a means of frugal innovation.
Healthcare providers and administrators need to realise that the consolidation of practices will not necessarily lead to integration of services. Effective integration requires alignment of practices and policies as well as culture and ideologies.
"For every successful case of healthcare integration, there are several instances of failed mergers, most notably among healthcare organisations with divergent mission statements," cautioned Rajan. "Meeting of organisation goals and resource compatibility are important criteria during mergers and horizontal expansion."
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Innovations in Home Medical Devices and Integrated Care Systems, a part of the Technical Insights subscription, highlights key innovations in healthcare delivery, with special focus on identifying different strategies that providers can adopt to implement integration of services. This research service also provides a holistic analysis of various component technologies in accordance with their technical capabilities, market needs and industry requirements. Technical Insights is an international technology analysis business that produces a variety of technical news alerts, newsletters, and research services.
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