Technology, Training and Teams

Technology, Training and Teams: Those are among the new buzz words healthcare CEO's are using to describe trends in the healthcare industry. As hospitals, physician's practices and other healthcare employers implement the Affordable Care Act, the they must develop new strategies to provide the best care with less reimbursements for services. CEO's from Iredell Health Systems, Novant Health, Piedmont Healthcare, Lake Norman Regional Medical Center, and Davis Medical Center provided a panel discussion at the first Tri-County Healthcare Summit, featuring healthcare representatives from Iredell County. The Competitive Workforce Alliance Allied Health RSP was among the sponsors of the event, which was designed to help assess predicted workforce needs in healthcare.

But changing reimbursements aren't the only challenge for healthcare providers. Keynote speaker Christine Brown, Regional Vice President of Business Development, Outreach, and Marketing with Hospice & Palliative Care Center in Rowan County, served as keynote speaker and noted the rapidly growing older adult population will place additional burdens on healthcare providers. By 2030 20% of North Carolina's population will be over 60, an increase of almost 10%. "Companies will have more employees with health issues such as Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, cancer, diabetes and more."

The five CEO's present agreed it is a challenge to meet greater needs with decreasing resources. Tonya Blackmon, CEO of Novant Health in Huntersville, said one strategy being introduced is the use of teams to help meet a patient's need, allowing physicians and nurses to see more patients. Other CEO's present agreed and added other strategies include using more mid-level technicians, and increased out-patient services that include the use of technology such as e-visits and tele-med to help reduce return rates to hospitals.

The CEO's participating in this panel were: Lake Norman Regional Medical Center's Steve Midkiff, Iredell Memorial Hospital's Ed Rush, Novant's Tonya Blackmon, Piedmont Healthcare's Jeff Smith, and Davis Regional Medical Center's Chad French. Other trends the panel mentioned: patients will see greater emphasis on preventative care, and greater use of electronic records. But they cautioned, many more changes will come to healthcare before the dust settles. The Affordable Care Act provisions continue to change, forcing hospitals to continue to find ways to address new challenges.



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