Ambulatory and outpatient care strategy is being driven by many different industry factors, including the need to listen to the voice of the consumer.
This article first appeared in the December 2016 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.
Ambulatory and outpatient care expansion continues to be driven by a broad range of industry factors. In fact, there are few healthcare activities that don't, in some form or another, provide momentum to the trend.
The transition to value-based care, the ongoing battle to improve quality outcomes, and population health management can all be seen as contributing to ambulatory and outpatient growth. Likewise, provider business initiatives that focus on expanding market share and increasing revenue also play a role.
However, healthcare is ultimately about doing what is best for the patient, and as consumers, patients are increasingly seeking care closer to home, without having to wait to see a physician, and in more cost-effective settings. Improvements in medical technology have made some of this possible, but a change in provider thinking is also driving the trend. More and more, providers are listening to the voice of the consumer as they develop and execute their ambulatory and outpatient strategy.
"I think the reason for this is we're looking at it through the eyes of the consumer," says Pam Nicholson, chief strategy officer and senior vice president at Centura Health, a Centennial, Colorado-based health system with 17 hospitals, 12 affiliate hospitals, and numerous urgent care centers, emergency rooms, and clinics, and the lead advisor for this Intelligence Report. "And with technology changing for medical care and how much can be done on an outpatient basis, and then looking at the convenience factor, you're going to find consumers want it faster, closer, and right away, and that doesn't always happen at an inpatient hospital."
Jonathan Bees is a research analyst for HealthLeaders.