Today, hospitals face different challenges than they did in the 2010s. In the 2010s, health systems, specifically more progressive organizations, continued to achieve larger scale through growth and consolidation, made possible by foundational investments in healthcare IT, data capture and analytics. As we approached the end of the last decade, there was a large shift in focus toward value-based care. Subsequently, some hospitals adapted and made significant investments in new models, continuing to grow capabilities in data and analytics-driven healthcare delivery and shifting care toward non-acute settings.
COVID-19 and continued growth
Entering the 2020s, hospitals and health systems are expected to continue investing in these growth areas. However, recent events in the past few years, starting with the COVID-19 pandemic, have had a dramatic impact on the long-term trajectory and short-term priorities of health systems.
Additional catalysts for change
The pandemic influenced nearly every aspect of care delivery. The struggle to recruit and retain staff, unreliable access to critical medical-surgical products because of supply chain issues, and infection control challenges in hospitals themselves all raised questions around quality, access and cost of care.
On top of that, hospitals now face challenges as they navigate the uncertainties of today’s inflationary environment, the potential of an economic downturn and continued global supply chain issues. The rapid pace of change within the healthcare system has been influenced by these economic conditions and pressures, forcing hospitals and health systems to become more agile, collaborative and resilient.