Ambulatory Care Transformation: Consumers Won’t Wait

Wp Ambulatory Trans Web

Let’s face it: ambulatory care delivery has not evolved much over the past several decades. Many health systems remain inpatient-centric delivery systems. That’s understandable; most of these organizations’ resources, revenue, and margin are derived from inpatient care of the sick and injured.

But consider that in 2018, outpatient visits outnumbered inpatient visits nearly 23 to 1, and this ratio continues to increase. For most Americans, their only experience with the healthcare system is through the ambulatory environment. And in an increasingly consumer-centric and digital environment, competition is fierce.

These trends are challenging the traditional hospital organizational structure in which outpatient services are adjunct functions of inpatient care departments. The increased importance of the ambulatory enterprise has required organizations to rethink how they operate, deliver patient-centric care, and manage costs as a system.

Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has completely shaken American healthcare, serving as a catalyst for regulatory reform, expense reduction, and virtual care delivery. It has also shown the importance of having the requisite infrastructure in place to allow for a coordinated and agile response to such a disruptor. Digital health is part of that infrastructure, and the notion of seamlessly integrated virtual care solutions is no longer “nice to have” but paramount to continued relevance.

Put simply, the need for health systems to transform their ambulatory enterprise has accelerated. Health system leaders should explore three strategies to ensure their ambulatory enterprise is contemporary and effective.

The Time for Transformation is now.

Healthcare organizations can no longer afford to adapt to the changing market gradually.

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