Where Do We Go From Here: U.S. Healthcare in 2017

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We just saw the historic inauguration of our 45th President, and one of his first stated orders of business is to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.  Politics aside, the ACA has driven a lot of positive technological change over the last several years.  Electronic Healthcare Records are now more common than paper records, mobile devices are the go-to tool for physicians, and a wide variety of Apps are available for both clinicians and patients.

Perhaps the most powerful example of the benefit of EHR implementation is the Flint, Michigan Water Crisis.  A lone pediatrician, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, discovered the problems using EHR data.  She completed a review and analysis of 736 Flint children in a matter of days. With paper records, this simply would not have been possible, and many more kids would be sick today.

The implementation of EHRs has resulted in using increased adoption of mobile devices. Surveys have found that more that ½ of practicing doctors have switched to tablets as a primary practice tool, for both EHR access and online symptom and treatment research.  My favorite stat, mostly because I've forced it myself, is that 68% of physicians have done web searches during a patient visit because the patient asked a question they could not answer off the top of their head.

With the increased adoption of mobile devices, Apps have entered the Healthcare ecosystem.  Many EHR workflows are now available in App format and communication devices to have moved from hardware to apps.  Patients have more information, literally at their fingertips than ever.  Online appointment scheduling, lab results, genetic testing, hospital and physician reviews are all available with the swipe of a few fingers.

Regardless of any upcoming changes to the Affordable Care Act, or even, it's total repeal, none of these advancements in Healthcare are going away. Predictions about what will change and the impact of those changes are wide ranging.  Hospitals have invested a lot of time and money in making care more accurate and more efficient which are resulting in improved patient outcomes.

At Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, we are fortunate to help many hospitals on their journey.  Whether is the wired or wireless access, security for those devices, or helping to find your way, we have helped many customers over our history, and increasingly over the last few years, implement a fast and secure network to further enable mobile EHR use.  In the United States and all over the world Healthcare providers are embracing a mobile-first approach to patient care, and we don't see that changing.

2017 will be a very interesting year for sure. We will all have a chance to talk together at the HIMSS conference, February 19-23 in Orlando, Florida. Vendors and customers alike are still interested in improving patient outcomes, and how HealthIT helps along that path.  We will see what changes have been made to ACA by late February and maybe we'll have a clearer idea of the direction that the new administration will take.

Come see Aruba within the Hewlett Packard Enterprise booth at #1979 and let us know how you expect any changes to affect you and your organization.

Rick Reid is a senior product and solutions marketing manager for healthcare at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company.