Aging population drives better quality management in healthcare, study shows

Anca Spanu

Anca's career in journalism spans over 2 decades. She has served as staff writer, editor and deputy chief editor at... Anca's career in journalism spans over 2 decades. She has served as staff writer, editor and deputy chief editor at various media outlets all over the world. At Healthcare Weekly, Anca writes about current events, innovations in the healthcare space and events/ conferences with a focus on investing & startups.

Worldwide, the population is aging, mainly because baby boomers are getting older and developing age specific illnesses. As this aging population becomes increasingly dependent on the healthcare system, healthcare costs are rising, and quality management in healthcare is becoming increasingly essential to the overall functioning of the system. 

What is quality management in healthcare?

Quality management in healthcare aims to provide better treatments and thus increase patient satisfaction with the service. As the population ages, the costs of keeping people healthy are growing, so quality management in healthcare becomes a focal point on the industry’s agenda. Basically, in order to have satisfied patients, all components of the healthcare system, large and small, must provide the same quality of services. Clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, individual caregivers etc. all have to provide good quality care.  This is where quality management in healthcare comes in, to ensure the system works properly.

 

Effective quality management always puts patients first. The focus is on them, since they are the ones judging exactly how effective are treatments, and how adequate is the overall service. As patient needs and expectations continuously evolve, good quality management implies constant monitoring of patient progress and satisfaction with the service. This type of monitoring is not completely subjective, medical test results being considered beside the patient’s own opinion regarding the effectiveness of the treatment and care. 

The quality management in healthcare market, expected to grow

A growing need means a growing market, and the latest publication from Meticulous Research mentions that the quality of management in the healthcare market will grow at a CAGR of 15.0% from 2018 to 2023. This specific market is expected to reach USD 3,698.1 million by 2023.  

Besides the rising geriatric population with the added burden of chronic diseases, other factors are determining this growth: government initiatives to improve patient outcomes & safety, increasing unstructured data in healthcare, and improving health IT infrastructure. 

Reduced interoperability, data privacy and confidentiality issues, and people’s reluctance to migrate from conventional systems are probably going to somewhat hinder the growth of the quality management solutions market. 

North America accounts for the largest share of the market studied in Healthcare Quality Management Market – Growth, Trends, and Forecast (2019 – 2024). This can be primarily attributed to the better provision of reimbursement facilities and government involvement in the implementation of quality management services. These bodies are expected to supplement the growth of the market studied over the forecast period. This greater focus on the quality of healthcare services in the United States is attributable to the 2010 Patient Protection and Accountable Care Act (PPACA). This law describes the parameters designed to modify the way care is delivered to Medicare and Medicaid patients and is a central objective behind improving the quality of the overall healthcare system in the region. The region is showing success in quality management, due to the presence of physician leadership, infrastructural support, and improvement in the technological aspects of healthcare in the region. Thus, implementation of the PPACA law is helping the nation in healthcare quality management.

Technologies are evolving to help the growing aging population 

The U.S. healthcare system has to accommodate major changes, and the future brings even bigger challenges. Besides the aging population, the growing numbers of chronic diseases caused or favored by pollution, modern lifestyle choices and other factors, and the shrinking numbers of doctors and other critical medical staff are affecting the medical industry.

According to a recent study by Pew Research, 60% of Americans over the age of 65 are now online. Consequently, tech companies are looking to expand to the senior community. 

Meanwhile, as the latest technologies continue to evolve, the cost of healthcare services is increasing; this is affecting the performance of healthcare providers in developing or underdeveloped nations. To achieve a standard level of quality, governments in various countries across the globe are making efforts to adjust medical services. In the Netherlands, for instance, according to the National Institute of Health, the government has implemented extensive health reforms to monitor the quality of care within the country. This reform is helping the country obtain better healthcare services. Along with governmental reforms, other factors, such as the increasing amount of unstructured data in healthcare, rising healthcare costs and medical errors are helping the growth of the healthcare quality management market across the globe.

The market is changing to accommodate the new system features

Among the companies mentioned in the study, there are some we already covered, their exploits in healthcare being oriented towards chronic disease management. McKesson, for instance, acquired US Oncology and Celesio and became a global healthcare leader with more than $179 billion in annual revenue. Change Healthcare operates in key areas of the healthcare delivery and payment system, including patient/member access; treatment/documentation; reimbursement; and post-payment/communication.

Going back to quality management, market players are constantly focusing on acquisitions and mergers, to easily cover untapped commercial markets. Moreover, companies are also hugely investing in the development of new products and platforms with enhanced and improved features as a part of a commercialization strategy. Since last July, Cerner and Lumeris have joined forces to launch Offering to Reduce Complexities for Health Systems Delivering Value-Based Care.

Vizient, Inc. entered into an agreement with Medisolv, Inc. in April of this year for its ENCOR Quality Management Platform. The market is changing to accommodate alterations in healthcare and its unique and continuously evolving industry.


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