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If predicting the future is really difficult, predicting the future of healthcare is nearly impossible.
Despite the challenge, patients are the reason for hope that 2024 will bring a renewed commitment to advancing technology and simplifying health intelligence sharing—helping healthcare heal itself.
Addressing the challenges facing each part of the healthcare industry will require an all-of-the-above approach. It will require healthcare stakeholders to collaborate, aligning on meaningful policy changes and restructuring compensation for care providers to support the evolving care team.
And in 2024, Surescripts will continue to support collaboration between pharmacists and physicians, delivering the patient intelligence they need to work as a team and to do what they do best—provide comprehensive, better-informed care for their patients—no matter where they live.
But don’t just take it from me.
At Surescripts and across the Surescripts Network Alliance, we have countless experts and subject matter experts with unique insights on how they envision healthcare will evolve in 2024. Here’s what they predict:
Andrew Mellin, M.D., Vice President and Chief Medical Information Officer, Surescripts
“Today, doctors are forced to work the way computers do. But in 2024, we can make it simpler, with new technologies enabling computers to work the way doctors do. Burnout continues to be a huge challenge across healthcare and as care teams expand, technology will restore a more natural workflow for clinicians and help return more focus to the patient.
“Technology will greatly reduce the mechanical and administrative elements of being a doctor or clinician, allowing for more time for empathy—enabling deeper conversations about the patient’s health that align with what’s best for the patient.”
Joel Helle, R.Ph., Vice President of Physician Services of CVS Specialty, CVS Health
“In 2024, I anticipate more awareness and attention on new innovations that are helping to drive affordable and accessible care, especially in the realm of health equity. In the world of prescription drugs, the growing biosimilars pipeline is an incredible opportunity to use competition to drive down costs and make medications more accessible for patients. In line with current trends, in 2024 we expect to see the role of technology expand to facilitate direct patient interactions, clinical duties and consultations. Our years of experience utilizing automation, machine learning and AI to help ensure patients’ access to safe and accurate prescriptions.”
Larry King, Pharm.D., Director, Intelligent Prescribing, Surescripts
“Pharmacists are doing more to provide routine care for their patients, including immunizations and test-to-treat for common illnesses like strep, on top of their regular work tied to dispensing medications. As patient care teams continue to evolve and support greater collaboration between doctors and pharmacists, the system they work within today -- focused on output rather than clinical outcomes – must also evolve.
“Removing the structural burdens and administrative hoops clinicians must jump through is going to be key to alleviating burnout for doctors, pharmacists and other care providers. In 2024, we will see more technology that brings automation to the pharmacy that supports administrative tasks and allows pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to provide care at the top of the education and training, while the healthcare industry works to align policy and payment structures to match the level of care they are providing patients today.”
Lynne Nowak, M.D., Chief Data and Analytics Officer, Surescripts
“Patients want more information: where they should receive care, where they should get their prescriptions, what medications are covered under their benefit plans, and their out-of-pocket costs. In 2024 we will see a push toward simpler, more patient-centric care. Also, we will see a greater emphasis on dialogue among patients, prescribers, pharmacists and other clinicians on the care team. Surescripts will continue to facilitate and create efficiencies to improve care delivery, bringing the right information to clinicians and patients to make good care decisions and get patients to therapy quickly and safely.”
Mark Gingrich, Chief Information Officer, Surescripts
“Health technology is rushing to enable AI features—potentially bringing incredible value to layer on top of the data itself. But we must first take a step back to ensure that clinical intelligence sharing is simple, and patient information is accurate and complete. The goal is to give clinicians a full view of the patient in their care and for the information shared to be trusted.
“Advancing healthcare interoperability in 2024 will require that all stakeholders commit to raising the bar for data quality. Higher quality data that follows a standard, simple structure can lead to better decisions by both clinicians and machines, ultimately helping patients get the appropriate level of care they need.
“Electronic prescribing standards are a great example of what data accuracy means for patient safety and to building the trust of clinicians who rely upon it to inform patient care. In 2024, we will look to e-prescribing standards as an example to follow as we work toward a comprehensive standard for sharing all clinical patient information and intelligence.”
Melanie Marcus, Chief Marketing & Customer Experience Officer, Surescripts
“In 2024, value-based care can help address clinician shortages by incenting collaborative care teams to focus on helping patients avoid significant, resource intensive care events. In the next year, we will continue to see innovative technology that simplifies patient intelligence sharing and advances interoperability, supporting patient care teams by ensuring they have the information they need to provide quality and less costly care for their patients.”
Geeta Nayyar, M.D., author and Board Member, American Telemedicine Association
“In the coming year, healthcare providers will continue to be pressed for time and encounter a deluge of medical misinformation. The election cycle will only increase this problem, which is bad news for patients, physicians and healthcare organizations. Generative AI will also play an increasingly important role, both by increasing medical misinformation and beginning to enter the clinic through tools that we physicians use the most, like EHRs. But we need to move forward with caution until we can ensure that these next-generation tools are free of gender, racial and other biases.”
Cecelia Byers, Pharm.D., Clinical Product Advisor, Surescripts
“When I first started as a practicing pharmacist, colleagues were still hand-writing labels for prescription bottles. More than two decades later, specialty medications are treating diseases that we never thought possible. We will continue to see incredible advancements in precision medicine that focuses on who the patient is at the core – using their genetic information – to go beyond palliative treatment and actually cure diseases.
“Predictive technology that is based on a patient's biology will also play an important role in how we treat disease. Having up-front conversations about the side effects that a patient is likely to encounter– and that they might feel worse before they get better—will help patients have faith in medicine and stick with a treatment. My hope is that these precision medicines and treatments will not cost patients astronomical amounts of money but instead, will be more easily accessed by patients who we know will benefit from them.”
Learn more about how Surescripts is simplifying health intelligence sharing.