The year 2017 was a year of uncertainty for healthcare leaders and providers as all waited to find out how proposed revisions to, or repeal of, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) might impact their practices and care delivery. In fact, HealthcareDIVE pointed to uncertainty as the “theme of the year” for the healthcare industry. That uncertainty is likely to continue.

With reimbursement changes pending and competition increases, healthcare organizations also worked to tighten their belts and drive costs from their organizations while still maintaining a high level of quality care and safety. In addition, hospitals saw softening patient admissions in 2017, likely driven by rising out-of-pocket costs for consumers, according to HCA and CHS.

As competition from nontraditional providers continues to emerge, along with technological innovations that can lead to both opportunity and disruption, healthcare organizations also began to consider new types of partners. Large organizations like Amazon are seeing the potential for profit; Amazon announced in November a partnership between its cloud-computing business, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Cerner. CVS Health Corp. and Aetna Inc. also announced plans to merge.

These moves are part of a growing recognition of the potential impact of “consumerization” in the healthcare arena. As consumers are faced with increasing healthcare costs, and increasingly aware of the role technology plays in other facets of their lives, they’re looking to healthcare organizations to provide more digital experiences that can be less costly and less onerous to access—like telehealth and remote visits.

Today’s healthcare market calls for creative solutions. Healthcare providers must seek a new approach to the pressures of reimbursement reform and changing consumer behaviors.  Healthcare organizations cannot rely solely on reducing costs, but must focus and execute on programs that improve patient experience (PX) and staff engagement as well. Recently published data clearly indicates an enhanced patient experience is shown to improve clinical outcomes, financial outcomes, and build loyalty and a strong community reputation.

What is certain is that patients need to know their voices are heard; staff needs to know that their work makes a difference; and leaders need to know that they are building a strategy and solution addressing a positive culture to enhance the experience of care. TruthPoint transforms the rounding process into one where patient voices are heard, and staff can truly listen.