It’s a digital world where technology moves quickly and those who can’t adapt risk getting left behind. Fortunately you’re a savvy professional hungry for success in the medical field. Whether you’re training for entry-level positions in medical coding and billing, medical assisting or medical office assisting, it’s vital that you keep up to date with medical industry trends and tech. Since EBI’s ultimate goal is to prepare students for career success, the following is some industry info to help you keep up with 2017 trends.

Big Data

The incredibly vast amount of collected data in the world may seem potential troublesome, but it is actually helping to drive healthcare forward. For healthcare, and many other industries, the more data available usually means medical professionals have better/more information to work with, resulting in all-around better patient care. But patient care isn’t the only concern of medical facilities these days. Patient experience has come to the forefront of the healthcare system behind the idea that healthcare shouldn’t only be effective, it should also be efficient. Big data helps facilities understand how they can be more efficient from the moment patients enter the door to the moment they leave.

Of course, the term “big data” is very broad term, so it becomes necessary to define what uses for data can be in healthcare. The most obvious use for data is lowering wasted overhead costs in medical facilities like supplies and equipment. Beyond that, big data can predict epidemics, potentially cure diseases, and improve treatment plans – all through data analysis. Big data allows physicians and data scientists to compare patients’ data with billions of other anonymous patient records and the latest medical research findings. Being that all medical records are now digital, we can expect a much more diverse and expanded role for healthcare data in the future.

Patient Experience

As previously stated, the public is becoming ever more concerned with not just the quality of medical treatment, but with the entire healthcare experience. A shift has occurred over the last several years where now patients have the “buying power” in healthcare, so to speak. The weight of patient expectations is put almost entirely on individual practices and hospitals. There are obviously a lot of improvement opportunities in any given healthcare facility, which would be nearly impossible to fix entirely. Instead, medical facilities will likely start strategically making improvements where data and research deem appropriate as well as feasible. Medical assistants will have a large role in improving patient experience, mostly because they are on the front lines of patient interaction. New experienced-focused training is already being implemented in many medical assisting programs, but most “improvements” are typically learned on the job. Where once medical assistants primarily dealt with patient records and physician orders, they will now increasingly be responsible for playing patient host.

Private Investing

The U.S. government funds the large majority of healthcare costs as it always has, but these days venture capital funding is making a bigger impact. Venture capital funding has drastically increased in the last five years from less than $8 billion in 2010 to more than $16 billion in 2015, according to the Wall Street Journal. Funding outside of the government can be highly influential to the progress of healthcare in America. Investors with a personal interest drive technological and procedural innovation, reduce costs, upgrade older systems, and improve overall efficiency. Technology is especially invested in because of the constant evolution of it. History proves that more advanced medical equipment and software has enormous profitability, which helps the U.S. economy, medical practices, and in the end, patient care.

Senior Care

The aging baby boomer population is affecting healthcare more than any other past generation. Senior care is among the fastest-growing, most employed niches of healthcare. In-home care is more popular than ever before, but senior living homes till control the market. Medical assistants will want to pay attention to the senior market for employability, qualification standards, and financial opportunity. Senior care providers typically do not need extensive training, and have the potential to earn high salaries, particularly in in-home care. As the population in general continues to rise, we can expect senior care to continue to grow.

Staying up to date on healthcare trends is perhaps most important for students and entry-level medical professionals. Analyzing these trends can, and should, play an important role in which medical field new medical professionals choose to go into. Opportunity is everywhere; all you have to do is find it.

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