Ascension Health has identified six disrupters that, if properly harnessed, can lead to a “triple aim” outcome: better health care and higher quality of life at a lower cost. They are...

The integrator

According to PWC: "Will make money on risk and care, and will be recognized as a low-cost provider that has achieved multiregional or national scale by integrating geographically and along the health care value chain. A key to being an Integrator is combining care and coverage to create greater convenience and affordability for consumers."

A general rule of thumb is for employers to let their health plans make the decisions about what to cover in genomic medicine,t (Image: Shutterstock)
A better-connected health-care system would provide clinicians with more complete profiles of their patients, researchers with more data to study and individuals with more information to take control of their health. (Image: Shutterstock)
Understanding your current position and desired outcome will help to better prioritize HR functions and what should be outsourced. (Image: Shutterstock)

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Robotics: Again, robots in many forms have been supporting surgeons and other specialists for years. As they become more precise, they will take on more of the health care delivery workload. Robotics will increasingly be applied to automated drug discovery and automated business operations. “We look at it from an ethical lens as well,” he said, noting that robots are unlikely to replace many skilled professionals. “But by using robots where appropriate, it may work out well. We simply don’t have enough health care workers to meet the coming demand.”
The experiment, being tested this spring, will track something. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Major health care systems are, by design or by default, aligning themselves with one of two strategies: that of being forced to react and adapt to trends in health care, and that of anticipating the trends and testing adaptations now. Those that are choosing to the latter strategy are relying heavily on technology to drive their transformation.

Ascension Health, the St. Louis-based health care system, is among those rapid adopters of new IT systems and practices. At a recent conference of health care journalists in Phoenix, Ascension Chris Young, vice president of innovation, outlined the “six disruptions” that Ascension is building its new model upon.

Related: UnitedHealth, Humana exploring blockchain to manage health data

Young said Ascension believes it has no choice but to consider the outside forces bearing down upon health care and to respond aggressively to them.

“The population of people over 65 is going to double, to over 80 million, by 2040,” he said. “This is creating serious issues we are going to have to face, now or later. Medicare and Social Security are both facing major shortages that will put further pressure on healthcare. We believe we need to be meeting people where they are at and allowing them to live well at home as long as possible.”