From the Desk of the VP
Author: Susan Hearn, RN, BSN, MBA, Vice President of Germane Solutions
2021 has been deemed a year for recovery, and it can go without saying that this notion is strongly felt within the healthcare community. As with any recovery, many aspects of healthcare are changing. There is hope in the industry that this recovery will result in a more efficient system for patient care. Germane is helping to provide needed stabilization and growth within healthcare systems by continually addressing the changing needs of academic medicine and supporting impactful change within the field. Before addressing the ways in which we will provide expanded partnership in the years to come, I first wanted to summarize what experts are currently projecting for 2021.
Physician Shortage Continues To Grow. In 2020, the AAMC released a startling image of a worsening physician shortage in the U.S. As the physician population continues to age and experience aggravated levels of burnout, the gap between the country’s increasing healthcare demands and the supply of physicians widens. A number of additional factors contributing to this gap are the growth in the U.S. total population, an expansion in the 65 and older group, and an uneven distribution of physicians in different areas of the country, particularly those in rural and underserved areas. In creating a solution, the need for improved access to care must be the impetus for change. Increasing the volume of medical school, residency, and fellowship graduates in the U.S. is part of the solution, but consideration must also be placed on flexible care models, rural/underserved discrepancies, and systemic issues resulting in physician burnout.
Federal and State Legislation Is Catching Up. Along with the release of the FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines, we have seen a much-needed resurgence of federal, state, and local grant opportunities in 2021. Coupled with the passage of H.R. 133 legislation, the increased access to federal and state funding foreshadows the anticipated growth of training positions available in 2021 through 2025. As new information is released, Germane is excited to continue to provide key insights to our GME News Alert subscribers and our clients with monthly e-newsletters featuring in-depth analyses like the review of H.R. 133 below.
Technology Can Support Efficiency. COVID-19 has created an environment of forced innovation. A stark increase in telehealth utilization and softening of related billing regulations demonstrates how this virtual practice is catching on across the healthcare industry. Beyond telehealth, hospitals, faced with budgetary constraints and looming shortages, have turned their attention to the availability of data aggregation to maximize resources within hospital walls and beyond. The utility of both telehealth and clinical informatics has risen for the past few years and we expect to see continued adoption of these technology-based solutions in 2021.
Data-Driven Medicine is Expanding. The idea of data-driven smart hospitals is an emerging concept in healthcare, involving decision-making supported by clinical and operational informatics in a completely connected digital realm. While new here in the U.S., there are hospitals in Canada, the UK, Singapore, and South Korea leading the way to complete digitalization. They benefit from the automation and aggregation of data in the areas of work efficiency, clinical excellence, and improved patient outcomes. Smart hospitals can also serve as key assets for managing the health of our population. Their ability to look beyond their walls and connect within the community allows them to ensure patients recover and stay well. Increasing the knowledge and capabilities of our physician leaders is one of the keys to furthering this data-driven approach. The growth in the Clinical Informatics Graduate Medical Education Program should help alleviate this disparity. This program provides education for fellows to learn and apply knowledge in informatics concepts and tools to the practice of medicine in order to improve clinical practice and patient outcomes.
Our Unwavering Commitment. Germane has kept a close eye upon these changing trends and we commit to providing our clients with our experience and expertise to help guide their journey in this emerging healthcare environment. Germane brings a long history of work within academic medicine, cutting-edge technologies, and innovative approaches to strategy, accreditation, operations, finance, and data analytics.
We are poised to usher our clients into the new generation of academic medicine and medical practice, through alignment of graduate medical education with each organization’s strategic direction and contribution to short and long-term goals. Germane will work closely with clients to maximize each program’s value by optimizing operations, ensuring accreditation compliance, maximizing financial stability, and identifying health outcome approaches and funding opportunities.
With our unwavering commitment to promote sustainable change and improve academic medicine, we look forward to partnering with you.
Susan Hearn, RN, BSN, MBA
Vice President, Germane Solutions