plays a central role in the healthcare cost equation. That's true for all workers in healthcare, clinicians or not. Digital capabilities have the power to reshape healthcare delivery: increase collaboration, streamline communication, eliminate unnecessary work, and reduce—even eliminate, in some cases—the need for travel. Taken together, we refer to these capabilities as "Next-Generation Workers." Globally, they have the potential to generate over $182 billion in profit to 2018 and well over $1 trillion through 2024.
It's easy to understand how capabilities like telecommuting, mobile collaboration, and bring your own device (BYOD) can drive significant benefits among back-office and administrative staff in healthcare organizations. After all, these are the same kinds of benefits we see in more traditional "corporate" jobs. The benefits in this area alone are massive.
What gets less attention is how the same capabilities are facilitating new ways of working for clinicians and other caregivers. Most of us tend to think of telecommuting and remote collaboration as "working from home." That's rarely the case for doctors.
Instead, consider a doctor working from your
home—if, say, you're recovering from a recent stroke. With such capabilities, your neurologist can consult your medical records, add notes based on her follow-up observations, and ensure that the rest of your care team receives a timely update of key information. In this case, the advantage comes through facilitating travel—to patients' homes—rather than eliminating it. The result is both increased patient satisfaction and reduced cost of follow-up care. That has been the experience of one prominent American teaching hospital's stroke clinic. "Hospital at Home
" programs around the world, including in the United States, Canada, Australia, England, and Israel, have seen similar results—including better patient outcomes.