The Future of Healthcare in Australia: Designed for Consumers, Digitally Enabled and Accessible to All | Deloitte Australia

MARCH 2, 2022: 70% of Australians are ready to use virtual health services and 80% are ready to share their health data in a digital health system. These are some of the findings of a survey of nearly 2,000 Australians, one of the largest consumer surveys on digital health since the pandemic. the white paper, Australian healthcare reinventedis the result of a partnership between Deloitte, Curtin University and the Consumers Health Forum of Australia on a Digital Health CRC project.

The white paper calls for a redesigned health system to address growing health inequalities and improve system sustainability through a digital and goal-oriented health system. It also found that while there is strong support for virtual health, support is weakest among groups with the most to gain, with educational background being a notable separator of digital health use by the individuals.

Other key findings:

People have had positive experiences with telehealth

  • 69% have experienced telehealth in the last 12 months
  • 72% agreed the outcome was the same as face-to-face
  • 83% of them agreed that the doctor or other healthcare professional was as knowledgeable as other doctors or healthcare professionals they had seen in person

People are ready to use technology for health and try a digital format to access care

  • 74% were at least somewhat willing to access an online health coach
  • 65% would consider using more advanced home technologies to identify and diagnose health conditions

People want to be proactive about their health and have control over their health data

  • 83% wanted to be able to access their own health records, share their health information, message their healthcare team, and change their care plans using a personal device

People understand the importance of healthcare providers having access to their entire medical records

  • 71% agreed that giving healthcare providers shared access to their health information would improve communication between them and their providers.

According to the report:

  • Customer experience is poor Due to the inherent complexity of the system, consumers often report difficulties accessing and navigating health services and receiving coordinated care
  • Health staff will be overwhelmed Significant changes in the age profile of the workforce and declining participation rates will present a real challenge in meeting the health needs of an aging population
  • The system is unsustainable Australia will not be able to afford the healthcare system in its current form, as our growing and aging population continues to drive demand to unsustainable levels
  • The system does not serve all Australians equally Patient outcomes and disease severity differ significantly by demographics such as cultural and ethnic background, geography, and socioeconomic status.

It also describes the transformation that the health system needs to meet the needs of people over the next ten years. These are divided into three horizons:

  • Horizon 1: The connected consumer – People receive fragmented and uniform care. The system is focused on disease treatment, and there is minimal data sharing and analog record keeping, resulting in significant administrative burden for health workers and a poor experience for consumers.
  • Horizon 2: the autonomous consumer – People are empowered to access care and services are easier to navigate and access. Moderate data sharing and workflows ease the administrative workload of employees
  • Horizon 3: The Confident Consumer – People take an active role in their health and well-being and have strong relationships with healthcare providers. The system benefits from strong data interoperability, digital tools and ecosystem connections to deliver personalized care.

Luke Baxby, National Head of Health at Deloitte Australia, said: “The Australian healthcare system is world-class and has generally served the community well, including during this unprecedented global COVID pandemic. However, it does not serve everyone equally and faces serious sustainability challenges with an aging population whose health needs are increasing.

“From an infrastructure perspective, for example, Deloitte’s modeling of public and private hospital bed needs to 2035 suggests that Australia will need to build a 375-bed acute care hospital each month during the next 15 years to keep pace with demand and replace aging stock.

“Our vision proposes a reset. Implemented effectively, this vision will lead to improved and more equitable access to health care, provide choice and support for consumers to access services on their terms, better prevention of health problems, and safe and secure service delivery. of high quality focused on a holistic approach. care and the social determinants of physical and mental health.

Consumer Health Forum President and CEO Leanne Wells said: “We are talking about a reimagined, sustainable healthcare system that is driven by and responds to consumer demands.

“One of the challenges is certainly to ensure that we use technology to improve equity of access to health, and not to create a digital barrier. Digitizing everything will not be a solution in itself. In fact, it will leave the most vulnerable behind, as people with the lowest health outcomes and access to services are the least connected, the least willing to use virtual health, and the most suspicious when it comes to it. is about sharing health data. We must ensure that no one is left behind.

Professor Suzanne Robinson of Curtin University, said, “Now is the time to seize what is a real opportunity and challenge a health system that has traditionally resisted change. We have developed a roadmap to achieve this future state of health. Collective action and accountability will be imperative to realizing these ambitions.

“Australia needs to capitalize on the momentum and investments already made, and governments and regulators will need to set standards for virtual care, ensure data security, procure technology infrastructure and ensure that funding streams based on value encourage integrated virtual care models.”

The Digital Health CRC is funded under the Commonwealth Cooperative Research Centers (CRC) scheme.

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