6 digital health trends of 2021 

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives released its end-of-year annual trends in digital health, revealing six key findings in 2021. Using data and knowledge from the hospitals and centers participating in the CHIME Most Wired survey, it pulled together the top digital health trends for health systems across the nation. 

Here are six trends that made it into the report:

1. COVID-19-related tech

The pandemic has spurred 87 percent of organizations to adopt patient flow systems, encouraged more than 90 percent of organizations to report vaccination data to relevant bodies, and inspired some hospitals to invest in contact-tracing technology.

2. Less value-based care

The financial pressure of the pandemic caused the shift to value-based care models to slow down. The average total revenue from fee-for-service models increased 5 percentage points from 2020 to 76 percent in 2021.

3. Population health management

Participation in population health management tracking was steady. Organizations relied on their EHRs and a combination of technologies across these activities.

4. Opioid management

Opioid use reduction strategies and techniques were expanded across organizations in 2021. Electronic prescribing of opioids and order set maintenance were the most widely used techniques.

5. Patient engagement

After the telehealth surge of 2020, telemedicine use stabilized in 2021. Patient portals and apps, however, expanded their capabilities, and organizations reported high patient engagement.

6. Security

Adoption of components that contribute to a competent security plan remained consistent. Adoption of technological security measures saw the largest growth, with a 10-13 percentage point increase since 2020. 

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