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Shaping the New Health Economy

Shaping the New Health Economy


Shaping the New Health Economy
Last Updated: 02-Jul-2014

Perhaps no industry is undergoing more change than the pharmaceutical industry at present. Advances in technology, sweeping new regulations, a rapid shift in business models, and the empowerment of consumers are all having a dramatic impact on the industry and the core competencies required for health companies to succeed. These changes translate into new strategies, new markets, new services, and new processes – and ultimately new projects.

A key to navigating such complexities and to developing repeatable success is to find an informed perspective that can help organisations swiftly respond to challenges and best position themselves for the future. Everyone wins when project execution is given a clean bill of health. Proving Business Value for Your Learning Investments Learning investments in project management must be linked to improved business performance. In a recent survey, ESI International asked 11,064 learners from the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries to rate how their training in project-related areas has impacted their business performance. The numbers speak for themselves.

Return on Investment

According to the survey, 90 percent of health care professionals claimed that training was a worthwhile investment in their career development. From a business perspective, the return on investment was found to be significant at 458%. When asked whether they learned new knowledge and skills through their training, 94 percent said they had.


Direct Business Impact

From improved communications to an increase in productivity, training gave healthcare professionals the boost they needed to be better at their jobs.

Industry Drivers and their Impact on Project Performance

While every organisation has their unique business issues, our extensive research and practical work with leading healthcare companies has allowed us to aggregate these unique business issues into four definitive drivers that distinguish the industry today. Our clients have also realised the most value against these business drivers by focusing on select project performance areas.


In the past, healthcare revenues have flowed from corporations and the government to third-party payers and ultimately to providers. The enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, however, has changed all of that. In this new era, consumers are becoming more active in their health care choices and the resulting competitive landscape is affecting how all players in healthcare – from payers to providers to patients – consider their roles in the industry. Consumers will no longer be insulated from the cost of care and will inevitably demand more transparency from providers and their insurance companies. Increased scrutiny from these new cost-conscience buyers will force providers and payers to re-examine their business processes and further streamline operations to contain costs. Whether through process improvement initiatives or employing new technologies, improving operational effectiveness ultimately depends on improving project effectiveness.

Disruptive New Business Models

The healthcare industry is experiencing an era of great transition: the migration from a fee-for-service to a more value-based system of financial reimbursements; a focus by both providers and payers on wellness care versus disease management; and a shift from B2B to more B2C activities. According to a recent Harvard Business review blog post, Apple is contributing greatly to the disruptive technologies servicing the primary health care industry.

“The delivery of primary health care in the United States is ripe for disruption. Apple might conceivably go beyond what seems to be inevitable forays into the fitness and health-monitoring markets to create new disruptive ways to diagnose and deliver primary care and support the ongoing treatment and management of chronic illness. Doing so would require some nifty regulatory maneuvering. It would also require the company to crack a problem that has flummoxed Google and Microsoft: the creation of a simple, common electronic medical record, which could function as the glue of a new primary care value chain.“

Proven business strategies are becoming obsolete and new approaches and alliances are being discovered. Suddenly, players in a once static industry must learn to manage the velocity of change, find innovative approaches to their business, and introduce them to the market quickly, or fall victim to the new market entrants with better models and higher value solutions. To succeed, healthcare companies in the near future will need to fearlessly explore new markets, new alliances, and new solutions.

Transformative Technologies

Healthcare organisations will need technology to extend their reach and expand their solutions as pressures mount to move the customer experience away from costly care facilities closer to home. Familiar? with the benefits created by mobile, social, and cloud solutions, savvy consumers now expect solutions that embrace these new platforms and facilitate interactions and improve communications with all players within the healthcare supply chain. Delivering relevant customer experiences on the front end, however, depends on the segmentation and personalisation provided by big data initiatives on the backend. With new data-driven technologies coming online almost daily, healthcare organisations will need to rigorously evaluate offerings and aggressively implement solutions when and where they create value. Improving the customer experience is not sole driver for new technologies. Compliance requirements (EHR, ICD-10, etc.) are also adding to the growing demand for data management and improved reporting. The industry is leaning more and more on technology to help meet compliance requirements – a trend that is not likely to subside anytime in the near future.

Velocity, Uncertainty, and Change

Whether initiated from compliance mandates, changing demographics, new enabling technologies, or emerging business models, healthcare organisations must respond to velocity, uncertainty and change -- each a key driver of risk -- in an industry built upon risk-aversion. Many healthcare organisations are seeking new opportunities – particularly outside of their traditional, heavily regulated lines of business – through mergers, acquisitions and partnerships. These collaborations bring additional uncertainty.

Success will ultimately come to those organisations that can recognise, analyse, and mitigate risk and learn to communicate effectively in this very complex environment through smart project management.