At the beginning of 2021, a lot of people were eager to close the book on 2020 and return to normalcy and predictability. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case in many regards. But I saw people continuing to adjust, adapt, and evolve to the challenges thrown our way, and a few noticeable trends emerged over the course of the year.

 

2021 for the healthcare industry

Many health system leaders had been hopeful that the worst of COVID-19 was behind them until the Delta variant brought it roaring back in certain regions. Even prior to the emergence of the Omicron variant, those same leaders started to believe that COVID-19 will be a permanent concern and are building out plans accordingly.

Obviously, the well-publicized labor shortage has changed business models across the board. Health systems are working hard to figure out how they can automate more work and allow their limited pool of resources work at their top of license. Efficiency has become a primary goal; not to save money but to improve access, staff, and patient satisfaction. Telehealth, as an example, is a model that is here to stay.

Another part of that efficiency in the eyes of health system leaders is developing systematic approaches for managing capacity. The combination of increasing patient demand and a shrinking workforce makes it incredibly difficult to keep all available beds open, which is key for managing Covid-related surges. Many health systems are now seeking out enterprise platforms that offer broad capabilities for managing both patients and staff.

 

2021 for Hospital IQ

That desire for broad capabilities ties right into what I would say I’m most proud of in regard to our company this year. We had a very strong product in 2020 and although there was tremendous uncertainty due to the pandemic, we continued to invest in the technology and grow our business. This gave us confidence to double down in 2021, bringing in a new round of capital, growing our team by more than 50%, and accelerating our growth.

There’s no question that 2020 and 2021 were strange times for all of us. They highlighted the need for health systems to up their game in capacity management capabilities, accelerating demand for Hospital IQ. This has presented us with a unique opportunity to shape the future in ways that weren’t possible before, and I see a lot of reason for optimism in 2022.

 

Looking ahead to 2022

Looking ahead to next year, what I see on the horizon for us is a continued acceleration of new customers, as well as existing customers doing more with us. We also see more success for platforms that integrate with existing ecosystems and less emphasis on disparate point products. Finally, we expect continued innovation with our customers as we recognize other use cases for our technology.

For healthcare in general in 2022, I expect to keep seeing consolidation and increasing pressure on cost containment. And fortunately, while it’s unlikely that it disappears entirely, COVID-19 should become relatively more predictable and treatable. Most hospitals will just plan on allocating a certain amount of their capacity to COVID-19 units, like seasonal flu planning, and manage the rest of their capacity accordingly.

2020 was a year of unknowns while 2021 was a year of continuous adjustments – both remarkably successful. 2022 is going to be a year of high expectations. I know I’m looking forward to it.