Five dimensions of change: Predictions for 2021

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More than 465 years ago, French prophet and philosopher Michel de Nostradamus made catastrophic predictions about 2021 in his book, Les Propheties. Don’t despair: Here are five things you can count on this year.

1 – Transformation to home-based offices will become the norm: The mass transition to home-based work is approaching the 1-year mark and a lot has changed in a short amount of time. Now that the feasibility of working at home has been proved, it will be tough for organizations to transition back to pre-pandemic times. During 2021, organizations will begin reengineering everything from physical offices to digital infrastructure, and this has broad implications on how states and business associates conduct business.

2 – Increased focus on cybersecurity outside of enterprise walls: State organizations must mitigate the cybersecurity risks created by a sudden shift to employees working from home. As uncertainty related to the pandemic lingers, many organizations are choosing to maintain “virtual offices” over the next 12 to 18 months. The shift may lead to the undetected exploitation of vulnerabilities in existing remote work technologies. State organizations will need to reevaluate cybersecurity budgets and prioritize investments to improve their cyber resilience in line with the risk.

3 – The move to self-sufficiency — care reform: Care reform focuses on changes in the way true holistic care is delivered. Managing a person’s medical, behavioral and socioeconomic well-being, with aims to restore and sustain self-sufficiency, is an unsolved problem. At the federal level, the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Innovation (CMMI) will continue to develop and evaluate new delivery models for different types of providers, patients and populations. States will shift to transform people’s lives, building stronger families and communities, through a coordinated set of health and human services that holistically address all of the aforementioned vital areas of a person’s well-being, and support restoring and maintaining their self-sufficiency.

4 – The rise of intelligent surveillance and response: Intelligent surveillance systems are increasingly needed to provide situational awareness in all aspects of how care is delivered. Analytics, machine learning, natural language processing and artificial intelligence capabilities will be exploited at various points within the continuum of care to improve health and community outcomes.

5 – Rip and replace or modernize in place: The challenges with modularity boil down to cost and complexity. States will begin to transition from full-on system replacement strategies to ones that focus on modernizing in place — for example, re-platforming, re-architecting and fine-grained components that yield near-term improvements.

If nothing else, 2021 is going to be an interesting year as we will see wide-spread changes — in how we work, how we stay safe, how we care for our families, how we adapt and how we rebuild. Come back next time for in-depth views on each of these five dimensions of change in 2021.

 

About the Author

Dan Gonos is chief technology officer for Gainwell Technologies, responsible for leading the development and delivery of new solutions for clients in healthcare and government. He directs technology R&D, technology transfer and change management, creating intellectual property, analytics, and exploiting key technologies and best practices that transform ideas into reality.

Dan can be reached at