COMMENTARY

Four Things We Will Be Talking About in Medicine in 2016, According to Dr Cheryl Pegus

Cheryl Pegus, MD, MPH

Disclosures

April 22, 2016

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Hi. I'm Cheryl Pegus, director of the Division of General Internal Medicine and Clinical Innovation at New York University Langone Medical Center. Today I'd like to focus on four things that I think we will be talking about more in 2016.

The first is humanism. Over the past few years, we have spent a lot of time talking about electronic medical records (EMRs) and patient portals, but not as much time talking about the patient-doctor relationship and how we, as colleagues, relate to and support each other. In 2016, I think we will be talking more about the empathy necessary in our relationships as we provide patient care and build communities within our medical institutions. Humanism will grow as part of medical education, and there will be more seminars on this topic. One of the leaders in this area is the Arnold P. Gold Foundation.

A second thing that we will be talking more about in 2016 is the field of nursing and the nursing shortage; however, we will approach it a bit differently in 2016. Fifty percent of nurses are over the age of 50, and over 62% say that they will retire soon.[1] More importantly, for nursing students who are looking to go to school, there are not enough faculty and staff in nursing schools. The issue will become more critical, and we will become more adaptive and innovative in our solutions. The way that we have shortened medical school curriculums into shorter training periods, we will shorten and accelerate training programs for nurses. The way that we have utilized nurse practitioners as extenders for primary care physicians, we will begin to do that for nurses, and there will be nurse extenders. There will be more actionable solutions to an issue that does have solutions.

The third thing that we will be talking about in 2016 is three-dimensional (3D) printing. The first reason that we will be talking about this is because the cost of equipment for 3D printing has come down. The second reason is that there are studies that show that if 3D models are utilized before surgery, we get better clinical outcomes, we are more efficient and definitely more cost-effective, and there is greater patient engagement.[2] For more complex surgery, I believe that using 3D printing prior to surgery will become part of our, if you will, cost-effective dashboard. Use of things like prosthetics as well as hearing aids will become more common because we will become more comfortable with the equipment.

The fourth thing that we will be talking about in 2016 is still technology, but we will be talking about it differently. There will be more discussion about mobile technology, not static technology, as we have talked about with EMRs. We will be talking less about data in and more about data out. We will be talking about proactive data to help people manage their health in their communities, utilizing geo-focused data that provide information about where you should eat and what are the types of services available in your community. We will be talking about real-time services that take into account how someone lives their life and how they can afford to live it. We will also be looking at technology for behavioral engagement. We will focus on people's culture and we will also focus on their personal needs. This will require a different type of healthcare and technology partnerships, while healthcare organizations will take some of their great expertise and assist in the development of new programs.

I'm Cheryl Pegus, and these are some of the things that I think we will be talking about in 2016. Thank you.

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