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What emerging healthcare trends will affect medical librarians over the next 10 years?

By Stacy Hartung, Elsevier Clinical Solutions | July 26, 2016

MOSAIC survey results


Mosaic ConferenceThe  rapidly evolving landscape of healthcare today presents a constant challenge to stay current, while at the same time prepare for what is around the corner. At MOSAIC 2016, we asked 80 attendees to share with us what emerging trend in healthcare will affect their role the most over the next 10 years. 



Personalized medicine


Thirty-nine percent of those surveyed believe personalized medicine will have the greatest impact. Personalized medicine, defined as “an evolving field in which physicians use diagnostic tests to determine which medical treatments will work best for each patient” by the Personalized Medicine Coalition, is becoming more and more an integral part of patient care.  Pharmaceutical and diagnostics industries are increasingly investing in this field.   


Emerging healthcare trends survey results

Poll results for "What emerging trend in healthcare will affect your role the most over the next 10 years?"


Dr. Peter Edelstein, Chief Medical Officer of Elsevier Clinical Solutions, projects that personalized healthcare will be at the forefront of medicine into the next century. He foresees patients and doctors being able to identify disease risk, and manage disease and treatments in a “truly individual, DNA-based way.” 


View Dr. Edelstein’s full commentary on personalized medicine as part of the Elsevier Medical Clinics 100 year anniversary commemoration, where we asked multiple healthcare leaders what will be the top innovations in medicine over the next 100 years:




Health information technology (HIT) in patient care


About a third of the medical librarians and health information professionals surveyed think that HIT to gather patient information and allow patient self-management will have the greatest impact on their role in the near future.  


According to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, in 2014 almost half of Americans used a form of HIT to interact with their healthcare provider, view personal health information, and track health and wellness with use significantly increasing between 2013 and 2014.  


Health information technology in patient care

Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. 'Trends in Individuals Use of Health IT: 2012 - 2014,' Health IT Quick-Stat #46. June 2015. 


Dr. Carol Steltenkamp, Chief Medical Information Officer at University of Kentucky Healthcare and Vice President of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), believes this trend will only to continue to increase, and technology will have a more dominant role in patient-directed care in the future. 


Listen to Dr. Steltenkamp’s comments on the future of HIT in medicine: 




Wellness programs


Emerging trends in wellness programs that improve health and reduce medical costs, and an increase in value-conscious patients and consumers were viewed as having the most impact on their roles over the next 10 years by 28 percent of attendees. Research has shown time and time again that preventative health services and utilization of wellness programs can help save lives and save money. Now with the increased number and use of individual wellness programs — particularly through smartphone apps and wearables — more people are taking charge of their health and their interactions with the healthcare system.


According to Accenture’s 2016 Consumer Survey on Patient Engagement, of the 80,000 global healthcare consumers interviewed, 78 percent would wear health-tracking technology to track their fitness and vital signs, and the number of people who use health apps has increased from 16 percent in 2014 to 33 percent 2016


Victoria Tiase, MSN, RN-BC, Director of Information Strategy at New York-Presbyterian Hospital predicts there will be an even greater shift from “illness” to “wellness” in the future with an increase in innovations that allow patients to see and understand their own state of wellness at all times. 


You can hear more about her predictions here:




Keeping up with the trends


Medical librarians who adapt their support and resources to trends such as these will be poised to continue making a significant and valued contribution within their organizations. Savvy librarians stay up-to-date with the evolution of both their profession and the environment in which they operate.


To learn what more healthcare leaders think will be the top innovations in medicine to come — and to see how far we have come over the past 100 years — visit, a website dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Medical Clinics. (Found on ScienceDirect, ClinicalKey and Journals Consult, Medical Clinics provides the latest clinical reviews on the issues healthcare professionals face every day.)


Do you agree these will be the biggest trends in healthcare to affect your role over the next 10 years? Let us know what you think in the comments below.