High-touch futurist Connie Reimers-Hild: The future of rural healthcare staffing

 

Connie Reimers-Hild, Associate Director, Rural Futures Institute
At this moment we are at a time of incredible challenge, but also incredible opportunity. Imagine rural hospitals collaborating with technology companies, startups and other partners to co-create the next healthcare model with consumers, students, employees and community members. 
Connie Reimers-Hild, Ph.D., CPC
RFI Associate Executive Director & Chief Futurist

In her invited journal article, “Strategic foresight, leadership, and the future of rural healthcare staffing in the United States,” Connie Reimers-Hild, Ph.D., CPC, RFI Associate Executive Director and Chief Futurist, calls for both incremental and radical innovation as well as novel and holistic approaches to disrupt the United States’ rural healthcare model in terms of business strategy and staffing. The paper was published in the May issue of the Journal of American Academy of Physician Assistants.

 

It has been well documented that rural healthcare is in or at least nearing crisis. Broadly, the U.S. spends more on healthcare than any other nation, but ranks 34th in health outcomes. The challenges are exacerbated in the rural context where primary care provider shortages are creating significant access issues.

As both wellness and economic drivers in rural communities, healthcare providers and hospitals are at a decisive moment—how will they innovate with technology and future-focused leadership to meet patients and consumers at the intersection of their needs, wants and demands?

“This article is intended to ignite serious conversations and initial action around how the model of rural healthcare can evolve,” Reimers-Hild said. “At this moment we are at a time of incredible challenge, but also incredible opportunity. Imagine rural hospitals collaborating with technology companies, startups and other partners to co-create the next healthcare model with consumers, students, employees and community members.”

Within the paper Reimers-Hild defines two key “megatrends”—global shifts that influence society, the economy and the environment—as the base strategic foresight tools. They are:

In total, she offers seven ideas to stimulate disruptive thinking within the $3 trillion U.S. healthcare system. She demonstrates her concepts through businesses such as Stitch Fix, Doctors on Demand, Nomad Health and Microsoft. She also mentions and defines technology with health applications such as artificial intelligence (AI), sensors, robots, 3D printers, driverless vehicles, holograms and lab-on-a-chip.

“In what I believe is the first future paper for this journal, futurist Connie Reimers-Hild explores and predicts possibilities that can emerge from the present,” said Roderick Hooker, Ph.D. “In this publication her overview on rural health and the megatrends likely to disrupt business models are the investments, experiments and partnerships that are already underway. What makes her work particularly insightful for researchers is how healthcare providers serve as major employers and economic drivers in rural communities.”

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More about Dr. Connie

Media Contact
Katelyn Ideus
Director of Communication
Rural Futures Institute
University of Nebraska
kideus@nebraska.edu
(402) 659-65886