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Predictions 2023: Five healthcare trends to watch out for

The challenges plaguing the healthcare system tend to be longstanding: in many ways, the problems providers and institutions face today aren’t much different from what they were 10 years ago. For example, there have always been human resource and capacity issues. 

However, the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated cyclical issues, revealing the depth of the cracks in our healthcare system. As providers, hospitals and health systems have been forced to adapt to a new paradigm, it has become clear that the status quo is no longer sufficient. If ever there was a time to innovate and experiment with new models and different approaches, that time is now. As we reflect on 2022 and look toward 2023, we can identify three recurring challenges to the healthcare sector:

1. Human resource strain:

The healthcare system was ill-prepared to cope with the magnitude of the pandemic’s impact. Healthcare workers (frontline staff in particular) bore the brunt of this lack of preparedness. They continue to struggle with the overwhelming demands the pandemic and its fallout have placed on the system. Now healthcare workers are leaving their jobs in droves at a time when they are needed more than ever. Recovering from this human resource drain will be one of the biggest challenges in 2023 and beyond.

2. Backlog of service needs:

The pandemic led to countless individuals having healthcare services – such as surgeries or diagnostic tests – cancelled, delayed, and rescheduled. Many people also went a long time without seeing their primary care provider in person, if they even had one. In some cases, this may have led to underlying health issues going undetected, leading to the need for greater interventions than if the issue had been diagnosed earlier.

3. Organizations struggling to reset:

The COVID-19 pandemic derailed many healthcare organizations’ strategic priorities, forcing them to re-examine the future state they had once envisioned. A five-year plan conceived in pre-pandemic times may have made sense before hospitals became stretched to unprecedented levels. But these plans now need to be revisited given the paradigm shifts wrought by the pandemic. The upshot is that many healthcare organizations are trying to figure out what their new future state should be, and what changes are needed in order to realize it.

Five Predictions for 2023 

Against this background, HealthHub Solutions predicts the following five major trends in the Canadian healthcare sector in 2023:

Prediction #1: A focus on simple digital solutions 

Healthcare organizations will increasingly look to implement simple, effective solutions that target specific pain points for patients and clinicians. These solutions will address “must have” needs, such as helping to improve communications, enabling better patient experiences (both in hospital and at home), driving system-wide efficiencies, and improving the user experience for clinicians. Digital healthcare solutions will proliferate as stakeholders increasingly replace legacy systems with more effective digital solutions.

Prediction #2: Intelligent automation 

Automating time-consuming manual tasks and processes is key to boosting clinician efficiency. Freeing up staff time will allow greater focus on direct patient care. According to one study, nurses spend an average of 33 percent of their shift interacting with technology. This time could be used more effectively caring for patients face-to-face. Meanwhile, according to the Ontario Medical Association (OMA), studies have shown that physicians spend two hours on electronic documentation for every one hour of direct patient interaction. Intelligent automation would reduce the administrative burden placed on nurses and physicians, allowing them to spend more time providing care.

Prediction #3: Greater patient involvement 

The days of patients assuming the role of passive observers to their own care are dwindling. Moving into 2023 and beyond, patients will become stronger advocates for themselves, becoming more involved in their own care. Hospitals and health systems that involve patients and place them at the centre of their own care will be more successful than those that don’t. Research has also linked greater patient involvement with better individual outcomes. One study that examined self-advocacy in women with cancer concluded that self-advocacy may limit the potential for disparities in care and outcomes among individuals from marginalized groups.

Prediction #4: More emphasis on green solutions 

Globally, the healthcare sector is responsible for 4.4% of harmful greenhouse gas emissions, a result of care delivery and product and technology procurement that is linked to a carbon-intensive supply chain. Healthcare contributes to carbon emissions through energy consumption, transportation, and the manufacture, use, and disposal of products. Canada is one of the worst offenders: the combined greenhouse gases emitted by the healthcare sectors of Canada, the United States, England, and Australia is greater than the carbon emissions of all but six nations worldwide. As climate change continues to be an ever-present and pressing issue, stakeholders will want to know about the environmental impact of any solutions they implement.

Prediction #5: Stronger vertical integrations 

Healthcare has a history of being horizontally integrated – for example, a hospital partnering with another hospital to address issues such as scalability or availability of services. In contrast, in a vertical integration, institutions with different capability sets join forces, boosting the effectiveness of care and improving patients’ experiences and outcomes. For example, a hospital linking directly to a long-term care (LTC) facility or a mental health provider or primary care provider. True integration occurs when institutions share budgets and staff. In a vertical integration scenario between an LTC facility and a hospital, a long-term care patient could be seen by an acute care physician without having to leave their bed. In 2023, healthcare stakeholders will more closely focus on the opportunities afforded by vertical integration, and the technologies needed to support this.


As the aftershocks of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to reverberate throughout the healthcare sector, disrupting legacy models that no longer serve patients or clinicians, the time is ripe for organizations to re-engineer their internal processes, reconsider antiquated systems and revisit their approaches to care. 

Overcoming the challenges cited earlier will depend on healthcare stakeholders embracing a digital-first mindset and adopting transformative new solutions. Any digital solutions should be implemented with the intent of augmenting the work of healthcare providers; as such, clinicians should be at the forefront of leading organizational change. Technology must always be balanced with the human side of care. 

As organizations initiate or accelerate their digital transformations in 2023, HealthHub Solutions is ideally positioned to partner with hospitals and health systems, helping them develop their digital strategies as they adapt to ever-evolving challenges. 

Building on over 50 years of experience partnering with Canadian hospitals and health systems, HealthHub Solutions tackles the biggest issues in healthcare by identifying and aggregating applications at the point of care, to optimize patient and staff experience, health outcomes and cost savings. HealthHub enables digital transformation for its partners in healthcare, starting at the bedside.


to the healthcare sector:

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Refund Policy

Rental orders with HealthHub Patient Engagement Solutions are refundable within the following guidelines:

  • Days that have been paid for (paid days1 ), but cannot be used due to a service interruption3 caused by a qualified technical issue4 may be refunded at the daily rate.

  • A day is considered used 2 hours after rental start time. Rental start time is defined by the rental order.

  • Any free days2 of rental included in a multi-day rental package cannot be exchanged for money or transferred to another patient.

  • If a refund is processed before all paid days are used, any free days are forfeited.

  • Refunds are processed from the time they are requested, and will not be backdated.

  • Once a service interruption is reported, paid days will be either refunded or added to the rental period (the choice is up to the patient). Free days will be added to the rental period, and cannot be refunded or exchanged for money.


1 Paid days = Days of service paid for with your chosen service package. All paid days must be used before the free days in a package begin. There is 1 paid day in the daily package, 5 paid days in the weekly package and 15 paid days in the monthly package. (Please note: some sites may have different rental packages).

2 Free days = Days of service that were gifted to you by HealthHub with your chosen service package. The weekly package includes 2 free days (5 paid days, 2 free days) the monthly includes 15 free days (15 paid days, 15 free days). (Please note: some sites may have different rental packages).

3 Service interruption = Service use disrupted due to a qualified technical issue, or due to being moved to a new room with a missing or damaged HealthHub terminal. (Please note: this policy applies to service delivery problems for which HealthHub is responsible; it does not apply to those for which the hospital is responsible).

4 Qualified technical issue = A technical problem that impacts service delivery or enjoyment of services on your device.