Top Five Trends for 2022: Your Hospital’s Guide to Improved Performance

What is your hospital’s top post-acute focus for 2022? From talent retention to market expansion, there are often competing priorities.

The rapidly changing healthcare environment makes it challenging to strategically align focus with the growing opportunity in local communities. According to a recent Deloitte/Fortune survey, CEOs are expecting strong growth fueled by innovation and pent-up consumer demand. Further, there will be an intense focus on market expansion, as well as optimizing new workplace models to attract and retain top healthcare talent.1

Dr. Sally Brooks

Read this guide to learn the top trends in healthcare for 2022 with analysis from industry leaders including Deloitte and Fortune. Further, hear from Kindred Rehabilitation Services’ Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. Sally Brooks on how these trends are impacting health systems. Dr. Brooks pulls from Kindred’s experience as a strategic partner to more than 150 of the top hospitals across the country.

The top five post-acute trends include:

1. Rapid rise of staff shortages and burnout

Rapid rise of staff shortages and burnout

In the Fortune/Deloitte survey, health system CEOs noted that their biggest obstacle in the upcoming year is staff recruitment and retention.1 However, before addressing this issue it is critical to understand the short- and longterm outlook of staffing challenges and the strategies needed to address them as a whole.

“The overall outlook of the healthcare staffing shortage is grim, but can be substantially improved if prompt action is taken within a hospital,” stated Dr. Brooks. “For the short-term outlook, staff are simply burned out from COVID’s impact and the continued strain on bed capacity and nursing ratios. The long-term outlook should be viewed as a national priority as health systems need to determine if they can deliver the same high-quality care with constrained resources.”

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2. Evolution and continued growth of telehealth

Evolution and continued growth of telehealth

A host of waivers made available throughout the pandemic helped break down the barriers to telehealth access. This innovation helped enable patients, regardless of location and illness, to receive prompt care during a time of hospital restrictions.

Now that health systems are adjusting to COVID’s impact, the long-term availability and access to telehealth services is a top priority for hospital integration beyond the public health emergency. “Telehealth will most definitely remain a strategy within a hospital’s care continuum,” stated Dr. Brooks. “This is especially true within local communities where ongoing provider shortages make telehealth a vital strategy to help ensure patients can access necessary care.”

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3. Increased need for post-acute services aiding medically complex, COVID-19 and "long-hauler" patients

Increased need for post-acute services aiding medically complex, COVID-19 and “long-hauler” patients

Post-acute care continues to serve as one of the leading methods of care for medically complex, COVID-19 and “long-hauler” patients. Additionally, certain post-acute services, such as acute rehabilitation, are specifically designed to treat the complexities of today’s growing patient population, especially for those who spent extended time in a hospital and require aggressive interventions to regain function. This form of care differs from lower levels of care such as skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and home health, making it valuable and increasingly necessary across a hospital’s care continuum.

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4. Demand for co-location and flexibility as patient needs shift

Demand for co-location and flexibility as patient needs shift

Co-location, or the integration of multiple care settings on one hospital – or health system – campus, will continue to see substantial growth. Having a streamlined care approach within the hospital is crucial for patient and hospital outcomes as well as overall hospital flexibility.

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5. Financial stability after COVID-19

Financial stability after COVID-19

Eighty percent of healthcare executives noted that the largest priority for their hospital was financial stability when looking at their strategic plans for the upcoming year, according to a recent Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) survey.3

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Post-acute partnership’s role in a hospital’s 2022 plans

Among the healthcare trends for 2022, there is a common denominator that can help c-suite professionals stay ahead of these trends. When key business opportunities are captured with the help of an experienced and focused post-acute partner, the entire hospital can reap the benefits.

Through a history of successful joint-venture partnerships and management agreements, Kindred works with health systems to more effectively meet the needs of their patients, maintain employee satisfaction and generate long-term quality outcomes for their organization.

How Kindred Can Help

To learn how Kindred can help your hospital meet the growing opportunities and stay ahead of future trends, visit


  1. (2021, October 8). 2021 CEO priorities survey. Deloitte United States. Retrieved October 21, 2021, from chief-executive-officer/articles/ceo-survey.html.
  2. Person. (2021, October 20). Are health care wages going up-permanently? Advisory Board. Retrieved October 25, 2021, from https://www.advisory. com/daily-briefing/2021/10/20/health-care-wages
  3. HFMA, (September 2021), Rehabilitation Service Live Survey, [PowerPoint Slides], Healthcare Financial Management Association

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