Next-Gen Care Delivery: Activating Providers, Patients and Payers to Thrive Post-Pandemic
A few months back, when we envisioned the future, the thought of COVID-19 , or anything like it, was not in our discussions. But today, the impact this pandemic has had on health, wealth, and well-being is enormous. The American healthcare system was already working to decrease the escalating costs of healthcare when the pandemic struck. Despite the implementation of safety precautions and community measures, COVID-19 stretched healthcare resources to the brink and took the lives of thousands of people nationwide.
But the biggest question is: what next? What does the future of healthcare hold? What will healthcare delivery look like in the post-pandemic world?
Telehealth: Not a future anymore, but a necessity realized in the present
The surge in telemedicine is never going to slow down. The only thing that is destined to happen in the future is patients leveraging telehealth and virtual visits more openly and conveniently accessing care without long wait times. Thanks to global brands, such as Netflix and Amazon, the consumer now expects a comfortable, elegant, and individualized experience at every stage of the decision-making process. Needless to say, similar consumer-centricity will need to be a significant element in healthcare going forward.
In fact, Stephen K. Klasko, MD, MBA, advises , “We should never again use the word ‘telehealth,’ just as we don’t use the word ‘telebanking.’ It’s just that 90% of banking went from the bank to the home. Much the same will happen in healthcare.
The best part about this situation is that most organizations realized and leveraged the power of astute planning in optimizing their assets and enhancing their patient outreach through telehealth, which helped to save a greater number of lives.
Who knows? This pandemic might actually open the doors to care delivery powered by Star Wars-style technology!
The world of flexibility, adaptability, and changes in predictability
The pandemic showed us that every single healthcare resource is crucial and that we must ensure there are ample supplies to cater to every patient’s needs at all times. While the conventional response to managing the high influx of patients is to increase the number of inpatient beds and ventilators, is that really the correct way to go about it?
Instead, what we can expect hospitals to do in the post-pandemic world is increase the flexibility and adaptability of the facilities in their networks. It is challenging for anyone to predict the ebb and flow of pandemic needs, considering the fact that care depends on many unprecedented factors outside of their control. So being able to ramp up and respond when the need arises and scale back when it ebbs should be the new normal. And in order to achieve that flexibility and adaptability, they need to envision the various ways they might optimize their resource utilization.