It is difficult to think of an industry that has been more impacted by Covid-19 than healthcare.
In-person patient care has been gradually resuming nationwide and we find ourselves asking what will be important for healthcare organizations as they emerge?
We know for sure that building or rebuilding trust, addressing racial disparities and leveraging technology for convenience will be critical.
COVID-19 and vaccine misinformation and misperceptions are widespread.
Health systems now need to establish themselves as the trusted source for information and for care within their communities. Understanding the needs, perceptions, and knowledge of the population a health system serves is critical to ensuring people receive appropriate care. Once the needs are understood a health system can respond appropriately with messaging, advertising, and education campaigns.
The virus has exacerbated and exposed the racial disparities both in accessing healthcare and for those working within the healthcare system.
To improve patient outcomes in all communities, health systems must harness an internal culture of diversity and inclusion and make the necessary changes in recruitment, promotion, and retention. In turn, a diverse and empowered workforce will be more likely to deliver holistic, equitable care in underserved communities. In addition asking patients for feedback about healthcare delivery models to include culture, religion and other aspects of identity will contribute to the development of better models for inclusive high quality care delivery.
The convenience and accessibility of virtual visits means telehealth is here to stay.
Health systems need to ensure this type of interaction delivers a satisfactory experience. The patient experience begins when a consumer visits a provider's website. Can they find what they are looking for? Can they easily schedule an appointment? Continuity in service, quality, and branding from the virtual experience to the physical experience is essential. Understanding what works (or doesn't) with your patient's digital experience, and improving it, is necessary to effectively compete.
The organizations that focus on their performance in becoming a trusted source of information, serving underserved communities and leveraging technology will meet both the immediate and long term needs of patients creating exceptional experiences and leading to true transformation.