The Post-pandemic New Normal That
Practices Are Adapting to
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, forgone visits have established cumulative deficits in patients’ treatment and practice revenue. The ‘temporary’ easing of telehealth made by the US governments and by health authorities in other countries raised the questions of how long the pandemic will persist, and what exactly is the post-pandemic era? A considerable number of experts predicted that the COVID-19 pandemic would not end within this year and could be prolonged for more than two years. Although it is still uncertain, the consequences of COVID-19 will never be short-lived.
Amid the continued global spread, humans have adapted to a new normal, and since this new normal has been generated because of infectious disease, healthcare is at the center of the post-pandemic era.
Specifically, the pandemic is expected to morph into how hospitals and practices manage and handle adaptability, flexibility, remote care, and IT infrastructure.
Adaptability and Flexibility
Hospitals, multi-specialty practices, and solo practices were profoundly shaken by the pandemic. Some had to furlough almost half of their staff, others witnessed a remarkable drop in their revenue, and others had to face both situations in addition to not being able to treat patients. One of the main lessons this pandemic has changed in the healthcare industry is its preparedness to face any sudden changes that might pop up. Many practices had to adapt to implementing new workflows, deploying RPM and CCM to continue treating their patients and working with less staff to curb COVID-19.
To decrease the risk of transmitting the virus to either patients or physicians, healthcare professionals are focusing their efforts on providing their medical services through remote patient monitoring technology. Outpatient practices and hospitals adaptation to this new normal way of delivering care encourages patients to ask for remote visits to stay safe during the pandemic. Although it started because of the pandemic, the healthcare industry is expected to still work with remote care as the new normalcy for high-quality care. To cultivate adaptability and flexibility, healthcare professionals are on the path of changing the shape of healthcare altogether to be always ready for any zoonotic diseases or pandemics that might appear in the future. Remote patient monitoring and chronic care management programs are now being deployed, changing the traditional medical care delivery as we know it.
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the use of telehealth and remote patient monitoring RPM software is no longer a luxury, rather, a necessity. The most fundamental change in the healthcare sector is people’s increased awareness of health. Having solid RPM software is a competitive advantage that patients look for now when choosing their healthcare providers. This criterion is not temporary to the COVID-19 era, but rather to distinguish the top-notch healthcare providers from other less precautious ones.
These facts encouraged numerous healthcare providers to start innovating their IT infrastructure to ensure that their infrastructure is sufficiently ready to cope with the advent of digitalization. Since non-contact services include health management using chatbots, AI speakers, and IoT, the radical change in healthcare IT was inevitable.
With the advent of digitalization, hospitals and practices are leveraging technology to benefit their institutions and patients. Healthcare professionals are working on having interoperable health information systems, robust cybersecurity defenses, and a digitally savvy healthcare workforce.