The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for health systems to create a “new exceptional” for care delivery by going digital and embracing patient and enterprise engagement. In the Next Normal, all healthcare providers must be digital companies.
If COVID-19 has taught health systems anything, it’s that the time to wait is over. Before the pandemic struck, healthcare providers spent much of their time and resources expanding their traditional investments. Think primary care networks, surgical centers, and physical campuses. The goal was to build up brick-and-mortar walled gardens to capture and increase revenues.
But COVID-19 accelerated a shift that was long coming. Suddenly, patients had access to physicians through virtual care apps. Many started accessing retail clinics and urgent care centers. Healthcare largely went digital, and it reinforced a consumer preference in the process: Give me convenience or I’ll find a company that can. And part of delivering convenience is understanding that in the Next Normal, decentralized business models powered by digital technologies is the only viable path for sustained relevance.
Unless they want to lose patients and revenues to savvy new competitors, from Walmart and Walgreens to Teladoc, health systems must create a “new exceptional” for care delivery by going digital and embracing patient and enterprise engagement. That requires investments in a virtual walled garden, with all of the digital tools that patients now expect and behind-the-scenes innovations that keep staff happy. This also requires a single source of truth about stakeholders – patients, care givers, administration, providers – accessible to those responsible for delivering the best quality of care. In addition, health systems need to lower costs along the way.
Want to publish your own articles on DistilINFO Publications?
Send us an email, we will get in touch with you.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has also led to every company thinking like a healthcare company and the rise of chief medical officer. As the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of Salesforce, Dr. Ashwini Zenooz is a member of a new generation of corporate medical leaders with a seat in the C-suite. In that role, she prescribes a profound sense of empathy to patient-centered healthcare innovation.
Dr. David Agus drives home the point: “No matter what your background is, health is at the forefront of every single person’s mind. Every company needs someone, a leader, who will own this focus on health as a concept throughout the organization.”
So, what does the hospital as a digital company look like? And how can health systems pull off this transition for success during and long after the COVID-19 pandemic?
1. Complement existing services with digital patient journeys
Health systems must align their virtual walled garden with its physical counterpart and vice versa. Patients, for instance, benefit when their digital journeys complement their care.
Consider how Amazon customers know precisely where their package is, when it’s due for delivery, and how it’s getting to their door. Health systems should craft patient journeys—whether they’re based on acquisition, care plan adherence, or awareness of a new line of service—with that level of empathy. Enhance the patient experience by informing and encouraging patients.
“Healthcare [innovation] is very much on the forefront for treatment —defining new robotics, medications and vaccines to prevent and cure diseases, but it’s late to the game when it comes to improving the patient experience with technology,” says Dr. Jose Quesada, Global Head of Healthcare at Salesforce and a former CMO of both Cigna and Bupa Global.