Think back just a couple of years ago. Consider how you would meet with your doctor. You likely would drive to a healthcare provider. Then sit in a waiting room for some uncomfortable length of time. Once with the physician, you probably had a palpable sense of being rushed back out the door.
We can probably agree that healthcare has never excelled at creating good “customer experiences.” It might have been easier buying a television at a big box store than getting time with your provider.
Then came the pandemic.
Today, you’re likely to meet with the same doctor on a video call. No driving and no waiting room. You’re in front of a screen at the scheduled time, and then the physician appears. You probably don’t feel as rushed during your appointment, either.
Remote appointments were possible two years ago, of course. But the healthcare industry was still on the fence about embracing the available technology that enabled many forms of care – including virtual visits. That was primarily because of unresolved issues around reimbursement and if investments could produce the intended benefits in the long term.
But out of sheer necessity, healthcare delivery changed overnight due to the COVID-19 crisis. The emergency use of technology, which started as a forced strategy, suddenly became commonplace.
And we’re not going back to the way things were.
The pandemic inflicted a terrible global toll. But as it (hopefully) devolves into an endemic – something manageable that we can live with – healthcare needs to harness the collective lessons learned. The essential role of technology in beneficially transforming the patient experience in a post-pandemic world is now undeniable.
That was reflected in the theme of this year’s annual Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference — “Reimagine Health.” The influential event focused on emerging issues like data and interoperability as the engine of digital transformation, telehealth, and the new economics of healthcare.
It’s also why I’ve authored a new eBook called “Five Technology Trends Shaping Healthcare Today.” I’ve identified five strategic areas ripe for positive change in providing better care. The pandemic served as a catalyst for all of these trends. And the common thread is they all require a new way of thinking about digital connectivity and automation.
Every healthcare organization is pushing processes to the cloud to take advantage of the speed, agility, interoperability, and information-sharing they previously lacked in closed, on-premises technology architectures. Over the last two years, they’ve seen the potential for better care and cost savings become a proven reality.
The pandemic reshaped healthcare in unexpected ways and forced an overdue jumpstart of healthcare digitization. Yet as we move beyond this crisis, it would be an incredible shame if the broader industry didn’t put into practice what we’ve learned.
After all, do any of us want to wait in a doctor’s office if we can avoid it?
Download your free copy of “Five Technology Trends Shaping Healthcare Today” here.