The COVID-19 crisis has forever changed healthcare. As cases spread throughout the country, providers turned to innovative digital tools to continue to deliver the care patients need even when they were cities apart.
While telehealth only accounted for 8 percent of provider/patient interactions in December 2019, that number grew to 29 percent in May as the virus numbers increased. Telehealth is comprised of digital interactions that can occur over chat, the phone, or via video. These digital interactions with providers, even more than in-person ones, must provide patients with an engaging, easy experience to be successful, according to the experts at Sitecore in a recent eBook, The Patient is Ready to See You.
“There will be a wave of ongoing adoption and increased acceptance, even as the pandemic begins to wind down,” said Dr. Wyatt Decker, CEO of OptumHealth. “I think the shift is permanent.”
This digital shift empowers both patients and providers that are already accustomed to a digitally driven world. While we often link digital tools and young adults, telehealth is also vital in providing continuous care to all age groups, according to the eBook.
“At a time when many countries have the largest elderly population in their history, authorities and individuals increasingly recognize the importance of healthy living. That means moving away from reactive, disconnected care to models that provide preventative, connected, and continuous care. Patients will expect greater transparency over outcomes too,” said Vijayanta Gupta, Global Vice President of Product and Industry at Sitecore.
The current crisis has showcased the importance of digital healthcare and the experience behind it to the health of our country. “When we look back a decade from now, we are going to divide healthcare into the pre-COVID and post-COVID world,” said Dr. Amy Compton-Phillips, EVP and Chief Clinical Officer at Providence St. Joseph Health, in a recent HIMSS TV episode.
Providers, especially as we come out of the pandemic, need to embrace the “new normal.” This normal will consist of care that is thoughtful, connected, and provides a great patient experience. “How can we use COVID to create the future we want to see?” asked Compton-Phillips.
The answer is right in front of us. Click here to learn more.