What a year.
As hard as it is to believe, it has been nearly a year since coronavirus was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). Since then, the healthcare industry has learned many lessons from the pandemic, and quite frankly, more than the industry would like to admit. But these lessons will improve the way healthcare is done for years to come.
Here is what we’ve learned from COVID-19 and how providers can use it to improve healthcare.
Consistent Communication Goes a Long Way
The pandemic has changed in so many ways since the first infections hit the U.S. This has frustrated many healthcare consumers since the beginning because they don’t know what to trust. While the information is continuously changing, it doesn’t mean your communications approach should.
It’s important to keep updating your information and keep it consistent across all communication channels so that your patients aren’t confused and they know exactly what’s going on. And when things do change, be clear on why. Make patients feel as safe as possible so that they’re comfortable returning. As long as honest and thorough without leaving room for interpretation, your patients will find value in you as a provider.
Healthcare has the Technology
Healthcare consumer engagement technology has always been there, but the slow adoption of it has made it difficult to hit the mainstream over the years. It wasn’t until the pandemic hit that providers could envision healthcare consumers being open to these tools.
Now, patients are more responsive to options such as telehealth, at-home diagnostic tests, wearables, remote monitoring and digital health platforms with these services integrated within them. They value the added convenience, safety and improved health outcomes these services provide and now, they expect it.
Adapting is Necessary
Coronavirus has impacted every provider in a tough way, no matter their specialty. The centers, clinics and hospitals that have fared better than most not only adapted to the pandemic but they were already preparing for the future of healthcare.
While you don’t necessarily want to be the first business on top of the latest trend or advancement, falling behind isn’t ideal either. Consider implementing automated reminders for appointments, patient payments, test results and other important notifications. You can also integrate post-appointment surveys to get a better understanding of your patients and create an opportunity to get a review from them on your Google my Business page.
But the best thing you can do is utilize data so that you can better engage with patients. PatientBond created the Insights Accelerator™ to help providers get deep insights into their patients using psychographic segmentation. Psychographics show what motivates a person to take action on something, like what drives a patient to take care of their health or what motivates a patient to choose a provider. By determining what their patients’ segment, providers can better understand what their beliefs and values are.
Taking steps like this takes time to implement, but staying ahead of the curve will help your center prepare for what’s ahead.
Healthcare is a Priority
But there’s no denying that everyone views healthcare a lot differently a year into a global pandemic. Healthcare consumers who might not have had a provider a year ago are being more proactive about their personal healthcare options. Burnout is becoming a major issue among all healthcare providers due to the strains that have been placed on their staff. And the state of the U.S. healthcare system as a whole, which was already a high priority prior to the 2020 election, is now a top priority. The only thing that has been somewhat addressed in recent years has been costs, but those are still not where they need to be.
Healthcare is getting the long overdue attention it needs to address these issues that stemmed prior to the pandemic.
New Options are Here to Stay
Now that the pandemic has lasted a year, patients are more than comfortable with healthcare technology. Options that were slow to gain traction the last 5-10 years have quickly made leaps and bounds after consumers quickly adopted them. If you thought some of the changes would be seen as temporary, think again.
Patients are receptive to these changes more than ever. So if you’re open to adding more offerings that you’ve been putting off, now is the perfect time to make a move.You can make a big step in that direction with the PatientBond Insights Accelerator™. Learn about how you can gather patient insights related to the COVID-19 vaccine and more today.