Consumerization was a major healthcare trend before COVID-19, but the pandemic has clearly accelerated it. Given the continued higher use of telehealth services post-pandemic as well as recent news that consumer retail giants Amazon, Walmart and even Dollar General are expanding their healthcare offerings, consumers are driving change. Retailers and other industries like banking and travel with strong consumer strategies understand how to appeal to consumers through convenience and simplicity, two qualities that healthcare (although improving) is lagging.
Driven by major revenue losses due to COVID-19, increasing patient volume was deemed the top priority for physician practices in 2021 and beyond, according to a recent poll conducted by Epion Health. Poll respondents characterized boosting the number of appointments to their practice as “critical” or “most critical,” more than any other priority for 2021.
In a study of 2,000 adults from around the United States, two-thirds of respondents stated that COVID-19 increased their willingness to try telehealth in the future. This is in comparison to about 25 percent who expressed they hadn’t previously considered it an option.
February 17, 2021
In the 1920s, radios were used to communicate medical advice to clinics on ships. Thirty years later, two Pennsylvania physicians exchanged radiologic images through telephone lines. A little more than 20 years ago, the University of Alaska Anchorage and the Alaska Native Health Board created the Village Telemedicine Project to provide telemedicine equipment to four regional hospitals and 20 village clinics to benefit Alaska Native people.
Probably one of the industries most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic is healthcare. Physicians and nurses are working endless hours to treat patients, and hospitals and health systems are trying to ramp up their testing capabilities for the influx of people who suspect they have the new coronavirus.
In the school of hard knocks, the coronavirus is the new headmaster.
COVID-19 administered a nearly impossible financial test to physician practices, forcing them to quickly rethink the way they deliver care.