The coronavirus has had a fascinating impact on healthcare. To manage continued service, healthcare institutions offered telehealth services. Not a new concept, but COVID forced telehealth to become a primary method of care.
What the industry is seeing as a result is patients finding comfort in the practice. Patients likely expect not only continued practice, but an expanded one. This could lead to a future the healthcare industry has to prepare for.
Telehealth has been pushed into everyday practice. Patients want and expect more efficient and quicker solutions from their physicians.
The less affluent, especially in rural and suburban areas, saw a lack of choices for providers. Limited funds for travel and, in some cases, a need to find a place to stay while awaiting services, became a major problem. Providers did see a boost in business in rural and suburban regions as a result. Yet, this coincided with regular medical appointment cancellations and postponements. Elective procedures hit the bottom line throughout the crisis.
Currently, being the only doc in town won’t cut it. Providers must make adjustments to keep patient business. Patients may, if only on a temporary basis, accept a return to one-to-one interaction after the virus. But patients will look for alternatives. If providers hope to hold onto business, they need to see patient options like opening up telehealth and advancements in medical transcription in their future.
As online shopping has decreased trips to the mall or supermarket, patients want the comfort and convenience of healthcare without leaving home. What started as avoidance of exposure to the virus has turned into where’s my phone I need medical advice. Even after avoiding exposure diminishes, patients will avoid commutes and waiting times.
Before COVID, telehealth was accessed through a patient’s insurance company. The consequence was often a clinician might be selected without a medical recommendation. This showed patients that providers can give options that typically required the intervention of a general practitioner. A service offered during a crisis seems feasible after the crisis. Practitioners and healthcare insurers could be forced to rethink protocols to stay on top of increased demand.
COVID-19 has driven change in an incredibly short period. The medical community has been said to modernize more procedures since the pandemic than the previous 30 years. The question is after the pandemic, can medicine continue to grow technologically with its current urgency? To what measures will medicine pursue technology in medical transcription, prescription and office visits? Can anyone guesstimate society’s potential to follow if healthcare system changes significantly?
Yes, COVID-19 has radically changed the medical industry. It’s forced consumerism to the head of the table. The question is how long will this last?
COVID-19 has prompted a consumerism boost as patients sees the industry is beholden to them, not the other way around. Physicians of all specialties cannot afford to drop telehealth service. Especially now that savvy patients realize their positioning in visiting, elective procedures and basic office examinations. Can the industry maintain its devotion and energy in modernization? Or will it turn back to the way it was before and assume patients will be forced to follow?