The digital front door is not a new concept in healthcare. Before COVID-19, many organizations were already investing in their digital properties to capture the attention of healthcare consumers. While most had patient portals and find-a-providers, some driving engagement beyond their site by using local listings, adoption for newer technologies, like mobile applications, virtual care, and online scheduling remained low.
COVID-19 has highlighted the need for better access to care, particularly to mental and behavioral health treatments, which are often under-funded, under-resourced, and inaccessible for many individuals. To shed light on the challenges that healthcare workers and the communities they serve are facing during this time and what organizations can do to help, Kyruus recently held a virtual forum on “Meeting Our Communities’ Mental Health Needs During and After COVID-19,” featuring Dr. Gary Gottlieb, Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and former CEO of Partners in Health and Partners HealthCare; Dr. Chi Huang, Executive Medical Director of General Medicine and Hospital Medicine Shared Services at Wake Forest Baptist Health; and Dr. Mark Hyman Rapaport, Reunette Harris Chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University School of Medicine and Chief of Psychiatric Services at Emory Healthcare.
Thanks to developments in technology, many employees and business owners alike have been able to work from home and have been doing so for years. However, for a growing number of Americans, working remotely is no longer a nice workplace perk, but rather the new norm. Now, amid the recent COVID-19 pandemic, most health system access centers and their agents are following suit, raising the question: is this the new normal? The answer to that question is likely “yes.” Even though working remotely has been a transition for most of us, many of our customers have found that taking their access center operations remote has been incredibly beneficial for both their organizations and their agents. Even post-pandemic, most health systems we engage with have expressed that they plan to keep remote work at least part of their access center operations on a permanent basis. Here are three reasons why taking your access center remote can offer a win-win.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need–and demand–for a more modern healthcare consumer experience that incorporates digital tools to drive easy, frictionless access to care. Though most health systems have laid groundwork for this new era of healthcare, the onset of COVID-19 has sped up the process exponentially. As website traffic has skyrocketed with consumers seeking information, assistance, and access online, digital technology has played a powerful role in helping health systems triage and route patients effectively.
How to read this graph: The boxes represent if a term appeared in the top 10 condition-based search terms for a day within a given week, while the darkness of the color represents the volume of the searches for those terms.* As of this week, the CDC reported more than 1M confirmed cases of COVID-19 and close to 70K deaths across the United States. Yet, despite these grim figures, data indicates that several states may have reached their peaks, including former hotspot, New York City, where there has been a continued decline in both deaths and hospitalizations due to COVID-19. Meanwhile, other states have already begun the process of reopening their economies. So now the conversation for health systems is starting to shift from simply how to respond to the pandemic to what steps to take to move forward and open up more access for unrelated appointment needs.
Since the COVID-19 virus emerged in the U.S., the country’s health systems and hospitals have felt a significant strain on their resources and staff as they continue to face rising volumes of patients. Amid this chaos, many organizations have risen to the challenge, using technology to expand access and relieve some of the pressure on their limited resources. Here are some of the ways health systems are using technology to expand access to care during the pandemic: