An interview with Sean Michaels, Vice President of IT Operations & Service Delivery at Health First, a not-for-profit integrated delivery network (IDN) serving Central Florida. The IDN includes health insurance plans, four hospitals, a multi-specialty medical group, and outpatient and wellness services.
With both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines approved and vaccine distribution occurring across the country, for the first time in months, there is a sense of optimism about returning to some type of normalcy. However, before we can enter a period of recovery or our “new normal,” one thing stands in the way. Vaccinating the public. While many healthcare organizations have spent the last several months rapidly innovating their operations and access models to meet the demands of pandemic (e.g., COVID-19 testing, delivering care virtually, etc.), distributing the COVID-19 vaccine represents a new and even more complex challenge.
2020 was a year filed with change and learning–learning how to operate access centers remotely, learning how to accelerate digital roadmaps, and learning how to launch and scale virtual care programs. And as we continue to deal with the pandemic and plan for the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine to people across the country, many of us continue to find ourselves in a position of learning. This desire for knowledge (and accessing it) will be essential over the coming months and it is also something that is clear from our most read content pieces–healthcare leaders need the latest insights into how consumers find and access care, analytics to understand the state of their access experience, and proven strategies from other organizations on how to transform digital access. To stay informed in 2021 and make a difference in how patients access care, check out the list below of the four most downloaded resources from 2020:
As we discussed in the first two blogs of this series, before the onset of COVID-19, virtual care was used rather infrequently, in fact few health systems even provided the option for receiving care. However, when the pandemic struck, we saw many organizations pivot quickly and rapidly implement virtual care programs to expand access to safe and timely care. And for the most part, patients eagerly adopted it and have been overwhelmingly satisfied with their virtual care experiences. In fact, our recent report, Patient Perspectives on Virtual Care, found that almost three-quarters of respondents wanted the option of virtual visits as part of their standard care moving forward and half would switch providers for the offering. Even now, as some health systems have resumed in-person visits, the desire for virtual visits remains high–many of our customers are still seeing the same number of virtual visits as they did this summer.
As we discussed in the first blog of our series, How to Increase Awareness of and Access to Virtual Care, virtual care has seen a surge in adoption since the onset of the pandemic earlier this year. While it is very important for healthcare organizations to look for ways to market these services and ensure access to information about which providers deliver care virtually, it is just as important to look at the experiences patients are having with virtual care.
Prior to this year, the majority of healthcare consumers had little experience with virtual care. Now, just six months later, most health systems are utilizing virtual care offerings as a way to enable access to care for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, according to our newest research report, Patient Perspectives on Virtual Care, 72% of patients had their first-ever virtual care visit this year. While initial reports indicate that the utilization of virtual care offerings has skyrocketed, what does the experience look like? How are patients finding out about and accessing these virtual care offerings?