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.
In many of our recent blogs, we have talked about the disruption the pandemic has caused in healthcare, how it has changed the healthcare landscape, and reshaped the patient journey. With many organizations having already pivoted (and some continuing to do so), the conversation has become “what’s next?” Though COVID-19 cases remain high in many areas, now is the time to start thinking about recovery and what it could look like.
From fighting COVID-19 to deploying telehealth platforms rapidly, the last 12 months have certainly presented the healthcare industry and those that work in it with a number of new – and unpredictable – challenges. However, the last 12 months have also been full of learnings and growth, teaching organizations how to drive greater alignment when executing strategic initiatives and engage with consumers in new and innovative ways.
ATLAS Conference | Digital | Patient Experience | Access Center | Patient Engagement | Patient-Provider Matching | Provider Directories | Provider Data Management | Change Management | Online Scheduling | Marketing
Without question COVID-19 has caused incredible disruption to industries across the board, with the healthcare sector experiencing some of the greatest challenges. At the same time, however, the pandemic has been a catalyst for rapid innovation, revealing opportunities to rethink and transform approaches to care delivery and access. From learning to operate remote call centers to looking for more digitally-enabled ways to engage with patients (e.g., virtual care, virtual assistants), the pandemic has pushed health systems to reimagine—and quickly—their approaches to enabling patient access.
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.