2020 was an unprecedented year that brought lots of change within the healthcare industry. The COVID-19 pandemic pushed doctors and providers to quickly adapt to the new reality. Patient safety became paramount and new ways of providing care began to rise.
As we head into 2021, expect to see a continuation of the changes that were brought about last year. It’s likely that we will build upon new technologies and care models that were introduced successfully during the pandemic.
We wanted to highlight some trends to look out for in the new year, keep reading below to learn more:
Telemedicine Will Continue
Virtual care skyrocketed in 2020 as physicians and healthcare providers looked to treat their patients in a safe and socially distanced manner. Avoiding in-person appointments whenever possible helped reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 and increased patient safety levels.
Physicians were also able to see more patients in a day thanks to the efficiencies of virtual visits. This was very important for those providing mental health services, as many people saw their anxiety levels rise dramatically in 2020. We expect mental healthcare demand to continue driving demand for virtual care appoints through 2021.
Virtual appointments also proved to be more convenient and highly preferred by patients. The pandemic pushed telemedicine from a fringe offering to a commonplace way to receive health care.
It makes sense that virtual care would become more prominent as more patients become comfortable with digital technologies available on their smartphones and computers.
Healthcare Data and Artificial Intelligence
In 2021, we will see organizations leveraging healthcare data even more to improve both patient care and coverage. There is so much data available on our health these days, from smart devices that track our steps and heartbeat to electronic data software used by healthcare providers.
Here at Billing Savi, we are already using data to create operational strategies that boost collections for our clients. Making data-backed decisions is the key to transforming healthcare efficiencies as we move into the future.
We expect to see more healthcare organizations ramp up their data management efforts and look at cloud-based solutions to securely store and coordinate information.
As people become more comfortable sharing personal healthcare data, AI-driven tools will be used more often to make healthcare predictions and allocate resources effectively. Insurance providers will also be able to better predict costs and understand the risk that comes with providing coverage to patients.
Improved Digital Communication
2020 forced healthcare providers to find ways to stay connected with their patients. This made it really important to ensure their digital presence was up to date and keeping their patient population informed on a regular basis. Consequently, providers had to find more ways to communicate with patients, such as text messaging, emails, and automated phone reminders.
Furthermore, patients now expect a quality user experience when visiting their care provider’s website, and tools such as patient portals, mobile apps, and online scheduling have become more commonplace.
In 2021, expect to see even more healthcare providers invest in their digital presence to meet the demands and needs of their increasingly digitally savvy patients.
Although 2020 was a difficult year for all of us, it did bring some positive changes to the healthcare industry. As 2021 begins, expect to see more progress in healthcare technologies and communication efforts. The environment is ripe for more innovations to break-through and improve the quality of patient care available to all of us.