As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to play out around us, it is quickly altering the typical operations and priorities of healthcare organizations.
It is likely that some of these changes will become permanent and create a new norm for healthcare organizations as we move further into the future.
So what kind of changes can medical practices expect to see in the long-run?
We’ve outlined some possibilities for you below. Keep reading to find out!
Reduced In-Person Patient Visits
Patients are coming in less frequently for in-person visits due to the pandemic and the risks it presents. This has led to a significant rise in the use of telehealth visits over the last six months.
Using digital care options has allowed patients to stay at home to lower their risk and utilize a more convenient method of receiving care.
Even after the pandemic ends, it is likely that patients will continue to use telehealth visits at a higher level than they did before.
Shifts in Vendor Relations & Sales Visits
Reduced in-person visits also change how medical practices communicate with their vendors and sales representatives.
All parties involved have had to restructure the usual way of doing business and find effective ways to continue working together.
Healthcare providers are also looking to reduce costs due to higher expenses during the pandemic.
This may lead to more consolidation of vendors and a bigger focus on outflows. Medical sales representatives will have to look at virtual selling options to keep business going without interruption.
Opportunities for Digital Information & Research
Healthcare providers will also turn to more digital forms of education as they try to navigate through operational changes and care models.
This presents an opportunity for industry partners to create digital content that can be easily accessed by providers.
Physicians are more likely to research peer-reviewed journals and websites to find helpful information for their practices, instead of relying on in-person visits from sales reps and conferences.
With virtual shifts looking more permanent as time goes on, practices are paying more attention to digital platforms and communication tools.
Being able to provide virtual alternatives and timely information will be essential for various parties within the healthcare industry.
Continuing to Protect Against COVID
Even after the pandemic, it is likely that medical practices will keep some protective measures in place.
After COVID-19, it is likely that healthcare organizations will be more alert about protecting against future pandemics and contagious illnesses.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 remains to be highly contagious and it is unlikely that it will ever completely go away.
We wouldn’t be surprised if some healthcare providers continued to use personal protective equipment, social distancing, and COVID-19 screenings.
Changes in Medicine Dosages and Frequency
To account for lower rates of in-person appointments, medical providers have had to adjust the way they prescribe medicine.
Different types of physicians have shifted towards prescription models that depend less on in-person visits and dosages.
This shift towards longer dosing intervals helps practitioners adjust to the new norm of healthcare operations while making it possible to manage risk and adversity.
In conclusion, the healthcare industry will likely see some permanent shifts after the COVID-19 pandemic ends.
Operations will adjust to account for less in-person visits by both patients and vendors.
Medical practices may also keep protecting against potential viruses by continuing to wear PPE, screening for COVID-19, and maintaining social distancing protocols.
Fortunately, these changes will probably improve operations and make it easier to integrate digital technologies and data within the industry.
We’re hoping this leads to increased efficiencies and better care quality for patients as we move further into the future.