The rise of flexible healthcare in a post-pandemic world | HSJ Partners
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The pandemic has ushered in a new era of flexibility that no one could have predicted. Driven by the remote working that resulted from global blockages, all industries saw a pivot towards a “virtual” model, transforming the way we work, buy groceries or even see our healthcare professionals. .
The drivers of healthcare transformation have been particularly powerful for systems that provide specialized services. The pandemic has put increased pressure on the capacity and resources of hospitals and other clinics, forcing appointments to be postponed or, worse, canceled – adding delays to already strained waiting lists. In addition, the crisis has affected the ability and desire of patients to physically visit clinics due to the requirement to distance themselves socially and to stay at home.
The challenges faced during the pandemic usher in an era of flexible healthcare that allows the industry to provide care and support in many formats. Whether in person, over the phone, over video, or asynchronously, the flexibility will ease the pressure and provide the right care, at the right time, according to patient and provider demand.
Beyond the pandemic
It is well known that covid-19 restrictions have increased the difficulty of booking in-person appointments with specialists. Yet face-to-face visits have always posed challenges. People may have accessibility issues that make it difficult to access a clinic – being unable to drive or take public transportation due to a disability, location or illness; or it might be difficult for them to take time off work or family responsibilities. Like all travel, attending meetings also has a significant impact on the environment. Scottish drivers alone generated around 6.2 billion grams of CO2 in 2020 attend appointments with the clinician. Where appropriate, virtual consultations have already proven their value as an alternative to traditional face-to-face care.
Take, for example, the Scottish Government’s Near Me remote consultation service, which uses Attend Anywhere for medical consultations. Near Me is a prime example of how flexible healthcare has been maximized over the past year, from 7,000 remote consultations in 2019 to over 1 million per year today. This exponential expansion has happened because Near Me allows patients to see their clinician without leaving home, thereby reducing infection rates. However, in a recent survey of 5,000 patients and clinicians, 75.1% of patients and 87.9% of clinicians said Near Me will remain a valuable service once social distancing is no longer needed, listing benefits. such as better access to services, greater practical convenience, time savings and environmental impact.
Focus on the future of healthcare
In the months and years to come, we will see an increased adoption of flexible healthcare as the pandemic begins to subside. Even as hospitals reactivate in-person services, the ever-growing backlog of waiting consultations, patient preference for convenience, and a range of operational and economic pressures such as limited waiting room space available mean that hospitals will have to support a much larger number of video consultations in the years to come.
In addition, we will see more of a movement towards asynchronous communication between patients and their care team, especially among technologically capable patients with chronic conditions – who prefer to initiate healthcare on demand rather than attend treatments. regular routine visits.
Induction Healthcare has led the flexible healthcare movement since before the pandemic, developing technology to facilitate the delivery of quality care in safe and secure online environments. Induction Switch, the # 1 app used by over 210,000 NHS physicians, helps clinical teams communicate more effectively, while Induction Zesty, a leading patient portal, is used by over 280,000 patients to make and access their appointments remotely, read their clinical letters, and exchange clinical information with their care teams. Attend Anywhere’s video viewing technology is a trusted partner similar to the NHS, with 90 percent of UK trusts currently using its video services.
Together, these solutions give patients greater control over their own health management, while allowing providers to consult optimally for each case. They represent a new future where the delivery of health care is not limited by physical resources and constraints.
Pandemic mitigation has been a “super catalyst” for an already underway transition to flexible e-care, and it has made providers and patients increasingly comfortable with these platforms. Now that we all have hope for a return to relative normality, we must not nullify the benefits of this rapid digital transformation. Flexible care is transformative and empowering for patients, clinicians and the industry as a whole. With fewer limitations and more choice, everyone can play their part in giving and getting better care… anywhere.