Together, many of the shifts that have taken place have moved the needle toward a more patient-focused experience of healthcare delivery.
“The pandemic pointed to the need for patient-centered healthcare,” says Stephanie Willding, CEO of CommunityHealth, the nation’s largest volunteer-based free medical facility. “Before the pandemic, there were many ways the industry wasn’t operating in a patient-centered way.”
One challenge that CommunityHealth had to overcome was pivoting operational approaches on the fly to account for the recall of volunteer providers to their primary care facilities. However, says Willding, the adoption of virtual visits has proved advantageous.
“Our no-show rate has gone from 18 percent to 5 percent,” she says. “This approach is now core to our model of care, with 40 percent of visits by video or phone.”
Although many providers expect the expansion of telehealth to persist even after patients and providers can safely meet in person, they also expect this technology-driven approach to undergo its own evolution. For Willding and CommunityHealth, this means combining low-tech solutions such as standard blood pressure cuffs with video tutorials, allowing patients to self-report key data.
Such solutions will be essential for healthcare organizations serving distributed, disparate populations who may lack access to unlimited smartphone data or high-speed broadband internet…