In a pandemic and post-pandemic state, phrases like this one will be the norm as the response to COVID-19 changes healthcare forever.

Telehealth’s rapid scale up has been critical in the public health response to the Coronavirus
pandemic. We’ve reached a tipping point, and patients are unlikely to revert to the previous reality once society recovers from today’s outbreak, particularly as the likelihood of follow-on waves looms absent a vaccine.
Telehealth will be critical to addressing access to care and helping to mitigate a clinician shortage that the pandemic has no doubt exacerbated. But it must be done right.
To make the former imperative possible, a critical piece will be that providers plot out sustainable pricing and customer experience (CX) models that hold both clinicians and patients accountable in the way that poor patient satisfaction scores and copays and last-minute cancelation fees, respectively, have held them accountable for in-person visits. To support the latter imperative, providers must first determine which clinicians should deliver what types of care via telehealth and which ones should be elevated to higher levels of practice elsewhere on the continuum—which could include in patients’ homes.
Beyond the need to get telehealth right, the pandemic has brought to light other very clear
healthcare imperatives that providers, payers and retail clinics must address, including:
– Remaining agile, with clear plans for transforming existing infrastructure for other uses quickly, effectively and in a way that preserves patient safety
– Ensuring better upstream and downstream care coordination of services across the continuum
– Reimagining—and then effectively monitoring and coordinating—drug and medical supply chains across the country and internationally to avoid critical supply shortages seen during the U.S. outbreak
Digital transformation is a critical piece of the answer for how healthcare organizations can address these imperatives and navigate out of—and beyond—the pandemic state. In doing so, they can build a system that is not only better equipped to handle public health emergencies, but also to provide better coordinated routine patient care that provides a more holistic view of each patient’s health.
BDO recently released results from a 2020 Healthcare Digital Transformation Survey that polled 100 C-suite executives at healthcare organizations with annual revenues between $250 million and $3 billion, asking them where they plan to prioritize investments to thrive in healthcare’s new reality. Types of organizations surveyed included hospitals/AMCs, physician groups, outpatient/ambulatory surgery centers, post-acute, home health and hospice.
For the next 12-18 months, survey respondents said their top business objectives are:
1. Improving the customer experience (72%)
2. Increasing operational efficiencies (56%)
3. Modernizing the technology landscape (54%)
4. Bolstering cybersecurity (51%)
5. Diversifying revenues (38%)
6. Increasing market differentiation (37%)
Improving the customer experience (CX) is no surprise as the top business objective as it will be critical to putting patient anxieties at ease, addressing new or exacerbated health issues coming out of the pandemic and preserving trust.