Transitioning Into The Post COVID-19 Era: Evolving Healthcare Practices
Many physicians are planning to make significant changes in how they source information to optimize their treatment plans.
There is an ongoing debate as per the impact of COVID-19 on the current healthcare landscape and its future direction. There has been growing speculation and conversion around various some COVID-19 therapeutic and vaccine candidates. Simultaneously, there has been increasing progression towards new healthcare practices evolving as the new normal. For many physicians, changes were initially presumed to be temporary only a few months back. Today, they are highly likely to become engraved as permanent changes to their practice structures.
The prolific use of telemedicine is perhaps one of the most glaring impacts of COVID-19 on the healthcare industry. As the pandemic accelerated telemedicine’s adoption, most physicians reported that they foresee reduced in-person patient visits to continue even beyond the pandemic. This is mainly because of telemedicine’s ease and convenience to both the patients and the providers. While the patients save several costs (such as commuting, waiting for an appointment, etc.) through virtual care, the providers can expand their outreach while also saving on potential overhead costs.
COVID-19 has also affected the way physicians prescribe medication. To limit the exposure of and contact with the patients, the physicians resorted to electronic prescriptions during the pandemic. Not only medication, but there has been a shift evident in prescribing patients towards therapies that require less in-person contact and less frequent dosages. All these tactics have been implemented to make it easier for physicians to manage adverse events or titrate therapies. However, prescribing medication online and the shift towards virtual therapies is becoming deeply rooted in the practices’ structures, thanks to telemedicine’s ease and convenience. It is, therefore, expected to become a permanent component of the new healthcare landscape.
Electronic Health Records (EHRs)
As care coordination became paramount during the COVID-19 pandemic, an integrated patient record platform also gained significant importance. The impact of telemedicine was significantly enhanced through integration with EHRs, making it easier for the physicians to access patient data anywhere, any time. Patients can also easily access their medical data, such as lab test results, through a few clicks. Moreover, both can enjoy a healthier and more interactive relationship through real-time conversation over patient portals. Similarly, practices can collaborate with pharmacies through EHR vendors for making electronic prescriptions more efficient, and with pharmaceutical companies to make it easier for the patients to enroll in financial support programs.
As physicians look forward to adapting to the new technologies, all other healthcare players are also accustomed to these elements to expedite the care delivery process. Many physicians are planning to make significant changes in how they source information to optimize their treatment plans. They are also shifting towards more interactive channels and automated workflows to maximize their practice efficiency and profitability. These ongoing shifts in the physicians’ daily practice are essential in recognizing the COVID-19-induced systemic changes and are expected to continue beyond the pandemic.