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Because of COVID-19, companies in all industries and verticals have had to adapt and modify the way they conduct business. Healthcare businesses have also had to implement new processes to not only keep their employees safe, but also the patients they serve.
Generally speaking, the healthcare industry is not known for being the first to adopt technology in the workplace. However, to fulfill the necessary requirements and meet the mandatory need for a remote and contactless environment, the industry has to adapt in order to keep going. COVID has now forced healthcare businesses to quickly adapt to a new digital environment.
Here are four ways that the global pandemic has accelerated digital transformation in healthcare:
Many people are reluctant to meet face-to-face or go out in public with the current pandemic going on. Some only venture outside for essential errands. Healthcare services and providers are essential but have been looking for multiple ways to calm patients' fears about contracting the virus in the healthcare space. While there is no alternative to completely replace an in-person doctor visit, telehealth and telemedicine services are suitable substitutes.
Since early March of this year, there has been a significant increase in the use of telemedicine services. Several large telehealth businesses have stated that they have seen over 50% growth in online doctor’s visits. If this trend continues, over 1 billion healthcare interactions will happen virtually.
Online visits, telehealth consultations, and virtual check-ups have been around for years, but it was not until COVID that patients seriously considered the option. As the new normal sinks in and telehealth services solves many healthcare needs, they will become a more common experience in the healthcare industry.
Before COVID, sitting in a doctor's office or waiting room and filling out lots of paperwork was routine. In this new reality, those things are no longer efficient or practical.
Most healthcare facilities have noticed and are working to provide solutions to patients in a digital environment. Some places are setting up self-service hubs where you can fill out forms and documents, while others are offering more telehealth options.
While it would be great if every patient could be treated virtually, the fact remains that some appointments must happen in person. Several healthcare providers have been proactive and have become adopters of digital intake solutions to help protect this group of patients.
Before digital solutions were available, patients would have to fill out forms and spend time in the waiting room. Now with the help of a digital environment, patients can complete these same forms and waivers without ever leaving their homes.
Even more, digital agreements have been proven to reduce physician burnout and reduce the overall workload of healthcare employees. Even when this virus is behind us - whenever that may be - this practice of using digital agreements will remain the norm.
With digital healthcare becoming more necessary in today’s environment, it is logical to think the trend will continue into the coming years. As more facilities adopt digital solutions, there is a possibility that you will no longer visit a doctor’s office unless it is an emergency, or you need to have a test done. Annual physicals and check-ups could be strictly digital in the future.
Although we aren't there yet, it seems more and more like a possibility every day. This is because of the adjustments that have already been made to remote office visits, virtual intake forms, the increase in telehealth and telemedicine services, and the value of digital agreements in making processes in healthcare more seamless and efficient.
PactSafe offers resources, videos, and information on supporting contactless workflows - check out our contactless contracts and policy kit to learn more.