The COVID-19 pandemic may have changed the health care landscape forever, but what new changes will stick around after five or 10 years? How can health care strategists, marketers, communicators, planners and business developers position their organization to prepare for a post pandemic world?
At a recent SHSMD Member Meet Up: The Future Needs You, health care strategy leaders explored new innovations that will continue to drive future plans for their organization – including their most pressing issues and exciting projects underway.
It is no surprise that discussions centered on new change and the impact of increased virtual care models. The following word cloud shows SHSMD members’ top three words summarizing what they envision will influence the “Next 5 Years” of health care.
Here is a brief summary of what fellow SHSMD members discussed during May’s most recent Member Meet Up.
Virtual health is here to stay
SHSMD members reported seeing an uptick in social and virtual platform growth during the COVID-19 pandemic. With many boosting virtual efforts during 2020, health care strategists have built connections with communities online in social spaces, many seeing success with streaming Facebook Live sessions and increasing virtual health talks. One hospital even saw an increase in vaccinations among local families by conducting a bilingual Facebook Live.
Organizations are placing less focus on local communities and increasing focus on virtual populations. While this includes boosting health equity to bilingual and underserved communities, it also targets the greater population. Many SHSMD members reported seeing an increase of new customers through virtual appointments and are also entering the competitive space of virtual home care. With new technologies in place, home care may present additional pressure on health care providers to be flexible in their delivery of services.
Post pandemic goals focus on getting volumes back up
While virtual care played a key role during the COVID-19 pandemic in keeping health care spaces safe, strategists are now pivoting their efforts to boost in-person volumes. Increasing communications to ensure the public that health care spaces are safe, especially with COVID-19 vaccinations nearing positive levels, will play a major role.
Many SHSMD members mentioned emergency department volumes being down, as the ER is no longer a first point of care in some instances. This, among other lower volume spaces, will contribute to rethinking hospital environments overall. Strategies for finding the right balance between virtual and physical care and bringing testing and vaccine clinics back on site, will be critical.
In addition, members agreed there would be value in having 30 minute discussions with executive team leaders to understand their strategic imperatives, key challenges and areas of opportunities to learn how they can align strategies to increase volumes.
Working remotely is being evaluated
During the pandemic, working from home became the norm. SHSMD members are currently evaluating how working from home will impact future space needs. Many discussed the value of Zoom meetings keeping their teams productive, and highlighted their organizations’ new focus on employee health and mental health.
There’s a thirst for inspiration in the field
The pandemic has brought on an onslaught of news, and to avoid “doom scrolling,” SHSMD members are seeking perspective over traditional news. Many look to SHSMD for quality resources in addition to those outside of health care, such has Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, Economist (for an external U.S. view), and books such as Malcom Gladwell’s David and Goliath and Roger Martin and Alan G. Lafley’s Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works to elevate their strategic insight.
Members agreed one thing did not change: What consumers want
While consumers may engage in new ways of connecting with health care providers moving forward, consumers still want access to quality care while having security and respect.
Overall, SHSMD members agreed their organizations were all in a state of reevaluation of the reactive strategies employed during COVID-19. However, many look forward to brighter days ahead as the pandemic nears its end. There is light visible at the end of the tunnel, and many SHSMD members feel pride and greater confidence in their abilities to be nimble, resilient, and comfortable with experimentation – all qualities needed to deliver value to their organizations in the future.
To view the recording of this member meet-up that took place on 5/24/21 click here. (SHSMD membership required, click here to explore how to join.)
For the SHSMD education calendar to view upcoming member meet-ups click here
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