Recent insights from the team at Coker Group outline key strategies that hospital systems should consider in terms of recovering from the effects of the pandemic. While the best of contingency planning likely did not have many health systems ready for the major adjustments required thus far in 2020, these past few months have provided a spotlight on necessary planning to be ready should unplanned major events happen in the future. Specifically, as this article appropriately indicates, health systems should answer key questions about operational readiness for resuming normal operations and revise strategic plans if volumes do not recover. Read more here.
Coming out of the pandemic, it is essential to focus on mission-critical contingency plans involving utilization, resources, staffing and much more. Building upon these operational strategies, it is equally important to focus on patient awareness and demand. Appropriately, health systems and physician practices discouraged and actually canceled elective procedures and appointments. Why? Because of the uncertainty of possible exposure to the currently untreatable virus and the related effects that might result, especially for those already compromised with another condition. Also, operational demands appropriately required all resources to be directed to treatment of those infected with the virus and doing everything possible to address their challenges and guide them to recovery from the illness. In summary, patients were told to “stay away” unless absolutely necessary, which created a sense of uncertainty and anxiety.
Now, as health systems and practices are once again open and ready-to-serve, patients need re-assurance that their caregivers and support teams are completely prepared to safely address their medical issues. Hospitals and practices are promoting their readiness through a variety of channels, and utilization is starting to improve, at least in the near-term. However, to move this effort forward, nursing teams should focus on one fundamental approach.
Focus on patient outreach and communications. A structured approach to connecting with patients via phone calls is the best way to restore confidence, and to get patients scheduled for office visits and elective procedures. During such conversations, representatives can directly reinforce the steps that hospitals and practices have taken to resume normal operations in a safe manner. Furthermore, patients can provide updates on their individual circumstances. In every situation, a direct conversation with a live representative helps drive satisfaction and loyalty, while improving the prospect of utilization for the health system.
PREMEDEX can help. Our team of clinical and non-clinical representatives speak with hundreds of patients every day on behalf of our client hospitals and practices. These conversations provide an opportunity to update individual patient circumstances, while also helping to identify potential critical issues. Learn more about the PREMEDEX approach … click here.
Healthcare professionals are once again ready-to-serve patients. And it’s important that patients know that and are confident to schedule appointments and procedures.