Coronavirus Crisis: Tools to Better Serve Patient Populations

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Coronavirus Crisis: Tools to Better Serve Patient Populations

March 26, 2020

Since the Affordable Care Act passed, there have been numerous ongoing debates about the viability of the various tenets of that legislation, especially as it relates to broader access for individuals while also making healthcare systems and providers more efficient and accountable for results.  While results are varied, the necessity to conform has stimulated a wave of innovation in healthcare not seen in decades. 

 

 

In a recent study, PwC outlines key strategies that healthcare systems should consider as they grapple with many critical challenges emerging from the current crisis.  Many of these options are newer considerations that were unplanned by-products of ACA, and yet may better equip the U.S. healthcare industry for crisis management as compared to previous crisis scenarios such as H1N1 and others.

 

  1. Understand the care patterns of the populations most at risk—the frail elderly and those with respiratory diseases.
    These populations have the highest number of visits, and can be identified using various data sets collected over time to determine alternative care methods

  2. The US has many more ways to get care than it did during 2009’s H1N1 pandemic. Use them.
    In recent years, alternative care sites (urgent care, retail clinics, telehealth, workplace clinics) have boomed in terms of usage.  Now is the time to maximize those resources.

  3. Consider the retail pharmacy as the “last-mile” link in the supply chain.
    National chains and independent providers can play a great role to extend telehealth and social distancing.

  4. Telehealth can help keep the moderately sick and chronically ill safer.

    Although new and different for seasoned professionals and older patients, the concept of using readily-available modern technology (smartphones, tablets) will greatly enhance access and likely reduce in the near term the need to go to a physical medical location.

  5. Strategies on social determinants of health can be an advantage in pandemic response.
    Healthcare organizations should consider leveraging trusted community organizations for outreach to under-served or hard-to-reach populations for both education and issue mitigation.

  6. The FDA’s response in the crisis could allow more companies to fulfill needs but slow others down.
    The government agency’s role will likely have a significant impact in addressing near-term crisis issues and longer-term in reducing U.S. reliance on foreign supply chains.

(Source:  PwC Study:  COVID-19: Six things health organizations should be considering)

 

 

In summary, healthcare professionals are extremely focused on addressing the spread of the virus, but also must be resourceful to ensure that all patient populations receive care now and in the future.  As outlined above, there are many strategies to consider, and a common theme through many of these includes the use of alternative outreach and population segmentation to identify those most at risk who also are most in need of regular communications to check on their health and well-being, especially in a time of crisis.

 

The PREMEDEX team specializes in patient communications and outreach, and are a turn-key extension of nursing teams for numerous hospitals throughout the nation.  Getting the right communications to high-risk populations is more critical than ever before, and PREMEDEX delivers thousands of automated messages and live phone calls every day to these patients.

 

Learn more about how PREMEDEX is helping hospital systems and healthcare providers better manage patient communications and outreach … click here.

 

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