A recent article in Becker’s Healthcare offers insights from key experts and their views on the growing demand and usage of digital healthcare solutions in 2021 and beyond. As one respondent suggested 2020 being “… the tipping point for key virtual access and care services with COVID-19 as the accelerant.” More simply stated, people have accepted innovative technologies as a viable and in many cases preferred method of interaction in the context of their personal health and well-being. The article goes on to describe a variety of technology-based initiatives that will continue gaining momentum whether pandemic subsides or persists.
But one respondent offers a glimpse into the human psyche resulting from the current environment. “The COVID-19 pandemic and mental health crisis will collide and demand attention. This will enable and force us to face our isolation but recognize our interconnected humanity, our compassion, and our empathy for others.” Wow. Even with an ever present drive in healthcare and many industries to innovate and leverage technology and many automated approaches, there is still a current and growing need to connect with one another in a humane, empathetic and individual way for comfort and understanding of one’s personal circumstances and concerns. V with regards to follow-up on an individual’s health.
Take a look at the following sample of patients who were discharged from a hospital visit at several locations within one system. Each patient surveyed had the same or similar challenges with defined critical care needs. As part of a pilot program, the healthcare system had one-half of the population receive a follow-up phone call from a representative, while the other half of the population received basic discharge guidance with follow-up automated calls or messages. The chart below indicates the level of satisfaction across multiple categories for each population.
Interesting. In every category and in every location, those patients receiving a phone call from a representative reported significantly higher satisfaction with their hospital experience as compared to the other population. And the main conclusion from this pilot study? People respond better to other people. And especially when the topic is their personal health. An automated phone call or text message cannot capture a weakness in one’s voice or unexpected side-effects of prescribed medications. In fact, the only method to truly capture that type of feedback is from a live conversation. No doubt that technology has facilitated virtual visits and other treatments that otherwise would have been delayed or untreated during the challenging times of 2020. But the need for a human voice in healthcare is still present and strong, perhaps moreso than ever before.
At PREMEDEX, that’s what we do. Our team of clinical and non-clinical representatives connect with hundreds of patients every day, as follow-up from a recent hospital stay or to proactively check on patients and facilitate scheduling wellness visits and other office visits to their physicians. Contact PREMEDEX to learn more about our approach in connecting with patients.