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Crisis spurs innovation that benefits patients and providers

January 23, 2023
Business Affairs
Kristen Jacobsen
By Kristen Jacobsen

When Covid-19 first emerged as a public health threat, the world seemingly changed overnight. Public safety risks mounted and people—including those working in every aspect of healthcare—quickly adapted while waiting for vaccines. Now many are vaccinated and this novel coronavirus feels relatively manageable, yet many challenges remain. Healthcare providers are still coping with virus variants, along with negative financial impacts, staff shortages and equipment procurement delays. But this story also has good news.

Specifically, many pandemic-related adaptations in healthcare are delivering measurable results and appear to be here for good. Patient communication, payment and even healthcare delivery solutions that arose (or finally took off) during the early days of the pandemic today provide real value for providers, patients and revenue cycle managers. These solutions are improving the patient experience and driving operational efficiencies and payment collections for providers.

It's hardly surprising that innovation was spurred by the Covid pandemic. History shows that innovation frequently results from serious crises, such as epidemics, plagues and war. The best of human nature often emerges in such situations, with large numbers of people intensely focusing on finding solutions to seemingly intractable problems. “Normal” is demolished and a “new normal” is spontaneously born as people realize there’s no time to waste. Examples of innovations that emerged during other historical challenges include:

• Hospitals and eye glasses were invented during the European Great Plague
• Blood banks first emerged during WWI
• Penicillin was first widely used during WWII

Those crises forced people in healthcare to do things differently. Innovation resulted from providers changing their ideas and behaviors. It also was facilitated by vendors providing breakthrough solutions that met pressing new needs.

Today’s pandemic-driven innovations
Innovation from companies that serve healthcare providers and revenue cycle managers, has ushered in a broad range of new technology-based products and solutions. These innovations empower providers to communicate with patients faster, and more efficiently and safely. They are transforming every aspect of the patient experience—preservice, point-of-care, payments and beyond—and driving cost reductions and improved payment collections.

Today’s new technology solutions empower patients to self-schedule appointments and communicate with office staff with two-way texting. This reduces stress on limited staff resources, and increases convenience and ease for patients. Remote check-in is another Covid-driven solution. It is an ideal option to keep both patients and staff as safe as possible. New digital solutions for completing registration paperwork and making co-pays remotely also are available in this new pandemic era.

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