Post COVID-19 Patient Access Management
In response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE), healthcare organizations quickly integrated telemedicine into their models of care in order to provide services in an accessible and safe manner. Telemedicine offerings range from urgent to routine care and are available to both established and new patients.
However, even with telehealth options available, access to care has been significantly limited. It is expected there will be large backlogs of patient visits, lab work, procedures, and surgeries. Therefore, it is important for organizations to develop a post-COVID-19 strategy to address patient access management in order to ensure that patients can receive the care they need in an efficient and timely manner.
The landscape of care delivery in the United States has drastically shifted as a result of COVID-19, with many outpatient practices restricting in-office visits due to exposure concerns and resource redeployment. In turn, patients are cancelling appointments out of similar concerns. As we turn our attention to recovery, it will be critical for organizations to implement strategies to address the new realities in providing timely and efficient care while ensuring patient safety.
To meet anticipated demand and provide optimal care, organizations should begin to focus on prioritization of patient care based on urgency, visit type and appointment availability while balancing new safety concerns and social distancing requirements. Additionally, many organizations will experience delays in volume returning to pre-pandemic levels, which will impede a swift financial recovery and will drive the need for efficient, agile operations more than ever.