Reintegrating into Society After COVID-19: 4 Things We Can’t Overlook
We’re already seeing early signs in every market of a shift in how consumers and businesses behave. Tech and non-tech companies alike are encouraging remote work, airline profitability is being impacted by low seat occupancy, global supply chains are being disrupted and retail stores are running out of the most basic goods. Most of these changes are direct, short-term responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and will return to normal once the Coronavirus is contained. However, a number of these shifts will persist into our new reality, creating long-term disruption that will shape the way healthcare businesses operate for decades to come.
As the journey to re-entry post-COVID unfolds one state, one county at a time, the healthcare community is focusing on these 4 approaches to best protect and support our families, employees, customers and citizens during this transition:
1) Keep the Steady Momentum Toward Value-Based Care
COVID-19 has proven that there’s a substantial market opportunity for value-based programs with virtual and in-home health services to address patients’ holistic care coordination and social determinants of health needs.
The Coronavirus pandemic has really illuminated the countless possibilities when we remove some of the administrative and financial barriers getting in the way of projects or programs that can improve care and allow people to manage their care from home. Telehealth and virtual monitoring tools have allowed us to turn the home into a place of care, helping people heal and recover faster. This new approach to healthcare frees up nurses and other healthcare workers to focus on those who are in most clinical need on-premise.
2) Maintain a High Level of Collaboration and Leadership
A monumental change is happening in one of the most important sectors of our global economy: the healthcare system. Regaining any sense of “normalcy” is going to be a long process. This major shift will look different in every city in every country and the impact will be felt across the world. But it’s up to our leaders to stay strong.
One of the toughest transitions for a team that’s used to seeing each other face-to-face each day is maintaining an open line of communication. While no one was prepared for the pandemic, there are numerous tools and programs available to help leaders adopt best practices for managing their newly-remote employees.
3) Heavy Focus on Mental and Behavioral Health Solutions
The immediate (and long term) impact of this crisis on mental health is not yet known. But it’s felt, by all of us.
Virtual sessions, screenings and appointments aren’t showing any signs of slowing down— and things should stay that way. Remote meetings and appointments are cost-effective, easy and conscientious of those living in rural areas who can’t receive proper care due to transportation barriers. However, with the increase in remote work settings and isolation, some mental health conditions such as depression, substance abuse and PTSD are becoming more prevalent. How well we manage our mental health and our responses to life after re-entry will depend on how well we can collaborate at the community level to support each other and our mental and behavioral health system as a whole.
4) Mind Your Elders
These are our mothers and fathers, relatives, teachers, mentors… and they need us now more than ever.
Vulnerable seniors are especially at risk during these uncertain times. Many seniors are currently isolated and struggling to get the support and services they need from an overwhelmed healthcare system. Older citizens most often suffer from medication and food insecurity, loneliness, safety concerns and lack of access to care. As long as we maintain a strong focus on remote healthcare options, the elderly population is set to do just fine during this major shift in the health industry.