As the face-covering phase ends, the world is looking to healthcare to see what the next steps are. The public collectively holds their bated breath to see how we are going to be moving forward onto the next stage to get over the pandemic and COVID-19. However, it is easy to forget how far we have come.
At a 2022 GDS Group Healthcare Summit, Karen Murphy, EVP Chief Innovation and Digital Transformation Officer at Geisinger, shares the most profound impacts of the pandemic was the astounding loss of life across the US and the world. The death from Coronavirus, at the time of writing, is over one million people in the United States. Karen shares that the other lessons learned were the impact on behavioural health, healthcare delivery system, workforce, and the overall economic crash. However, it is not all doom and gloom. The silver lining? “The ability to transform and innovate at a rapid rate was a profound impact and something that will be a benefit going forward,” Murphy says.
Alleviating the workforce
The first, and most crucial, step in healing our healthcare workforce is to acknowledge the trauma that they have been through. “We need to invest in their mental health and really take a look from an evidence-based perspective. How do we make their jobs easier?” Reducing manual tasks, burnout, and investing in their physical and emotional well-being is something organizations should look into doing. Murphy asks.
“I think this commitment and acknowledgment will go a long way in trying to heal the workforce.”
-Karen Murphy, Geisinger
Innovation to Improve the Patient Experience
In the next five years, the industry will not have the same number of professionals and support staff in the healthcare workforce. Healthcare executives agree innovation should be a top priority to help do a number of things. Those things include, streamlining physician workloads, optimizing processes and improving the overall patient experience. However, this heavily regulated industry is lagging. A HIMSS study shows that 80% of health systems plan to increase their investments in digital health over the next five years – most clinicians, 62% have yet to begin leveraging tools such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.
“The enablement for us to do more with less is going to be critically important. We rely a lot on Robotics Process Automation (RPA) to eliminate the need for FTE,” Karen shares. This can lower the total cost of care so they can invest in the bedside when there is need. While there was need to accelerate transformation before the pandemic, now the dire need is has become crystal clear.
According to Deloitte, by 2040 they estimate that health spending will be $8.3 trillion dollars due to the adoption of new technologies. There also a lot of investment and value currently in virtual care.
“The need to stay in contact with our patients and how do we that best? The value of virtual care. there is a value of virtual and we need to leverage that,” Murphy says.
The rate of innovation doesn’t have to be perfect, but you want to be on that journey. Want to learn more?
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