Author: Noelle Abarelli, Contributing Writer
This blog post is based on an Industry Insight Webinar: A Spotlight on Culture Change and How to Foster Agility
If there is one thing we can be certain of in life, it’s that things are going to change. From the medical field to the entertainment industry, change is all but guaranteed. And it is this certainty that things will keep changing that keeps us motivated and working, preparing to face the challenges ahead. Over the past five months, we’ve been forced into a tornado of newness within our personal and professional lives, with very little time to prepare or come to terms with it. As we all know, “necessity is the mother of invention,” and 2020’s dive into a global pandemic has made that abundantly clear.
First and foremost, it’s important to recognize that our industry has certain limitations that have nothing to do with the global pandemic. Historically, there are several obstacles that have prevented us from evolving as quickly as we’d like, such as:
In fact, one may argue that 2020’s COVID-19 pandemic opened the door to innovation; with obstacles comes flexibility and the opportunity to try out new ideas. And that’s exactly what industry leaders have shown us, their resilience and willingness to roll with the punches to do what’s best for the community at large.
Changes within the industry are seen in various areas, from billing to automation, and all have played a part in allowing healthcare organizations to cope, adapt, and succeed in this new normal of ours.
Twenty years ago, it would take an organization around 180 days to complete the process of obtaining a medicare billing number, but that all changed with the global pandemic. Suddenly, organizations can make a phone call and have access to a medicare billing number on that same call. Many industry leaders agree they never thought they’d see such a change within their lifetimes, yet here we are. Taking advantage of these changes when they occur can make or break a business.
Before the pandemic, telehealth was rarely used, it was more of a luxury really. Having e-appointments, virtual check-ins, or telephonic meetings were few-and-far-between. And now, just five months in, telemedicine has become the norm. At-risk patients have been able to make and attend appointments from the comfort of their phones, keeping themselves and their communities safe. More importantly, industry leaders are noticing the benefits of telehealth, and are striving to keep it as part of the norm moving forward, so they can serve more in their communities while always improving on efficiency. In fact, some organizations noticed they were able to improve on the number of member services they provide per month, to an amount almost equal to before the pandemic hit, all because of telehealth access. In a very short span of time, a new technology has dramatically changed the way we do business. If you aren’t continually evaluating and incorporating new technology into your strategy, you’re at risk of being left behind.
With the stress on the medical profession growing every day during the early days of the pandemic, it became clear that the ability to credential and privilege providers as quickly as possible was of the utmost importance. By utilizing software solutions designed to facilitate crucial processes, organizations were able to easily ensure providers were licensed and qualified to provide care within their areas.
Additionally, it was access to automation that allowed so many organizations to keep up—it provided their employees with the ability to work from home without dropping the ball. Industry leaders quickly provided their employees with both the hardware and software to empower them to work from home, and in many ways, be even more productive than when in the office. Plus, organizations were able to implement online applications, so that information could be gathered remotely.
While change is occurring all around us, it’s important to keep track of how they are impacting your organization and reflect on ways you can pivot to ensure you’re always improving. Leaders in the industry have noted that federal credentialing is the logical next step, so that physicians and organizations need not worry about providing care across state lines. With block-chain credentialing implemented, organizations will be able to avoid unnecessary delays in treatment, allowing them to serve a larger number of their communities with ease. So that when the next disaster hits, they’re ready.
If you haven’t already moved your organization from paper-based credentialing and privileging, it’s time to take the leap. Keep up with organizations in your area so that you can be the provider of choice your patients will be loyal to. We’re here to make that happen.