5 Ways Patient Expectations of Healthcare Changed Since COVID-19

5 Ways Patient Expectations of Healthcare Changed Since COVID-19

Content Overview

5 Ways Patient Expectations of Healthcare Changed Since COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed nearly every aspect of our lives, and healthcare is no exception. Even though the virus is over now, it had a lasting impact on people’s expectations regarding medical care. Therefore, understanding patient expectations is crucial for healthcare organizations in order to deliver exceptional services in the healthcare setup.

That said, let’s explore the below key elements:

  • Patient expectations and priorities in the healthcare experience.

  • Technological advancements transforming the healthcare research landscape.

  • Greater reliance on digital health tools.

  • The increasing demand for faster access to care.

While you’re navigating these changes, consider using DocResponse – a patient management software. Its clinical workflow solutions give you the right direction that aligns with the evolving expectations of patients since COVID-19.

The #1 Patient Management Software

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Increased Demand for Telehealth Services

Patients Expectations

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, what patients expect regarding healthcare has undergone significant transformations. One of the most notable changes has been the increased demand for telehealth system services.

Patients now expect health care providers to offer remote consultation options, no matter whether it’s routine check-ups or specialized care.

Adoption Trends

Here are a few key trends indicating the widespread adoption of telehealth usage:

  • McKinsey Report: A report by McKinsey indicated a substantial 38 percent increase in telehealth usage compared to pre-COVID-19 levels. This statistic reflects the growing acceptance and trust patients have developed in telehealth as a viable delivery method for the health management system.

  • Patient Preference for Remote Services: Multiple surveys have shown that patients prefer health services delivered remotely. This preference highlights the convenience and accessibility that telehealth offers to patients, irrespective of their geographical location.

Implications

The surge in telehealth adoption has various implications. For instance:

  • Improved Access: Telehealth has bridged geographical gaps, making health system services accessible to individuals in rural and underserved areas. Patients can now connect with specialists and healthcare professionals regardless of their location.

  • Reduced Wait Times: Patients appreciate the reduced wait times associated with telehealth appointments. This change has led to increased patient satisfaction and improved healthcare access.

  • Reduced Medical Care Costs: Virtual visits are often more cost-effective for patients, as they eliminate travel expenses and reduce the need for physical infrastructure. It also lowers healthcare system costs.

In light of the significant increase in demand for telehealth services, healthcare workers need reliable and efficient solutions to meet these needs.

With DocResponse’s telemedicine software, leading healthcare providers eliminate the need for travel and waiting rooms while accessing all of a patient’s medical information in one hub so they can deliver high-quality, personalized care to patients anywhere.

Doctor and smartphone with app of medicine online

Source: Freepik

Greater Reliance on Digital Health Tools

Patients Expectations

Another notable change in patient perspective since COVID-19 is the increased reliance on digital health tools. People are now setting expectations that health professionals must integrate digital technologies into their care delivery, creating a more connected and convenient patient experience.

These tools encompass a wide range of applications, such as health monitoring apps, wearable devices, and online portals.

Adoption Trends

The adoption of digital health tools has surged since the outbreak of the pandemic. This can be highlighted by various trends, including:

  • Wearable Device Adoption: The use of wearable devices, such as smartwatches and fitness trackers, has surged, with an increase in adoption. These devices empower individuals to monitor their vital signs, activity levels, and overall health in real time.

  • Expansive Health App Ecosystem: The digital health landscape now boasts over 400,000 mobile health apps catering to various aspects of health and wellness. This ensures patient safety by letting them access many tools and resources to manage their health and achieve optimum clinical outcomes.

  • Embracing Electronic Health Records (EHRs): Patients and healthcare practitioners alike are wholeheartedly embracing Electronic Health Records (EHRs) systems. These provide easy access to medical histories and facilitate improved care coordination among different healthcare workers.

Implications

The reliance on digital health tools carries significant implications for both patients and the health care system:

  • Enhanced Patient Satisfaction & Engagement: People are more engaged in the health management of themselves and their family members, thanks to real-time data and personalized insights that they can access. This increased patient satisfaction can lead to better adherence to treatment plans and improved health outcomes.

  • Early Detection and Intervention: Digital health tools enable early detection of health issues through continuous monitoring. Healthcare providers like physicians and nurses can intervene proactively, preventing complications and hospitalizations.

  • Convenience & Accessibility: Patients appreciate the convenience of accessing their health information and communicating with healthcare professionals, including doctors, through digital platforms. This enhances accessibility to care, particularly for those with mobility issues or living in remote areas.

Expectations of Solutions for Staffing Shortages

Patients Expectations

In the United States, like many other industries, the healthcare sector experienced significant staffing shortages in 2020. This shortage could be a matter of life and death due to delays in care and physician or nurse burnout.

Patients are keenly aware of this critical issue and expect healthcare workers to address staffing shortages to ensure their well-being.

Adoption Trends

In response to the staffing shortages, healthcare handlers have swiftly adopted innovative solutions. These further include:

  • Telehealth Implementation: A significant response to staffing shortages has been the adoption of telehealth services. For instance, 46% of U.S. hospitals now use some form of telehealth, compared to 11% prior to the pandemic.

  • Technology Integration: The adoption of technology to streamline operations and reduce the workload on staff has become more prevalent. For example, the medical digital check-in software is used predominantly to streamline the process of hiring new staff. Similarly, the robotic process automation for repetitive tasks has seen a notable increase.

  • Cross-Training of Staff: To address shortages, there’s a growing trend of cross-training existing staff. For example, a high percentage of nursing staff in some institutions received training for multiple roles, enhancing flexibility and resource allocation.

Implications

The efforts to address staffing shortages have several implications for patients and healthcare systems. For instance:

  • Improved Access to Care: Patients benefit from increased access to healthcare services, even during periods of high demand or staffing challenges. Telemedicine and AI-driven solutions provide convenient avenues for seeking medical advice and assistance.

  • Enhanced Efficiency: Healthcare practitioners can operate more efficiently by leveraging automation and cross-training. This results in shorter wait times, quicker responses to patient needs, and a more streamlined healthcare quality experience.

  • Continuity of Care: Patients can expect a consistent level of care encounter, as healthcare institutions have measures in place to address staffing shortages promptly. This ensures that their health and well-being are not compromised due to workforce limitations.

Increase Prioritization of Mental Health

Patient’s Expectations

The COVID-19 pandemic not only affected physical health but also had a profound impact on mental health and well-being. As a result, people in the hospital now prioritize their mental health more than ever before and expect healthcare practitioners to do the same.

Adoption Trends

Let’s explore a few key trends associated with the prioritization of mental health to manage challenging patients:

  • Integration of Mental Health Services: Healthcare workers are integrating mental health services into their primary care setting. In fact, many primary care practices now screen patients for depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues, aiming to provide holistic care.

  • Mental Health Apps: The popularity of mental health apps has risen significantly. These apps provide resources for managing stress, anxiety, and depression, offering patients self-help tools and coping strategies.

Implications

Prioritizing mental health and wellness in healthcare has several important implications:

  • Improved Overall Health: Recognizing and addressing mental health issues can improve health outcomes. Patients who receive adequate mental health support are better equipped to manage chronic conditions and maintain a healthier lifestyle.

  • Reduced Stigma: The increased focus on mental health reduces the stigma surrounding mental illness. Patients are more likely to seek help when they know their mental well-being is given importance and is supported by physicians and other healthcare workers.

  • Enhanced Resilience: Providing mental health resources and coping strategies can enhance patients’ resilience in the face of future challenges, such as pandemics or personal life stressors. It is an essential component of quality follow-up care.

 mental health awareness concept

Source: Freepik

Growing Emphasis on Personalized Care

Patients Expectations

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a noticeable shift in patients’ expectations towards a growing emphasis on personalized care. They now demand healthcare experiences that are tailored to their unique needs, preferences, and circumstances.

Adoption Trends

Several trends indicate the rapid adoption of personalized medical care. These include:

  • Patient-Centered Care Models: Almost every hospital is adopting patient-centeredness that prioritizes active patient involvement in shared decision-making. These models aim to achieve effective communication between patients and the care team, ensuring that treatment options align with patients’ goals and values.

  • Genomic Medicine: Advances in genomic sequencing have enabled more personalized treatment plans based on an individual’s genetic makeup. The adoption of genomic medicine has seen significant growth, with the global genomics market projected to reach $54.44 billion by 2025.

  • Data Analytics: Healthcare organizations are increasingly utilizing data analytics and artificial intelligence to analyze patient information and provide personalized treatment plans.

Implications

The emphasis on personalized care has several implications. Here are a few profound ones:

  • Improved Health Care Quality: Personalized patient-centered care can lead to better treatment outcomes as it considers many factors that may impact health. Patients are more likely to adhere to treatment plans tailored to their specific needs.

  • Enhanced Patient Satisfaction: When patients feel that their healthcare handlers understand and address their unique concerns, they are more satisfied with their personal experience of healthcare systems.

  • Increased Patient Satisfaction: Personalized care encourages patients to take an active role in managing their health, leading to better clinical outcomes and long-term well-being.

DocResponse - Your Trusted Partner for Streamlined Healthcare

To wrap up, the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped the patients’ expectations of the health system. Today, they demand more flexibility, accessibility, and digital integration than ever before. Understanding the different expectations of patients allows healthcare systems to innovate and improve, ensuring they are better prepared for future challenges.

Key Takeaways

  • Patients now expect and trust telehealth for routine and specialized care.

  • Increased patient reliance on digital health tools for real-time health monitoring.

  • Patients expect innovative solutions to address healthcare staffing challenges.

  • Shift towards personalized healthcare, with patients seeking tailored treatments.

  • Greater integration of mental health services, reflecting increased patient awareness.

Remember, when it comes to patients’ evolving needs, DocResponse emerges as valuable software. Its clinical workflow aligns perfectly with the patient’s desire for convenience, clarity, and connection. So visit DocResponse & improve the doctor-patient relationship seamlessly.

The #1 Patient Management Software

Help more people in less time with faster patient intake, easy appointment scheduling, and smarter doctor-patient communication with the #1 practice management software.

Frequently Asked Questions - (FAQs)

What are patients’ expectations regarding healthcare costs and transparency?

Patients increasingly expect clear information about healthcare costs and insurance coverage. There’s a demand for more transparency in billing and a preference for cost-effective care options.

How has patient communication preference changed with healthcare workers?

Patients now prefer multiple communication channels, including email, text messaging, and online portals, for convenience and to reduce in-person visits. They expect timely, clear, and good communication from their health system providers.

What changes in emergency care expectations have emerged?

Patients now expect to receive care that is more streamlined and efficient during emergencies. This includes reduced waiting times, rapid triage processes, and clear communication during emergency visits.

Dr. Tarek Fahl

Dr. Tarek Fahl

Dr. Tarek Fahl is an acclaimed orthopedic surgeon and CEO of DocResponse. Renowned for his expertise in sports medicine, focusing on advanced shoulder and knee treatments, he’s lauded as one of America’s Top Surgeons, merging medical proficiency with healthcare technology innovation.

Dr. Tarek Fahl

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