BioSupply Trends Quarterly logo
Search
Close this search box.
Fall 2020 - Innovation

The Transformation of Healthcare in a Post-Pandemic Era

Patrick M. Schmidt

During the last several years, the American healthcare system has experienced constant change. Most prominent in just this past year are significant alterations in how healthcare is practiced and delivered. And, by the looks of things, these changes are slated to continue. Exactly how they will evolve, though, is up for debate, especially in a post-pandemic era.

Perhaps the most talked-about shift in healthcare right now is the widespread adoption of telehealth. While the technology is not new, the COVID-19 pandemic hastened its adoption in order to protect both patients and providers. Surprisingly, most healthcare consumers have embraced and adapted to this mode of receiving care, resulting in an increase in telehealth use by more than 50 percent over the previous year. But, as we examine in our article “Healthcare Delivery Post-Pandemic” (p.16), the question looms as to whether telehealth is here to stay, despite its relative recent success. The main dilemma is where healthcare is best provided. And, this discussion has moved beyond telehealth to the formation of facilities that would improve healthcare delivery at a more affordable cost such as consolidated care centers. Fortunately, geographic restrictions and reimbursement criteria that previously stymied efforts to provide telehealth have been lifted with federal waivers. Yet, it still remains to be seen whether payers will continue to be on board to achieve long-term positive outcomes.

The need for social distancing while receiving and providing care has also spurred the growth of mHealth apps, wearables and tools. Statistics show the use of mHealth has skyrocketed over the past five years, enabled by 80 percent of Americans owning smartphones. But, as we highlight in our article “The mHealth Revolution: An Alternative to Traditional Healthcare” (p.20), not all mHealth is beneficial. While mHealth has its advantages, including real-time remote communication, paperless documentation, improved treatment compliance and cost savings, among others, federal regulation is needed to ensure quality and safety, especially in terms of privacy and security.

The digital healthcare landscape is also increasingly migrating to social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Referred to as an “extension of the doctor-patient relationship,” these platforms are helping providers attract new patients and reach out to existing patients, as we explain in our article “The Doctor Will Tweet You Now” (p.24). What’s more, these sites can be used by providers to disseminate accurate health information and share data with other healthcare professionals. But, social media has its risks, which is why the American Medical Association has developed a code of moral ethics to which providers should adhere to ensure HIPAA compliance and to maintain patients’ trust.

As always, we hope you enjoy this issue of BioSupply Trends Quarterly, and find it both relevant and helpful to your practice.

Helping Healthcare Care,

Patrick M. Schmidt

Publisher

Patrick M. Schmidt
Patrick M. Schmidt is the publisher of BioSupply Trends Quarterly magazine.