We’re all aware of the impact the last twelve months have had on healthcare worldwide. With wards overrun and experts predicting that the US hospital administration incurred more than $202 billion in losses between March 1st and June 30th of last year alone, we’re certainly in the midst of a crisis.
But, while big-time emergency healthcare worries are, obviously, at the forefront, the ripples of coronavirus are being felt in medical jobs far and wide, including those that aren’t on the so-called ‘front line.’
GPs and dentists, in particular, are noticing a worrying trend of fear-induced avoidance, and it seems to be catching. In the height of the pandemic last year, patients were certainly seeking home remedies more often than not.
This is all part of a larger problem surrounding the covid-related health crisis, but it’s a fear that healthcare providers can offset in the coming months and years using the following methods.
Let technology lead the way
Technology has been changing healthcare across the board for years now but, since the pandemic began, it’s come especially to the fore. Specifically on the GP front, 2020 was the year of telehealth, with appointments conducted in this way soaring by an impressive 50% compared with the same period in 2019. Certainly, taking appointments into the home right now seems the best all-round way to offset patient fears, especially during initial consultations.
For obvious reasons, this same approach isn’t possible in dentistry, but that’s not to say technology can’t still prove invaluable. As many dental marketing companies are finding, a focus on social media is proving especially useful for rehumanizing this service. More importantly, showing patients that you’re still operating as normal makes them far more liable to feel the fear and pick up the phone regardless.
Keep safety procedures in place
Like the entirety of the business world, all healthcare providers have spent the last few months scrambling to implement safety procedures in keeping with government advice. For most, this includes traceable systems, on-door intercoms, and limited patient numbers at any given time. Cleaning, too, has become a more pressing priority, with increased budgets for on-hand cleaning teams at all times, specifically between patients.
While there may be a temptation to scrap many of these procedures as soon as pandemic panic begins to clear, healthcare providers could actually benefit from keeping these focuses in mind. After all, the fear that these events have triggered is deep-seated and liable to stick around. As such, ensuring that people continue to receive the care they need when they need it is all about streamlining safer services, segmenting patient areas, and generally thinking about the long-term mental impacts that 2020 will bring.
A final word
There will surely come a time when coronavirus fears clear and, to a certain extent, even non-emergency healthcare is recession-proof in that sense. But, for patient wellbeing more than anything, finding new ways to put patients at ease should be at the forefront, not just in 2021, but also moving forward.
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