We did it! We survived 2020! Hands down, 2020 was the toughest year (so far) of the twenty-first century. But we got through it. As we move into 2021, this is the time when many of us are making New Year’s resolutions. To help our readers commit to new initiatives for practice success in the coming year, this blog will suggest a number of useful New Year’s Resolutions for Specialty Practices.
In the few years prior to 2020, patient portal adoption among patients lagged in comparison to its level of adoption among healthcare providers. According to a 2017 GAO report, at that time, 87 percent of providers had implemented patient portals. However, only 30 percent of their patients accessed those portals. As it has been for other healthcare technologies, such as telehealth, the COVID-19 pandemic has also become a catalyst for more widespread portal adoption by patients.
In a recent article on this blog, we discussed the current and ongoing patient engagement boom. According to a report from Data Bridge Market Research, the patient engagement solutions market is expected to grow to an estimated value of $47.17 billion USD by 2027, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.9 percent. This means that patient demand for new and more effective patient engagement solutions is only going to keep growing.
According to a report from Grandview research, the market for patient engagement solutions is expected to grow by 4x between now and 2026, reaching $56.92 billion USD. Patient engagement has become increasingly important in recent years, driven by a number of factors. First and foremost, you have two young and tech-savvy generations (millennials and Gen Z) coming into adulthood and expecting more personalized online options from their care providers. At the other end of the generational spectrum, there is the last of a large aging population of baby boomers entering their later years, many of whom desire to “age in place” without losing the personal touch they’ve come to expect from their care providers. In response to the surging demand these factors have caused, the healthcare industry is experiencing a boom in patient engagement solutions.
Effective communication is a key component to the successful delivery of care. Without it, care quality is impaired. Since communication in a practice is essential to facilitating care delivery, patient satisfaction and the productivity of healthcare personnel—within all healthcare environments—there should be active communication between all members of a practice. However, some practices still struggle to communicate effectively with patients, thus preventing a smooth experience.
For good or (more often than not) ill, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected nearly every industry in the world in some way. Perhaps no other industry has been more affected than healthcare. Some of these effects have been positive, such as the increasingly permanent changes to and increases in use of telehealth and connected care solutions. Sadly, when it comes to hospitals, the effects have been mostly negative.
2020 has been a big year for the expansion of telehealth, virtual visits and other connected care solutions. This, of course, began as a side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and the related social distancing and lockdown orders. However, it has now become obvious that the widespread use of telehealth will not end with the fall of COVID-19. If anything, patient adoption of these virtual care solutions is only accelerating as the year goes on.
Having a specialty-specific EHR is important. However, subspecialty features are sometimes left out of EHR designs. Glaucoma specialists have their own particular needs, and the best EHR should be designed to meet them. For example, it can sometimes be difficult for glaucoma specialists to analyze patient trends over time in order to determine how they are responding to treatment. Also, it can be inefficient when you have to navigate through multiple areas of a patient’s chart to document glaucoma-related data.