In the past few days, two interesting questions have been recurring:
- Will things be as they were?
- Are there things we are doing now that will become part of the “new normal”?
The answer to the first question is: certainly not. The Covid-19 pandemic will be one of those dichotomous events that divide life into before and after. Let’s live with it, learn to adjust. Think about what airport security was like before 9/11, or how simple it was to collect blood before the AIDS pandemic.
The answer to the second question, for good reason, is certainly yes. High reliability practices for safety such as hand hygiene will remain. What will be redesigned is the way we provide care to do what is best for society.
Health plan operators, service providers and contracting companies (true financiers) were already looking for connected service platforms to meet all the population’s health and social needs.
With the shift to value-based care and patient-centered care, companies will begin to see value in integrating services. Offering a platform that can include primary care, specialized consultations and referrals, mental health services, diagnostic tests and preventive care has been shown to meet the needs of users and make them co-producers of their health.
Consumer involvement in healthcare continues to grow. The search for access to new service channels, even the tracking and sharing of health data, and consumer engagement, can be the key to improving results and reducing health costs. Users who are informed about their condition and involved in their treatment decisions tend to have better results and generally incur lower costs.
The trend is not exactly new, many companies have been expanding their platforms for years, to create a more comprehensive package of services for consumers.
Preparing the Redesign for the New
The lack of organization, associated with distrust in the process of innovating, is the main obstacle that needs to be addressed in this restructuring. It is necessary to establish transparent mechanisms that allow a genuine interactive dialogue on potential innovation and reform. If all stakeholders are involved in the reform discussion, they are more likely to have a sense of ownership over the results of this process, which in turn can facilitate the adoption and acceptance of new structures, including telehealth solutions.
Innovation imposes considerable demands on the ability of organizations and professionals to adapt to new requirements. Changing organizational structures, work processes and behaviors are among the most difficult tasks to perform and make any improvements in the provision of health and social care services. Not to mention the need for training teams on telehealth care and the mandatory changes to professional training programs for the new era.
As a result of this crisis, major changes are taking place in the economy in general and in society. Fortunately, the health system will also evolve, and for those amid this battle, there is no doubt that the immediate priority is clear: caring for the sick.
Decision-makers and everyone involved in the health industry need to start considering how the lessons of this crisis will be captured not only to facilitate the management of the next crisis, but to ensure that health system operations will be improved and redesigned to meet the needs of a new post-pandemic scenario.
For Philip Kotler, value is the perfect combination of quality, service, and price for the target market. A new strategic approach to the health sector is needed, focused on creating value, in order to improve access to services, promote health, improve the results expected by patients and still reduce costs.