We must get over the narrative that it’s challenging to get the elderly to use technology. This may have been true once, but not since the pandemic. Recent studies have found that older adults are open to adopting technology, especially when related to health. A recent report by Pew Research Center found that more than half of the older adult participants are active online. And they are moving beyond simply buying a computer or connecting to the internet. The Pew report also found while over 70% of participants use the internet on a typical day while over 40% of adults over age 50 are extremely comfortable using the internet.
The new world order of healthcare has been challenging for everyone. But this is just one of the many changes healthcare companies must be ready to face. As an experienced healthcare professional, I can tell you how my colleagues don’t know how we’re going to move forward or how the next year will look like.
I know it has been an overwhelmingly busy year for everyone. From juggling multiple commitments to learning to do things independently, we’re all exhausted. But after all that we’ve been through and reflecting on how far we’ve come, I think there are a few challenges that lay ahead:
An MGMA Stat poll found that nearly 73% of healthcare professionals find staffing one of their biggest pandemic-related challenges in 2022. The Association of American Medical Colleges report predicts a shortage of between 37,800 and 124,000 physicians by 2034. But raising wages or offering sign-off bonuses isn’t going to do much unless you make fundamental changes in your work policy. Or, consider developing a fellowship program to attract top talent.
Patients and care providers have different perspectives, but it is essential to be aware of patient expectations to anticipate and prevent concerns. Some of the issues you must address include better price transparency, better-integrated care, more information and education, in-home care, and better clarity in communication.
You could also help patients adopt the latest technology to allow them more access and control over their health.
Patients had to be persuaded to use patient portals to see test results long gone. Today, they expect so much more – from online scheduling and monitoring telehealth to being given wearables. Technology can create digitally integrated care and deepen the relationship with patients. As healthcare leaders, we must consider patient experience along the way and possibly consider shifting the vulnerable population to telehealth visits.