Over the last several weeks we have come together for our patients, family, friends and community in extraordinary ways to learn how to be safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. As we practice social distancing in a new way, we are seeing the benefits of preparation and collaboration. We count on our many talented leaders, colleagues and national experts in emergency planning, clinical care, research and operations to help guide our roadmap.
This pandemic is precipitating a set of events unprecedented in our lifetime. The American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and Healthcare Executives Southern California (HCE So Cal) have changed how we provide education and networking events by offering virtual webinars. Our goal is to stay connected and to collaborate together.
As I ponder how healthcare organizations may change from the pandemic, several things come to mind. First, organizations will need to address brand strategy and marketing messaging to ensure how we communicate safety and security and deliver on our core values.
Second, patient access to care will change to offer virtual alternatives. Telehealth can help attract new patients, reduce no-shows, boost revenue by turning on-call hours into billable time, and possibly reduce overhead for physicians who decide to switch to a flexible work-from-home model for part of the week.
Third, physician offices and hospitals will need to reconfigure services and spaces to provide patients a sense of security. Mixing symptomatic and asymptomatic patients in crowded waiting rooms will be a major dissatisfier and threat to people’s safety. Organizations may want to consider redesigning facilities and create separate entrances for the sick and well patients.
Finally, how we come together in different ways will impact the communities we serve. In the words of Walter Payton “Together we are stronger than we are alone.” Thank you for all you are doing during these challenging times.
With deep appreciation,
Tricia Kassab, EdD., RN, FACHE
President, Healthcare Executives So Cal