‘Consumer Sentiments’ will be the Top Priority for Healthcare Consultants in the Post COVID-19 World

Healthcare is transforming at an unprecedented level. The industry is increasingly focusing on value-based healthcare and people are becoming aware of all the healthcare-related problems. Healthcare consulting offers end-to-end services on guiding healthcare establishments to make informed decisions. The job of a healthcare consultant is very crucial and valuable to the organization. The expertise and experience of a consultant can decide the future of that healthcare organization.

The job of a healthcare consultant starts right from setting up hospital infrastructure to introducing healthcare devices and drugs, from hiring healthcare professionals to developing software solutions. Accenture is one such example of healthcare consulting, that majorly focusses on data-driven results to deliver valuable insights. With the advent of advanced technology in healthcare delivery, these services have become affordable, efficient, and quality-driven. The National Society of Certified Healthcare Business Consultants or NSCHBC is one of the largest societies in the US providing healthcare management services to the healthcare industry.

As per a study conducted by Fortune Business insights, the healthcare consulting market is expected to rise at a considerable growth rate in the foreseeable future.

Do we Need to Think About Re-creating the future of Healthcare Delivery Post COVID-19 Pandemic?

Just when the world had made huge progress in the field of medicine, overnight we were hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and it unexpectedly changed the future of healthcare. People, as well as the healthcare ecosystem, have entered the unacquainted world of telecommuting.  Now, the delivery paradigm in healthcare has shifted to virtual visits and teleconferencing. The future that was already envisioned for this industry, needs to be re-created owing to the gigantic change in consumer behavior. Uncertainty and the constant fear in the minds of consumers are compelling them to behave differently in this ‘new normal’ situation.

In these unprecedented and challenging times, it is important that we re-think the future of healthcare. Even though this pandemic has sent shockwaves to the healthcare sector, offering quality care and optimum treatment still remains the topmost priority. Companies such as Deloitte, EY, Bain & Company, KPMG, among others are gearing up to understand the consumer sentiments. In March 2020, a healthcare consulting firm called HSG made a COVID-19 checklist to better understand the patient’s needs. The company plans to address different issues regarding operational, financial, and clinical across several hospitals and health systems. This checklist is free of cost and can be downloaded from the company’s website. Healthcare consultants need to create, implement, and act on new strategies to manage the crisis situation and offer maximum support to healthcare organizations. Below are some of the core areas where organizations should focus on:

  1. Communications
  2. Telehealth
  3. Healthcare workforce Strategies
  4. Privacy of Information
  5. Health Analytics

Medical Practice Consultants Believe in Enduring Relationships and Ensuring Better Quality of Life

Building a relationship with patients has always been of high importance to healthcare practitioners. People are willfully spending on healthcare and they want personalized care in return. Medical health consultants help in filling the gap by increasing your in-house healthcare staff. These consultants offer support to healthcare givers by designing, implementing, and building strategies to optimize operational processes. Mckesson joined hands with Navigating Cancer in March 2019 to provide an enhanced patient management platform to oncologists. This platform will help doctors to know if patients are responding to treatments and if there are any adverse effects of the same. With the help of this platform, patients can have access to personalized information and will know the side effects of the medicine beforehand. This will help them to act on time before the problem escalates. Therefore, this platform is proactive and prompt in nature. Healthcare consultants always aim at keeping the patients satisfied, healthy, and ensure short hospital stays.

Healthcare IT Solutions: One of the ‘Highly Demanded’ Services in Healthcare Consulting

Recently, in January 2020, one of the leading providers of healthcare IT solutions called MTBC announced the acquisition of an EHR cloud platform called CareCloud. The company aims to build a strategic roadmap by offering top-notch technologies to its providers. Yes, it is digital transformation, that is leading the way in restructuring this industry. In order to provide world-class service to patients, it is very important to have a fully-developed IT infrastructure in place. Demand for efficient and highly advanced healthcare systems is increasing rapidly. This, coupled with the rising patient population worldwide, will create demand for self-learning and automated systems. The state government in Hyderabad with Public Healthcare Foundation of India or PHFI, International Institute of Information Technology-Hyderabad, and Intel plans to transform healthcare by moving from deep learning to self-learning. The government will use artificial intelligence to offer better and improved healthcare services in India. Intel’s country head made a statement by saying that other than improving services, AI will increase organ availability (in case of transplants) in India by 30%. Healthcare consultants are investing in IT solutions, which in turn, is helping doctors to upgrade the quality of treatment.

Healthcare Consultants Need to Focus on ‘Consumer Engagement’ in the New and ‘Next Normal’

The industry has witnessed a high adoption rate of virtual consultation in the new normal. The reliability of virtual and online support will continue to increase in the next normal too. In other words, the adoption of telehealth will increase at a significant rate. The shift from conventional to ‘going virtual’ will create opportunities and challenges for the healthcare providers regarding the quality care delivery and engagement of consumers.  Organizations need to restore the confidence of their patients by enhancing remote care and offering value-based service.

Companies such as Komodo Health, ZS Associates, IQVIA, and others are managing the business processes of hospitals by offering technology services. These companies also help in making strategic decisions by providing relevant and real-time insights to doctors and healthcare providers. I think, now more than management consultants, it is developers and data scientists who will work on providing advisory, healthcare financing, or other solutions to healthcare providers. However, high costs associated with these services may hamper the growth of healthcare consulting.