The rapid adoption of virtual care and digital technologies as well as changing consumer sentiment during the COVID-19 crisis may echo throughout hospital business models long after the pandemic scales down. How can hospitals sustain this accelerated transformation toward the future?
The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the health care industry upside down and accelerated many of the ideas for the future that some thought would take decades to take hold. Hospitals quickly deferred or cancelled elective procedures, discharged non-COVID-19 patients, used data and technology to analyze and forecast demand, implemented virtual health solutions, and moved some of their workforce to remote work. The use of virtual health technology for screening, monitoring, and e-visits as well as consumer preference to stay away from the hospital during the pandemic offer a glimpse into how the hospital of the future might operate.
In mid-January 2020, the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions crowdsourced health care experts and futurists for their vision on the hospital of the future. We also interviewed several physicians and hospital operations and technology executives in mid-April to confirm our initial research and to consider how we should be thinking differently in the aftermath of the pandemic.
Hospital executives contemplating steps towards the COVID recovery phase should take into consideration how their business can thrive in the future. To that end, we suggest they adopt the hospital of the future as outlined in this article.