COVID upended the notion for consumers that healthcare is only available at a healthcare facility, experts agreed during a HIDA Customer Insights event on the lab and physician markets.
“Once you give everyone the opportunity to do their own testing, they are all scientists,” said Jane Hermansen of the Mayo Clinic. “There is tremendous opportunity for the healthcare field now that patients are being empowered to collect their own specimens.”
Panelists shared insights on serving growth sectors.
Fill In The Care Gaps
Patients are returning to healthcare settings for elective surgeries and preventive medicine such as colonoscopies and mammograms. When patients visit, providers have the opportunity to fill in care gaps like checking for lipid or Hepatitis C status. “COVID has opened up another world of testing,” Hermansen said.
Understand The Need For Speed
COVID taught us about convenience and bringing care to the patient but also about speed, said Brian Jackson, who works for reference lab ARUP Laboratories. When it comes to infectious diseases, getting a fast result is beneficial. Consumers and providers now expect results today. There’s a huge efficiency if you can get lab results while a patient is still at the clinic, Hermansen noted.
Acknowledge Telemedicine’s Expansion
Telemedicine visits should become permanent, Verlin Janzen, Hutchinson Clinic, said. Patients from teens to the elderly are asking for it. COVID accelerated it, and now patients expect it.
Embrace Virtual Meetings
While the value of networking can never be replaced with the virtual option, sometimes virtual is good enough, panelists agreed. Virtual can enable more key people to attend.
Build The Workforce Of Tomorrow
Distributors have been tremendously helpful in engaging with communities by engaging with students and offering education about the profession itself, Hermansen said. There’s a huge need for training in how to manage and run a lab, particularly the small to medium size physician office lab, Janzen added.
Emphasize Product Training
Janzen also serves as a medical director at a skilled nursing facility. The staff received COVID-19 test kits for residents, but struggled because they did not have a lab background to do the testing and understand the results, he said.
Be A Good Steward Of Staff Time And Resources
There’s a responsibility of leadership to conserve products, but also staff time. The largest expense in a clinic is personnel, Janzen commented.