How COVID-19 Accelerated the Digital Transformation of Healthcare

September 22, 2020 - At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, three things were top-of-mind for Surescripts’ CEO, Tom Skelton: employee safety, ensuring the network remained operational, and adapting strategies to the evolution of technology. Because if there was one thing he knew for sure, it was the country wouldn’t come out of the pandemic thinking about healthcare the same way.

“Everything that we’ve done since then, from the way that we work, to the way we interact to the tools that we’re making available to the market, have all been based on one of those three pillars,” Skelton said in an interview with EHRIntelligence.

“It started in February when it was pretty clear that this was getting serious and we haven’t been together since then, which is now over six months, and we don’t see that this is going to change a lot here in the next few months either.”

Before March, there was a general sense of transformation, innovation, and connection that’s happening across the healthcare industry. Some of it occurred before the spread of COVID-19, but overall, the coronavirus was simply a catalyst that accelerated these three principals.

Take an individual with several chronic conditions planning to see a physician whose office is 45 minutes from her home, for example. That clinician offers her a telehealth visit, which as a result, saved an hour and a half of driving time, along with time in the waiting room. The individual is also getting the same quality of patient care from the comfort of her home, using this digitized platform, as she would have received in person.