Looking To 2021 Why We Need To Focus On Virtual Care
To say that 2020 has been a clunker is, well, the understatement of the year. Collectively speaking, most people around the world are more than happy to see the year overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic in their rearview mirror. For that reason, perhaps no new year in recent history has been as longingly anticipated as is 2021.
If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that patient access to virtual healthcare is no longer a “nice to have” innovation for the future but rather a paramount necessity of the present. The worldwide outbreak of the coronavirus in March 2020 demanded that virtual health technologies like telehealth be repositioned at the forefront. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of telehealth visits during the first quarter of 2020 increased by 50 percent compared with the same period in 2019. Similarly, during a single week in March 2020, the CDC reported a 154 percent increase in telehealth visits.
For that reason, virtual care is at the dawn of a new era in patient care and communication. The technology gives patients and providers a likable pairing: the agility to prioritize one-on-one interactions and the flexibility to support health when and where it’s most convenient—for both parties. As evidence of how prevalent virtual care will become, a Deloitte survey found that one-third of health organization executives believe that at least 25 percent of all inpatient care will be delivered virtually by 2040. Given what’s happened in 2020, that date has moved forward quite a bit.