The COVID-19 crisis has forced the world to change how it conducts business overnight. As we all begin to move forward together and reopen our doors, new priorities and practices are beginning to take shape. Some will change our interactions with customers. Some will alter our long-established processes. Nearly all will in some way, shape or form affect our bottom lines.
New opportunities will undoubtedly arise—as will unfamiliar challenges. Those who keep an open mind will be best prepared to tackle both.
For most businesses, two of the most common challenges will be planning and funding. If you uncover an opportunity, how will you finance it? If you experience a challenge, where can you turn? Finding the right solutions to balance these potential changes to income streams will be essential, as will managing debt and cash in a safe and efficient manner. A crucial first step is having a banking expert on your side to help you map out your financial strategy.
Being front and center throughout the pandemic, the good, the bad and the ugly of the healthcare industry has been exposed on a daily basis. Rapid changes have already begun taking place. Those who embraced the changing environment have already made great strides. Those who have tried to stay the course are undoubtedly worrying if they can continue to stay afloat.
There is still time to act, but it will take a calculated strategy covering three distinct areas of opportunity to define your position: Embracing New Technologies, Becoming a Source of Knowledge, Understanding the Broader Economic Impact.
Telehealth exploded onto the scene with incredible results. Patients enjoyed their experiences, with many expressing a desire to use it again in the future. Artificial intelligence also became a viable option as a first point of contact through either apps or online interactions.
Technology is growing in its capabilities for the healthcare sector—increasing efficiencies, while also removing the human element from potentially dangerous situations. The new technologies are out there. Now is the time to jump in and get your feet wet by leaving behind some potentially outdated processes and welcoming more streamlined methods.
The general public has been hungry for information, but not always sure where to get it or who to trust. With information coming at us fast, some turned to local and national news sources, some turned to social media, but very few turned to their primary care doctors, hospitals, health systems or insurance companies. This presents a unique opportunity for you to be a source of reliable facts—and establish a higher level of trust with patients and consumers.
Consider creating new tools or information portals, or partner with employers to disperse information. Also, as employers begin offering their employees new benefits, now is the time to help everyone understand what these benefits may mean to them and how they can be used.
With more patients currently forgoing care by delaying procedures, reducing spending on preventative medicine or rationing medications, it presents a cloudy picture of healthcare’s fiscal future.
As a smaller business, this means you may be hurting financially more than larger businesses. However, now is not the time to panic, now is the time to act and use your agility to your advantage. Embrace the opportunity to rethink your organization and its structure and adapt it to the new realities. Actively engage your financial and legal advisors, as well as trusted financial institutions to help you analyze the right solutions.