For those of us who were not alive during the World Wars and The Great Depression, I think it’s safe to say that COVID-19 has caused the most rapid and significant societal changes we have ever experienced. Experts believe that many of the dramatic shifts resulting from the pandemic are here to stay. People have reassessed their priorities and, in many cases, have made radical changes in their lives. The home is now the hub of life and work is no longer the centerpiece of one’s identity. As business leaders, we must recognize that the mindset of both consumers and employees has changed considerably in the past 18 months. For our continued success, we need to understand and respond to the new ethos of those we serve and those who help us serve them.
The future of healthcare will be more patient-centric and advances in technology, which were greatly accelerated by the pandemic, will be a vehicle for this change. Healthcare consumers are now in search of:
- Convenience – easy access to care and information
- Control – in charge of their own healthcare
- Personalized Care – addressing their individual needs
Our employees also have a new attitude. Although the relative importance of their job may have declined in their minds, they still value employment. However, employees are looking for positions that provide:
- Flexibility – hours, days and locations of work
- Improved compensation and benefits
- Opportunity for growth
- Safe, comfortable environments in which to work
This presents an unprecedented hurdle to us as we emerge from the pandemic. Even if COVID-19 completely disappeared tomorrow, the way we deliver care to patients and interact with our employees would still need to evolve in response to the changes it has brought about. This is not the time to be complacent. Strongly consider the above when planning for the future. Those who adapt will be the ones who thrive. In my next few segments, I’ll provide some specific suggestions to address these challenges.