Providence: 8 innovation trends cultivating the 'next normal' post COVID-19

Technology and digital transformation will continue to play a vital role in health systems' recovery and transition toward the next normal after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Renton, Wash.-based Providence's COVID-19 Digital Insight Report Series, comprises research and insights gathered from more than 100 interviews with health system, technology and innovation leaders from Providence as well as other organizations across the country.

Providence Executive Vice President and Chief Digital and Innovation Officer Aaron Martin, and Chief Digital Strategy and Business Development Officer Sara Vaezy co-authored the "Journey Toward the Next Normal" report, which focuses on the framework of the initial impact the coronavirus pandemic will have in accelerating or disrupting digital trends throughout the healthcare industry.

As health systems head into the "next normal" after COVID-19, they will need innovative solutions with the following capabilities to support digital transformation, according to the report. 

1. Managing trust and safety. Digital surveillance tools will be used to scale symptom surveillance and end-to-end testing as a replacement to quarantine orders. The tools will help communities and businesses return to work and life before achieving herd immunity.

2. Evolving business model toward value-based care. The pandemic has helped push affordability, accessibility, personalization and simplified care for commercially insured and self-pay patients, which supports the transition to value-based care and alternative payment models for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.

3. Supporting distributed care and digital health. The shift to telehealth, remote patient monitoring and hospital at home programs will require new payment, regulatory and operating models to maintain digital adoption and distributed care models among patients and providers.

4. Accommodating industry consolidation. Providers will need to focus on integration and referral management to ensure business recovery and long-term business model goals can be achieved with health plan and private equity consolidation and tech platform standardization.

5. Promoting new workforce and facility models. Healthcare organizations will need to allow new flexibility among its workforce and facilities across different geographies and models of care, including virtual, based on clinical need.

6. Extending supply chain models. Supply chain models must improve internal data availability and increase source diversification and flexibility to shift models into the home and community to support distribution of care in non-centralized settings.

7. Supporting care for vulnerable people and under-resourced communities. Innovative solutions and business models are needed to deliver low-cost care, address social needs and improve health outcomes for vulnerable people.

8. Scaling behavioral healthcare. The pandemic has exacerbated mental healthcare issues, which has caused health systems to reengineer under-resourced behavioral health services to account for ongoing supply and financing challenges to deliver efficient and scalable behavioral healthcare.

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