CLEVELAND, Nov. 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- There's a big change coming in healthcare that will leave heavy casualties and create some big winners.
Trusted brands like hospitals still have an advantage today but are under attack by retail, big pharma, and big tech.
"In my experience, convenience always trumps brand," said Healthcare Digital Transformation author Edward Marx. "Why would someone spend half a day for a hospital appointment when they could get the same quality care just around the corner at a local pharmacy or retailer in just 30 minutes?"
Pharmacies and retailers are aggressively working on digital technology to make quality healthcare appointments more convenient and affordable. Hospitals, on the other hand, have been complacent, took patients for granted, and are slow to adapt to the new digital healthcare reality.
"Guess what. Patients aren't going to come to them anymore. They're going to go to the big box stores and where it's more convenient and somewhere where they're digitally engaged. I think healthcare organizations thought they were immune for a long-time," said Marx.
Hospitals haven't seen the necessity to spend money on digital engagement since physicians always referred patients to them. They have also always made a ton of money but that's about to change.
"You have to make changes or become a relic of the past and be eaten by new players. A lot of hospitals could go out of business or become places you just go for acute care," said Marx.
"Survival of the digitalist" as Marx likes to say.
The pandemic has brought to light how digital technology could be used to improve healthcare. Culturally, we said no, you can't work or treat patients at home. That thinking is changing.
"When I was at the Cleveland Clinic and we started treating some patients at home, we were finding it was cheaper, higher quality. And guess what? Patients were happier because they didn't have to go to the hospital," said Marx.
When the pandemic hit, a lot of progressive organizations would send most of their Covid patients home with monitoring equipment hooked up to phones unless they needed a ventilator. It's a lot cheaper than staying in the hospital.
Benefits to hospitals are also huge. If you don't have to admit Covid patients, you've increased capacity and have more beds to make more money from elective surgeries. Also, with virtual consultations, patients just push a button, saving them time and money for the hospital.
"With digital technology, 25 percent of admissions can be treated at home. This saves a lot of money and you're not wasting resources and saving a lot of PPE. When you have a Covid patient, you have to put on a lot of gear and then throw it away when you're done," said Marx.
Now you just send them home and there's no PPE shortage. Digital health can also increase patient engagement by promoting a healthy lifestyle. It also levels healthcare inequities, decreases costs, and increases patient satisfaction, while clinical outcomes are the same.
Healthcare Digital Transformation: How Consumerism, Technology, and the Pandemic are Accelerating the Future is a call to action for health organizations with evidence of the changes coming and practical solutions.
Marx' book is a best seller on Amazon with a forward written by Toby Cosgrove, MD former president, and CEO, Cleveland Clinic. There are also 30 quotes on the front cover from prominent leaders in healthcare.
The handbook is essential for leaders interested in digital health and transformation. Its contents will guide leaders as the industry accelerates towards the adoption of telehealth and virtual care models in the wake of the pandemic and changing consumer preferences.
Ed Marx currently serves as the chief digital officer for Tech Mahindra Health & Life Sciences. He was also the chief information officer, Cleveland Clinic, with outposts in Florida, Nevada, Toronto, Abu Dhabi, and London.
His responsibilities included digital solutions, as well as information technology. Before joining the Cleveland Clinic, Ed served as CIO, The Advisory Board, NYC Health & Hospitals, Texas Health Resources, and University Hospitals.
For further information or to schedule an interview, contact Ed Marx at 216-379-6258 or [email protected].
SOURCE Edward Marx