Healthcare’s Tricky Dilemma: Plan for the Future or Meet Current Needs?
In a perfect world, healthcare facilities would be able to plan and save for the future while concurrently meeting patient needs that are directly in front of them. Unfortunately, however, the ongoing global pandemic took away this luxury, as urgent priorities superseded longer-term goals. Here is a look at how to help your facility get on track with striking a healthy balance of preparing for the future while also meeting the needs of today.
1. Safety & Health First
It goes without saying (but we will reiterate it anyway) that your staff and patient’s health and well-being in the here and now is the most important priority always. Although you want to reach your long-term goals, making sure you have enough personnel, resources, and equipment today to serve those in your care should trump any five-year plan your organization has in place. These calls are not always easy, but they are necessary – and a healthier, stronger workforce today means a healthier, stronger workforce that is ready to achieve your goals down the road.
2. Use Technology Strategically
There are many tech solutions available today that can enable you to reallocate your resources and deliver significant ROI over time. So while one of the COVID-19 effects was that many facilities considered implementing spending freezes, such a health crisis is actually an ideal time to reevaluate your healthcare tech and how you are using the resources you have.
For example, it is not a new development that there is a shortage of nurses and frontline workers. If your budget wouldn’t allow for additional staff but would support AV equipment, consider a solution that not only bridges the staffing gap but also can elevate the patient experience. Patient TVs are a solution that provides education, entertainment, and messaging which can make the patient feel more connected and cared for even when facing staffing shortages.
By giving patients a sense of control over their experience and environment you can help to reduce the burden on your staff and facility. This is just one example, but the right technology can be a bridge between where you are now and where you want to be.
3. Forecast Regularly
There will always be unpredictable events in life, and COVID-19 reminded us of this more than ever. But even if no one could have seen a worldwide pandemic coming, there is a lot that frequent forecasting can do to prepare your medical facility for ebbs and flows.
Are you sensing that your technology supplier relationship feels more transactional (and reactive) versus feeling like a strategic partnership? Having a strong partnership means transparency and the ability to sit down and discuss unique needs which isn’t a luxury, but necessary and included. Scheduling regular check-ins to troubleshoot, strategize, and brainstorm upcoming supply needs can help mitigate a supply issue down the road.
It is never easy when you have to decide between today’s priorities and the priorities you have set for the future, but there are ways to accommodate both – at least to a certain extent. Focus first and foremost on health and safety in the present, and then incorporate technology and forecasting to fill your needs as efficiently as possible so you have resources left to invest toward your future vision. Need help planning your present and future AV technology budget? We would love to talk.
How do you balance managing current demand while also anticipating future needs?