I have a “twofer” for you today, a conversation with not one but two representatives from Greenway Health. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Geeta Nayyar, Chief Medical Officer and Kali Durgampudi, Chief Technology & Innovation Officer. Both provided thoughtful predictions on where healthcare is headed post COVID-19 and what technologies will carry the industry forward.
I started our conversation by congratulating Dr. Nayyar on being named one of the most influential women in Health IT by HIMSS (wholly deserved given her tireless advocacy and work in the industry). Of course, that led to a natural question about the cancelled HIMSS20 event and what she was expecting to see.
“Pre COVID-19, what I was expecting to see at HIMSS was a lot of artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, population health and value-based care…things we have been talking about as an industry for some time now,” stated Nayyar. “However, post COVID-19, it’s all about telemedicine, telehealth, patient engagement, and AI.”
Greenway Collaborative Space
The challenge for healthcare providers, especially physician practices, is implementing any telehealth or patient engagement platform during a pandemic. These are uncharted waters for everyone. To help, Greenway Health has created a collaborative space for its customers to share best practices and resources.
“We’ve got information about the Care Act, billing resources, templates, workflows, and other digital health information,” said Durgampudi. “The idea is not only to help our customers, but to help the patients of our customers.”
Durgampudi shared that the response to their collaborative space has been “phenomenal”. When Greenway normally hosts a webinar, they get 400 registrants. But through the shared space, they attracted over 1,500 registrants to a recent billing best practices webinar.
What’s next for physician practices?
Dr. Nayyar is concerned about the future of physician practices, “Any doctor that was thinking about retiring and any small practice that was teetering on the edge of profitability – this may be the time they put up their hands and say – I’m gonna tap out. Similarly any doctor that was considering leaving private practice and becoming a salaried employee, is likely looking at their shrinking bank account and making the decision to close up shop.”
Dr. Nayyar is also worried about physicians themselves, explaining that physician burnout was bad before, but post-COVID, it will undoubtedly be worse. This is partly due to the amount of work/risk that physicians on the front lines are having to bear and partly because of the financial pressures that will be felt by physicians who own their own practices.
“It will really be a dicey few months”, said Dr. Nayyar. However, she remains optimistic that many physician practices will find a way to pull through the economic uncertainty. “The new normal for a doctor’s office is going to be different for patients as well as physicians.” She foresees unique combinations of brick-and-mortar offices with after-hours virtual care and a move to shift work so that a staff are not always together in the office (reduces risk of transmission).
Durgampudi sees the need for physician practices to adopt new technology solutions that will support these new approaches to work. He believes flexible logins and licensing models will be needed along with ways to integrate with stand-alone home-health devices.
What’s next for Greenway Health?
Greenway Health is working to accelerate product development in the areas of telemedicine, artificial intelligence, interoperability and NLP (with an eye on a voice-EHR). Luckily these were the company’s priorities before COVID-19 and these have become even more important given the impact the pandemic has had on healthcare.
Durgampudi and his team are also working to gather and act on feedback from their customers about what they need via engaging on social media, telehealth platforms, and other “customer service” touchpoints.
Durgampudi summed things perfectly when he said: “I think at the start of the year we were either hoping for a slow pace of change or a revolution. We got the revolution. This (COVID-19) is the revolution that has accelerated change in healthcare.”
Watch the interview to learn:
- How physician practices may introduce hybrid telehealth models in the future
- What we can all learn from the “first wave” and prepare for the “next wave” in the coming months
- How patients can take more responsibility for their health, and how Amazon might play a role in that
- What is needed for physicians to have good “webside” manner
- The “Three Ts” of COVID-19 success
To learn more about Greenway Health, visit their website at https://www.greenwayhealth.com/
This article is part of the #HealthIT100in100