Health and Wellness

Will 2022 Be A Major Turning Point in Healthcare?

Carenet Health, one of the nation’s largest providers of healthcare engagement solutions, has released its fourth annual Healthcare Consumer Engagement Forecast. The publication includes cross-industry insights and seven predictions for healthcare engagement in 2022, focusing on areas such as digital health, behavioral health, customer service and support, and in-home care.

One big takeaway is that a new healthcare consumer is emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic—one whose trust in the healthcare system has been shaken and whose expectations of service and convenience have changed. Healthcare organizations, from health plans to health systems to their service partners, are responding.

Carenet CEO John Erwin said the pandemic has shifted the mindset of the industry when it comes to connecting with consumers, and that’s reshaping the trajectory of healthcare engagement.

“For the first time, we’re seeing our clients reconsider their entire service infrastructures—not just how they’re organized, but how they’re staffed, how technology and facility resources are being used, and how it all relates to performance in outreach, quality of care, follow-up, coordination and loyalty,” Erwin said.

Steve Harstad, Chief Strategy Officer for Carenet, added that it’s been apparent for some time that health plan members and patients want to experience healthcare like they experience retail, hospitality and other similar industries they interact with every day.

“Pre-pandemic, healthcare as a whole has been slow to react. Now consumers are newly empowered. The tide is turning and there’s urgency where there hasn’t been in the past,” Harstad said.

Supporting 250+ health organizations and engaging with 70,000 patients and health plan members every day, Carenet Health created the Healthcare Consumer Engagement Forecast to help healthcare organizations stay informed about and act on emerging trends.

This year’s 2022 Healthcare Consumer Engagement Forecast includes these predictions:

  1. Consumer experience, satisfaction and trust will be top-priority targets for improvement.
  2. Continued workforce challenges will drive an unprecedented restructuring of healthcare service and support.
  3. Digital solutions will shine—if they’re implemented thoughtfully.
  4. Telehealth will find its best-fit place in the care ecosystem.
  5. Access to behavioral healthcare services will accelerate, thanks to momentum in the digital space.
  6. Payer-provider collaboration will ramp up.
  7. In-home care will grow (and help address the deferred care crisis, too).

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