These are unprecedented times for almost every industry, and perhaps none more than healthcare. For this critical community backbone, the ‘return to normal’ is unknown – we’re not clear on when it will arrive, or what it will look like.
Private hospitals and day surgeries have been impacted by COVID-19 in many and varied ways, and while the resumption of elective procedures from April 28 is a positive step, this next phase will also bring new challenges.
In the following article, we’ll share 4 key tactics to support healthcare providers and practitioners in their return to a different kind of ‘BAU’, together with some new opportunities on the horizon.
Review Procedures & Risk Management
With constantly changing external conditions (economic, health, legislative and more), now is the time to review risk management procedures. Whilst the world has taken a social-distancing ‘step back’, business risks remain, and may even increase. In cyber crime, for instance, we’re seeing unprecedented activity across all sectors, and the medical industry is no exception. To support providers in reviewing their online systems and processes, we’ve assembled some tips and resources to mitigate cyber risk exposure.
Alongside digital platforms, healthcare providers should review further areas of the business such as workplace risks, together with Director and officer or management liability exposures. Following these reviews, healthcare providers should action amendments or upgrades to relevant systems accordingly.
Your people are undoubtedly your biggest asset, which from a risk perspective means they can also be your greatest liabilities. With a daunting list of unknowns and uncontrollables to navigate, anxiety and stress is sky high across the community. Businesses must be mindful of such pressures and ready to support their people through them. Regularly checking on your team’s wellbeing can make a significant difference in their capacity to cope through challenge and change. Read more about how Telehealth and Employee Assistance Programs can help to support your people.
Healthy cashflow is critical to any successful business, so it’s important to understand the options available to support your financial viability through this phase. A robust cashflow management plan will provide the critical foundations from which your business can function, survive and potentially even thrive through COVID-19 and beyond. As businesses continue to face challenging financial circumstances, efforts should be made to avoid paying large insurance premiums upfront. We recommend exploring all options with your broker to secure the best solution for your business through 2020 and beyond.
Build Strong, Sustainable Relationships
Through this time, the relationships you hold are more powerful than ever. As the saying goes, ‘your network is your net-worth’, and in times of crisis, this rings truer than true. When it comes to tackling unchartered waters, be sure to review your network of current providers, collaborators and brand allies alike. Which ones are qualified, ready and willing to support you through this chapter? Which ones will deliver you the greatest return, and which ones truly know your business, your people and pressures? Maintaining regular contact with your network, and establishing clear, consistent lines of communication will offer invaluable counsel and confidence to both sides through COVID-19. If you’re not comfortable calling on your network at such a time, then a solid relationship audit and / or ‘connection cleanse’ is likely in order. It might even be time to rebuild your list of brand buddies.
There’s nothing quite like a global crisis to ignite rapid innovation. The significant challenge and change faced by the medical industry in recent months will also pave way for exciting opportunities. The fast tracking of Telehealth is a powerful initial example of this, with a further extension of the platform – electronic prescribing – set to come next. This new Federal Government initiative works by generating a QR code which is sent directly to a patient’s device for use. In response to the current COVID-19 outbreak, the Department of Health has expedited the launch of electronic prescribing, with an anticipated ‘in practice’ rollout by May 2020. This digital innovation will bring valuable operational efficiencies to sectors such as Aged Care and Pharmacy.
In recent months we’ve also seen incredible investment in the global medi-tech industry. Such funding – particularly toward digital therapeutics – is tipped to bring a renaissance to the sector, with exponential returns for sufferers of common conditions like Type 2 diabetes, autism, addiction, and musculoskeletal injuries to name a few.
With you all the way
From understanding the challenges faced by your business, and advising on how to prepare for the future, we’re only a call away. Our Honan team is ready to support you with a comprehensive review of your business, to mitigate your risk and secure the cover you need to operate with confidence through the months and years ahead.
Please reach out – we’d love to hear from you.
Trent Woodward – Head of Client Service (SA) – Corporate Insurance & Risk Solutions
Industry Leader – Health & Medical