Two Long-Term Impacts of COVID-19 on the Healthcare Industry

Updated on November 22, 2020

By Daniel Dura

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted virtually every part of our lives. From how we socialize to how we shop; every industry has had to adapt and adjust to meet the demands of this unprecedented time. Individuals in the healthcare industry have seen some of the most drastic changes, while dealing with life-threatening consequences as we work with patients directly. As a whole, the industry has had to rethink not only how to provide patient care, but also protect providers and preserve facilities in the process. Over the coming months and even years, the healthcare industry will continue to evolve and change in response to COVID-19. Here are two long-term impacts that we should expect to see COVID-19 have on the healthcare industry going forward: 

#1: Expedited Adoption of Technology

In the immediate weeks and months following the outbreak of COVID-19 in the U.S., the healthcare industry needed to adapt almost immediately. As a part of the response, new technology was quickly adopted, procedures were put in place, and practices changed in order to protect patients and providers. The speed of this systemic overhaul was unheard of within the industry. Historically, for hospitals and even providers, the adoption of new technology and new procedural processes could take decades to implement, practice, and ultimately, perfect. 

Through this adjustment, technology became a driving force to allow the industry to continue operating, without exposing both patients and providers and putting them at risk. The most prominent technology that providers adopted was telehealth and telemedicine, which have existed in the industry for the last decade. While this technology was not new by any means, the COVID-19 outbreak caused a massive spike in usage due to the need to connect with patients remotely. 

With this rapid adoption of telehealth technologies, we can expect increased access for patients and improved efficiencies in providing care. At the same time, this will require diligence in monitoring and surveying both providers and patients on what is working and what isn’t. Patients may be skeptical of the quality of the care they receive using this new medium, and providers will have to shift from behaviors developed for office-based settings and customize them for a virtual one. With both factors in mind, expect technology like telemedicine to be a leading solution for both providers and even patients in the months and years to come.

#2: Increase in Community-Based Healthcare

Traditionally, our healthcare system has been built around and encouraged hospital-based care. As a modern approach, this style of care follows the idea that all of your healthcare should occur in a physical location. We have long since replaced the idea of the doctor who shows up at your home with a black bag of tools and transitioned to shiny offices and massive hospitals that can meet all of our healthcare needs. As COVID-19 quickly reduced non-emergent hospital visits and treatments, providers adjusted and searched for ways to diversify their methods for not only providing patient care, but also recording it and billing for it. 

In the long term, we can expect to see growth in programs that bring healthcare directly to the community. For example, Community Health Paramedicine Programs offer medical care provided by paramedics and EMTs to patients directly in their homes. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, communities had already started adopting these programs as a way to ensure that patients were taking a more wholistic approach to their own care. Statistically shown to improve overall patient care, these programs reduce readmissions after high-risk procedures and ensure that all individuals have access to care that they otherwise may not receive. They also reduce strain on emergency services and save valuable resources for cities, hospitals and fire departments. Most importantly, these programs allow paramedics to collect valuable data on specific patient needs outside of traditional vitals and labs, like food and shelter risks, that otherwise may go unnoticed in a traditional healthcare facility.

Now more than ever, this model will become an important tool to improve patient care, while limiting large groups of people from congregating in hospitals for treatments that could otherwise be provided from the safety of their own home. With the increased visibility for providers and ability to treat patients directly, programs like Community Health Paramedicine will be vital when it comes to the future of the healthcare industry. 


As facilities begin reopening, we can expect to see them shifting further away from solely hospital-based care, with an increase in the use of telehealth and telemedicine, to provide patients with treatment right in the comfort of their home. These facilities will no longer be the nexus where all healthcare is delivered, and instead, they will become the strategic command center for providers who can support the healthcare needs in their communities. We can also expect to see providers investing in programs that support this shift, like Community Health Paramedicine, to ultimately improve patient care while saving critical resources.  

Additional impacts of COVID-19 on the healthcare industry are still widely unknown, as we learn and adapt with each month that goes by. However, we can feel confident that the healthcare industry has proven to be agile enough to make adjustments quickly and keep the patient at the forefront at all times, finding further solutions to not only improve care, but promote health and safety of providers and patients alike. 

Daniel Dura is the co-founder and CEO of Graphium Health and FieldMed. Graphium Health creates innovative, mobile-based software for anesthesia that supports all back-office functions so healthcare providers can focus more on their patients and less on managing their business. FieldMed is the first-ever dedicated cloud-based community health software platform designed to foster the success of emerging community health programs nationwide. Within these two roles, Daniel works to create and build software that makes an impact for not only the medical professionals who use it, but also for the patients who benefit from it.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.