This morning, as I sat down to write this issue of The Consulting Connection, I took a look at last year’s message. Last year, I wrote about what I’d like to see changed (related to credentialing) in 2020. 2020 certainly didn’t go as expected! But one of the items on my wish list got a little closer – national licensure. I noted that it would be easier to facilitate telehealth services if there were a national license. Well, we don’t have a national license, but because of COVID-19 and the urgent need to provide telehealth services to our communities, providing services across state lines became much easier in 2020. And – due to the length of this pandemic, I anticipate that there will be some changes made to facilitate providing services across states in the future. This is one example in which it will be hard to go back to old ways of doing things.
As we approach 2021 and think of getting back to normal, we will have to determine what that will mean in our professional lives. Many of you replaced commuting to an office every day, working face to face with colleagues, attending lots of in-person meetings, to working entirely from home. I was on a meeting this morning and of the five individuals from the organization that I met with, only one of them was in an office. The rest were working from home. We have gotten accustomed to hearing barking dogs, the sound of children in the background, and other distractions (Fridays for me are noisy – that is garbage pickup day). That doesn’t keep us from doing our work – we really have gotten forgiving about these distractions and have focused on the job at hand. During 2020 many healthcare organizations switched to online/virtual meetings without any adverse consequences.
So – in 2021 we will get to define our “new normal” working conditions. I suspect that many will continue to work remotely much of the time. I believe that virtual meetings will continue – in many instances, they are just more efficient. I believe that those of you who implemented electronic decision-making for credentialing and enrollment won’t go back to old ways of getting this done. But, I also think that when we are able to come back together, we will appreciate the opportunity to work together face-to-face. We won’t take that for granted. But we will pick and choose when it makes the most sense.
For me – and many of you – 2021 can’t come fast enough. The promise of the end of this pandemic, a new year and new opportunities bring hope and optimism. I’m so thankful to have seen vaccines delivered this week to hospitals across our land and see the joy and relief on the faces of healthcare workers as they received their first shots.
We at VerityStream look forward to working with many of you in 2021 to help you and your organizations achieve important goals!
Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for a Bright New Year!