One of the biggest challenges facing healthcare providers in recent years is the lag time often encountered when serving the patient. While other industries have found a way to provide services on demand, insurance and other hurdles have prevented healthcare from transforming into a direct to consumer model. The pandemic, however, changed everything nearly overnight. As a result, Gene Woods, president and CEO of Charlotte, N.C.-based Atrium Health, took one of the industry’s boldest moves—bringing COVID-19 testing to peoples’ doorsteps.
Your riskiest decision: We recently launched a four-part COVID-19 strategy to specifically serve at-risk populations, which includes data analytics; multicultural education and outreach; screening and testing; and high-risk interventions. We’re using real-time data to pinpoint and deploy our mobile health unit to bring COVID-19 testing to our city’s most underserved areas—specifically, communities with greater levels of poverty and people of color.
Why was that move risky? The real risk is going into these neighborhoods without first linking arms with their trusted leaders, including the faith community, in order to bring the right solutions forward. Through these alliances we help our communities heal and remain a credible voice during a time when many have lost the trust of those they serve. This is nonnegotiable because we’re simply doing what’s right. We had to activate what would normally take months to plan in only a matter of days, and this meant accepting that, while we don’t know everything about COVID-19, we had to act boldly and decisively anyway.