Planning your approach
During the early months of the pandemic, most states experienced some form of a shutdown that drastically affected demand for patient care. During this time, facilities across the care continuum experienced a new phenomenon: how to get patients back into the healthcare setting.
Understanding demand that your facility is likely to experience is a critical step in being able to successfully treat your patients. Many facilities use demand from prior years as a baseline to project what to expect in the future; however, the clinical environment calls for us to plan above and beyond this method of forecasting.
Publicly available resources like census.gov or usa.gov provide datasets for estimated population sizes by state, city or county as well as references to state and local government websites. These may help you gain a better understanding of the population in your immediate surroundings and what your maximum patient demand may look like.
The number of people seeking care may also be influenced by other factors, including:
- Is your facility easily accessible by public transit?
- Are you actively marketing to your existing or prospective patients?
- How many insurance providers list your facility as in network?
- Do you have an easily accessible website with relevant, actionable information?
- Are you collaborating with other facilities in order to best meet the total patient care demand?
- Are you requiring that all employees in your facility recieve a flu vaccination?