COVID Distrupted 2020
Written by Sean Cooney
If you caught our January internal newsletter I discussed how we adapted when severe COVID restrictions hit New South Wales. We knew there was going to be a continued need for good health care but we had to concern ourselves with the best way to deliver it. There was also a need to educate patients on how looking after their health was one thing that was in their control in a world that was seemingly changing by the day, sometimes by the hour (depending on the next press conference).
We connected with the mantra of Reconnecting to Purpose both for our patients and for our clinical and exercise teams. Why did patients value their health and the time spent working on caring for their health? If they could connect with what their long-term goals were then it made more sense to keep working in that space and enjoy all the mental clarity that comes from being in a good state of health. Most who connected with this found that they had more time considering that commutes and the access to “bad health choice options” were removed. For our Healthfix team, reconnecting to why they became a health professional allowed us to focus on the actionable solutions that were in place to deliver effective health care – outdoor sessions, telehealth, better communication, more teamwork and integrating.
We’ve always had a strong focus on the person and not just the presentation as per our biopsychosocial approach teaching but this is so much more at the forefront of people’s minds now. The vernacular around coaches and mentors, thriving instead of surviving, looking after oneself holistically and making enough time down time is so much more of a prominent discussion. Patients are wanting meaningful engagement and to be on a path that works for them with a clinician who can be flexible and adaptable to their changing needs. I think our patients like to know that they have a team behind them for support but they want care that is simple and makes sense. I can see more of our patients ready to get to work on health care issues that have been around for a while and happy to chip away at getting a long-term, sustainable result.
Who knows? Do we go back to a fast-paced life and take our health for granted OR does that freeze in time that the global pandemic offered to reflect and check where our lives and our health was going lead to happier and healthier humans? With consideration to how some areas of health care strengthened whilst others were used less, perhaps due to being seen more as a discretional spend or ineffective, I can see good health care operators will continue to thrive within a more discerning crowd of patients. Ones who can embrace the holistic nature of good health and how it impacts mental, physical and emotional wellbeing as well as our work productivity and social relationships may be in a better position. But then again Nassim Nicholas Taleb has won a lot of praise from teaching us not to be fooled by randomness and a “black swan robust” so effectively who really knows what the future holds but there’s a good chance that we can get through it! Either way we’re looking forward to helping even more people in 2021 than in 2020 with what we’ve learned and with collaborating with awesome GP’s.