Recently, we were asked by local publication TechOhio for our 2022 predictions for the healthcare information technology industry. But even after sharing our thoughts, we continued to muse on the topic. What challenges and opportunities lie ahead of us and our fellow health IT colleagues? How have the past two years changed the way we work and the way we view our collective mission?
In some ways, we’ve answered those questions through our actions. In 2021, ScriptDrop pursued partnerships that will allow us to help even more patients nationwide. We strove to make our technology more flexible and more accessible to non-pharmacy partners. We’ve prioritized remote work to keep our team safe.
What will we accomplish in 2022? We don’t have a crystal ball, but there is a lot we want to do.
How the ongoing pandemic will affect healthcare IT
The health information technology industry is majorly on-trend and poised to continue expanding. For example, direct-to-consumer digital pharmacies, like Roman, Pill Club, and Nurx, already starting to become popular before the pandemic, have continued to flourish. Nurx is even opening a closed-door pharmacy in Dublin, Ohio, to fill prescriptions for their online pharmacy.
In general, digital pharmacies have experienced meteoric growth all over the world. We don’t expect them to go away – they offer a level of convenience and privacy that many patients value above all else – but we have a few thoughts on the subject. First, we don’t expect digital pharmacies to replace community pharmacies entirely. Digital healthcare solutions require patients to have reliable internet connections and credit cards, but many Americans don’t have either. Second, many patients like to see their pharmacist in person. Pharmacists field a lot of questions that patients are too embarrassed to ask their doctors.
Third, we do expect digital pharmacies to change over time. If nothing else, in order to serve patients with acute health needs, these pharmacies will need to offer a greater variety of delivery options. Shipping is an affordable and efficient option for many prescriptions, but patients who need antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, or other urgently-needed drugs simply can’t wait a week or more for their medications.
In regards to our own business, ScriptDrop has responded to the ongoing pandemic by growing beyond straightforward prescription delivery. With the help of our new partners, we’re bridging a greater variety of care gaps than ever before. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we’re committed to seeking more opportunities to adapt our solution for different partner needs.
How we’ll work in 2022
Working remotely isn’t going away, which means employers will need to invest more money, time, and effort into two things: communication and culture. With team members working from their homes, it’s more difficult to make sure everyone is on the same page about company objectives, accomplishments, and policies. And without hallway conversations or water cooler chatter, remote team members can feel quite isolated. Technology is amazing, but it’s hard to develop real human connections through a Zoom happy hour or virtual company parties.
That disconnection will be something we will all need to solve in the coming years. ScriptDrop has always had remote team members, and a large number of our current employees started during the pandemic. Some of us have never met in real life, even though we work together every day! We haven’t cracked the code on how to make WFH a perfect experience for everyone, but we’re committed to working on our communication and culture in 2022.
For example, we launched “FairlyGoodClass” – our take on MasterClass, the online courses taught by industry experts – in November 2021. Our first virtual class, “Learn to Crochet,” taught by our HR Generalist Bethany Burke, was a big hit! We’re looking forward to more “fairly good” classes that will allow team members to share their special skills with their colleagues.
The 2022 trends we want to see
It’s not a new topic in the least, but at ScriptDrop we’re hoping to see a renewed focus on medication adherence and preventative care. When patients don’t receive regular check-ups, get screened for chronic illnesses, or take their medication regularly, they’re more likely to wind up in the hospital. Hospitalization (and healthcare utilization in general) is something most insurers want to avoid, and definitely something that all patients want to avoid. But unfortunately a lot of stakeholders – including legislators – see preventative medication and adherence programs as just a big up-front cost, even though these programs improve people’s health over time and ultimately save everyone a lot of money. We’ve spent a lot of time researching the importance of medication adherence, and we intend to keep pushing for accessible, equitable healthcare for patients all over the country.
In conclusion, we may not have magical powers of prognostication, but we're going to keep doing what we're doing in 2022. Whatever the future holds, ScriptDrop will be there to help patients get their medications and stay healthy.
Curious how our solution could help your patients access their prescriptions? Reach out!
Want to work with us? Check out our open positions.