As we rang in the New Year a few weeks ago, there was no doubt that everyone was eager to say goodbye to 2020. It was certainly a challenging year, with lost jobs, closed businesses, and the passing of so many from COVID-19. Nearly every industry was impacted, and many business leaders had to make hard decisions.

The healthcare industry was particularly impacted by the pandemic, and from my position as CEO of a healthcare IT services company, I had a direct view of what health systems and their staff faced. From the frontline clinical responsibilities of caring for and accommodating an overwhelming number of COVID patients, to dealing with the sudden loss of critical revenue from elective procedures, to fast-tracking the implementation of telehealth and managing the transition of thousands of non-clinical employees to remote-work scenarios, it is amazing what health systems have endured.

During that time, I witnessed an inspiring perseverance across the healthcare industry – including within our own company. We, too, had to shift hundreds of employees to remote-work scenarios and adapt to new ways of doing business and engaging with our team members and clients.

The pandemic forced us to be more thoughtful and purposeful about maintaining open communication with each other and with our team. I was particularly challenged by not being able to see our teams in person. While some of the healthcare IT services we provide are offered remotely, our operations are largely executed out of central office locations. Like many other business leaders, I had to adapt to using new tools to stay connected to our teams and find ways to continue to foster relationships.

In many respects, I would say the experience did strengthen our company and team members in important ways, and even kindled a spirit of hope and stronger connection to our mission for the new year. And, that hope remains, even if 2021 has started with continued challenges.

We have accepted that COVID will still be in our lives for many months to come, but we have hope that through the administration of the vaccine and continued diligence in fighting the virus, we will be able to put this pandemic in our rear-view mirror before end of year.

The pandemic has also brought about new and impactful ways for us to support our health system clients, as their mission to deliver outstanding care has become more important than ever. As I write this, we are in the trenches with health systems across the country tackling the hugely important – and overwhelming – task of supporting vaccine administration to hundreds of thousands of patients, and all that it implies. Health systems are being crushed, understandably so, by patient inquiries about the vaccine – when will it be available, where do they go to get it, how do they schedule an appointment for it – it is critical that these questions are answered accurately and in a timely fashion, and that supporting technology tools like patient portals are set up and ready to be leveraged in vaccine administration. It is important work necessary to efficient COVID vaccine distribution.

COVID-19 drastically changed our lives and impacted our business, but it also accelerated trends in healthcare IT that have positively changed health care delivery and access. These trends will drive our business for years to come. Our mission “to discover, develop and deliver dynamic people and innovative solutions to enhance healthcare service and patient care” has also gained importance as we move forward. We are not simply hopeful about the future of the healthcare IT industry; we are confident. And while I cannot predict when the rebound will occur, I know it will, and when it does, we are going to be there to meet the IT needs of our clients.

This post was first published on Bill Grana’s LinkedIn profile. Connect with Bill on LinkedIn here.