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Seminars address COVID-19

Seminars address COVID-19 While pandemic lingers, programs focus on virus challenges

In keeping with the ongoing challenges caused by COVID-19 and its variants, the Medtrade East Education Advisory Board has included several seminars that deal with the virus-related issues providers are facing for the Oct. 18-20 educational sessions at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. 

“Several of the programs we selected deal directly with COVID,” said EAB member Jeff Baird. “Other programs we selected focus on what we believe the key issues will be for suppliers over the next 12 months, such as technology, including automation/scalability, increasing utilization of telehealth, understanding and maintaining managed care contracts and remote employee management.” 

Sparked by the pandemic of the past year-and-a-half, the healthcare delivery system is becoming more collaborative and technology-driven. Baird points out that the HME industry has gotten caught up in the changes. 

“With the Delta variant raging out of control, and perhaps with other variants waiting in the wings, the next 12 months will be strange,” he said. “It is the EAB’s goal for the attendees to walk away with practical tools to help them succeed during the uncertain months ahead.” 

Striving to keep the educational topics fresh, Baird said the advisory board is “thinking outside the box” in its review of speaker proposals. 

“Even if the speaker is not well known to the HME industry, if the speaker has good credentials and references and the proposed program is unique, we are inclined to accept that speaker,” Baird said. “If we feel that the proposed program is not as relevant as we’d like, we will work with the speaker to revise the program.” 

Beginning with Medtrade East 2022, the EAB will be even more proactive, Baird said. “In addition to considering program proposals submitted by individuals, we will come up with a list of relevant topics and recruit speakers to present those topics,” he said. 

While the pandemic created a hesitancy among the public to travel, that attitude is changing and Baird says that could provide a boost for Medtrade East attendance this year. 

“People want to travel -- they want to be around other people,” he said. “And while people can be educated virtually, the education is often more effective when presented in a live face-to-face setting. Our goal is for the education sessions and for the exhibition floor to be vibrant and relevant enough to motivate people to travel to Atlanta.”


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