How Covid-19 is changing the future of the healthcare
If Covid-19 has shown something too clearly, it is the dent in the healthcare system. The impact of the pandemic is unprecedented, and there is an exponential inflow of people towards healthcare facilities. Covid-19 has shown that it takes a whole system to keep the people in the best of their health.
Before the pandemic, healthcare service providers were already bringing revolutionary changes into the system. From the use of robotic arms to informatics, the trend was going in favor of healthcare. The pandemic further amplified the importance of such activities.
Now, more attention is conferred to the safe transfer of patients to the hospitals and improved service delivery. Similarly, prevention of the disease by social distancing and fulfilling SOPs is getting more weightage than cure. The change is happening because the world dealt with a pandemic that they were least prepared for.
More than ever, healthcare professionals and hospitals are working with outside entities to enhance the patient experience, curb food security, and much more. The pandemic has only heightened these efforts, with an increasing interest in community healthcare.
While there is no denying that the post-pandemic healthcare system will be different from the past, some trends seem more imminent than others.
Let’s discuss how Covid-19 is changing the future of healthcare:
- Need of Highly Skilled Healthcare Professional
The need for higher-level skills, training, and education has been the first trend shaping healthcare delivery during and after the pandemic. The past year has seen more interest in online programs to maintaining a work-life balance due to pandemics. More focus on community health and advanced training for disease prevention plays a vital role in enhancing online programs’ attractiveness among health workers. Today, aspirants can opt for an online MPH program to get further education and serve the community well.
Higher education becomes essential during and after the pandemic, and healthcare professionals are motivated to expand their skills than ever before. The need to assume new and expanded roles in healthcare has put education and training in the limelight, and online education is the most suitable medium.
- The Enhanced Role of Technology
One trend continuing to change the healthcare system in the post-pandemic era is the use of technology. The use of robot technology is potentially changing how the healthcare system works with a lesser human touch. The change is revolutionary, as human interaction was integral to giving solace to the patients in the past.
Nevertheless, technology is taking over healthcare with more reliance on data-driven decision-making based on patient history. Another reason for the increased integration of technology is the rise in the number of patients. For instance, managing the patient data related to diagnosis, treatment, tests, drug administration becomes easy. It is practically impossible to manage it manually.
- Decentralization of Resources and Healthcare
One aspect of healthcare that emerged as frontline soldiers is the nurses. They have been the epitome of selfless and prompt service delivery during the pandemic, with many stories of their heroic roles surfacing in the healthcare field. The pandemic has emphasized the need for decentralized healthcare, giving more resources and autonomy to the frontline workers who interact with the patients.
It is becoming the need of the hour, with the frontlines workers better prepared and trained to show their expertise during an emergency.
- Change in the Infrastructure
The pandemic is immensely modifying and impacting how the infrastructure of the current and new healthcare facilities should be. There is a need to consider having more isolation wards and negative patient treatment rooms. Similarly, the future requires looking for a better airflow mechanism for healthcare facilities. Such infrastructural changes are needed to create another level of protection to deal with such unforeseen health emergencies.
- Safety of the Frontline Workers
During the pandemic, a critical concern has been the safety of the frontline workers such as nurses and other medical support staff. The future holds more concern about their safety, for more people working on the ground are better than less. In the pandemic, the expanded role of the frontline workers has put their betterment at the forefront. Giving more credit and attention to these unsung heroes is one of the trends in how the pandemic is shifting the future of healthcare.
- Importance of the Medical Lab Professionals
One group of medical professionals that have always been neglected is the laboratory professionals. The pandemic highlighted the integral part played by them and their importance in managing a national health emergency. With the need to perform millions of tests daily, Covid-19 exposed the finite number of these professionals in the healthcare infrastructure. Therefore, there is a need to take more lab professionals on boards and lace them with state-of-the-art training and educational competencies.
The pandemic calls for introducing State policies to encourage an influx of medical students into this field. A meaningful way is by introducing scholarships based quotas. Additionally, there is a need to provide the necessary infrastructure in aiding the delivery of these high-tech educational programs.
- Drastic Changes in Patient Care and Service Delivery
Healthcare is relying more on systems and data to understand and diagnose patient conditions. Undoubtedly, these changes have improved service delivery, but it has also reduced the human element. Service delivery is becoming more automated.
Another trend is providing services to the patients who cannot move or are in self-isolation in their homes. Healthcare expects to experience more need for mobile patient care providers who can offer services to patients impeded by social distancing measures, transportation, or missed appointments.
The pandemic has changed every industry worldwide, and healthcare is at the forefront of experiencing this change. Covid-19 is playing an integral part in shaping the healthcare future. From the rise in the need for highly skilled staff to giving more liberty and autonomy to the frontline workers, the change in healthcare is unparalleled. The future of healthcare requires more autonomous healthcare providers, with staff more motivated to provide services in a nontraditional way.