Undoubtedly, healthcare has been undergoing rapid changes in recent years. Every day you hear about innovative breakthroughs in medical science in the form of more effective drugs and treatments. The new healthcare trends intend to make this industry more efficient in service delivery using improved and innovative technological applications.
Trends Reshaping Healthcare
The Covid-19 pandemic has adequately disclosed the pitfalls of the healthcare industry across the globe. The sudden pandemic highlighted many healthcare challenges, including a shortage of skilled workforce, equipment, and infrastructure to manage a sudden influx of patients thronging the floors of hospitals worldwide. Nonetheless, the healthcare community has been prompt in responding to these shortages by boosting telemedicine, e-consultations, and whatnot. However, these prevalent changes and those anticipated to emerge shortly will indeed give a tough time to healthcare professionals across the board.
If healthcare workers wish to remain abreast of all the transformations, they must improve their academic credentials and skillset. Today, healthcare facilities prefer hiring highly qualified workers to provide optimal quality services to their patients and garner better patient outcomes. More than other healthcare professionals, nurses are urged to keep pace with the transformations occurring in the healthcare industry. As a result, more nurses are upskilling themselves by pursuing higher degree programs and additional certifications. Given their inclination, the demand for RN to BSN Degree is skyrocketing.
These programs instill all the relevant skillset alongside keeping nurses informed of the latest developments and advancements in the field.
Now, let’s look at what these transformations are below:
1. Improved agility of supply chain
The supply chain and the impact of the pandemic on it have been one of the most talked-about topics in recent years. Today, an agile supply chain is one of the key determinants of an above par care delivery. In the coming years, factors like getting supplies and other resources on time, delivering goods and services to patients, and effectively managing equipment will enjoy greater attention.
However, an agile supply chain requires strategic systems encompassing all the functions and departments. And this will include a system of buying and storing in bulk instead of getting just-in-time delivery. It’ll allow organizations to manage their supplies and control the distribution at hand. Moreover, it will also prevent doctors and hospitals from dealing with shortages of supplies, as was observed during the pandemic.
For this purpose, healthcare organizations should foster strong and dependable relationships with vendors. But at the same time, overreliance on a few vendors is risky, and it calls for drafting contingency plans.
2. Same-day care delivery
Similar to how consumers demand same-day delivery of their products, patients want an equivalent level of promptness in obtaining patient care. They want immediate responses to their queries, test results submitted on time, and so forth. Instead of waiting for days for an appointment with their doctor, they want quick access, preferably through telehealth tools.
In the coming years, healthcare might need to deploy patient-centric technologies to enhance the patient experience, speed, transparency of care, and convenience. For this purpose, they can leverage Artificial Intelligence, AR/VR, and multiple other advanced technologies to streamline operations and ensure patient satisfaction. Most of the countries with the best healthcare in the world have begun to adopt this trend.
3. Inclusion of digital therapeutics
As we enter 2022, there’s more inclination towards using digital therapeutics to give better medical care to patients. Therefore, delivering evidence-based therapeutics interventions directly to the patients with the help of high-quality software will be one of the prominent trends in healthcare. Digital therapeutics is helping doctors address various medical conditions. Moreover, it also allows them to develop customized treatments for their patients based on the collected and synthesized patient information. More importantly, this element of customization leads to fewer complications.
Patients can also engage with digital therapeutic apps that guide them about basic issues such as overcoming insomnia or connecting with wearables and consumer electronics. What’s more, these apps can also convene with medical equipment like tracking blood sugar levels by getting signals from the devices under the patient’s skin.
4. Remote patient monitoring
Another trend that gained more traction during the Covid-19 era is remote patient monitoring. This trend emerged due to the social distancing mandate as people could not go to crowded places like hospitals. But more than just a short-term trend, remote patient monitoring is becoming the future of patient care due to the availability of an array of medical devices such as blood pressure cuffs, implantable, and similar others to record data. This way, doctors can get real-time data without being physically present.
Currently, it is mainly recommended for discharged patients who are still under professional observation. This data allows doctors to monitor any changes in patients’ health, offer an outside intervention when needed, and further reduce the frequency of patient visits to the facility.
5. Digital health records
Gone are the days when bundles of files were stacked in front of the doctor detailing the patients’ medical history, including the medicines used and treatments administered. Today, high-quality portals and health cards have replaced these piles of records. Additionally, digital prescriptions are gaining popularity as they serve as a digital version of a paper-based prescription. It lessens the use of paper and other physical means, consolidates the data in one place, and provides it to clinicians anywhere and at any time.
Moreover, digital prescriptions and records also reduce the risk of patient data loss as everything is stored virtually. Overall, digital health records improve patient care delivery by allowing doctors to provide care based on the patient’s medical history. This way, the chances of medical negligence and error are also reduced tenfold.
Indeed, healthcare is transforming at an unprecedented pace with new trends aiming to improve patient outcomes and healthcare delivery. As the sector continues to evolve, we can witness the utilization of modern technologies like artificial intelligence, AR/VR, and 3D printing. Today patients can track real-time changes in their bodily functions and communicate with the doctor without paying an in-person visit. Similarly, doctors are more in control of patient treatment options and gain real-time information regarding fluctuations in their health conditions. With these changes, doctors and practitioners are expected to prepare themselves for the inevitable digital transformations of healthcare.
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