Almost all organizations across industries have been affected by the ongoing health crisis. However, nothing compares to the rapid transformation that the healthcare industry had to endure in order to better serve those who need quality care. From finding alternative ways to accommodate the influx of COVID-19 patients, to using innovative technologies to uphold hygiene and safety — the healthcare industry had to quickly adapt to the rising demands of the pandemic.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at how the pandemic has transformed the world of healthcare for the better.
Increased Telehealth Capabilities
Telehealth services have long been offered by healthcare providers. However, the pandemic has dissuaded many patients from receiving non-COVID-19 care in healthcare institutions. Hospitals were running short on available medical workers and supplies as the number of COVID-19 cases skyrocketed. Additionally, many had concerns over personal safety as healthcare institutions continue to service patients hit by the pandemic.
To accommodate patients that needed non-urgent care, many healthcare institutions had to drastically improve their telehealth capabilities. Aside from that, telehealth has also opened up a new revenue stream for many healthcare institutions, so investing in it seems like the next step to take as the national economy continues to take a hit from the pandemic.
Before, telehealth options were often serviced through old-school platforms such as electronic mail or SMS. But because people needed telehealth to become a convenient and accessible experience, telehealth options have now expanded to various apps and hardware. Today, patients can meet with physicians and specialists through teleconferencing apps and receive treatment instructions without having to leave their homes. In addition, those who need chronic care can use various hardware and devices so their nurses and doctors can monitor their conditions remotely. Indeed, telehealth is here to stay, as a recent survey reveals 65% of those who received telehealth services prefer it over physically visiting their physicians.
Better Appreciation for Healthcare Workers
Without a doubt, healthcare workers all over the country continue to experience fatigue and exhaustion as they tirelessly accommodate all patients. Physicians, specialists, nurses, administrators, and medical technologists all work around the clock without support and assistance or enough time to rest and recuperate. Due to the less-than-favorable working conditions that were created by the pandemic, studies reveal that a considerable percentage of healthcare workers have developed serious psychological symptoms.
The pandemic isn’t over yet, and cases in the country continue to fluctuate along with other conditions aside from COVID. As a result, there remains a rising demand for professionals in the field. For instance, the Institute of Medicine has been calling for 80% of nurses to hold BSN degrees by 2020 due to the shortage of nurses — and this has only been amplified by the health crisis. For this reason, various steps have been taken by both healthcare and academic institutions to bridge this widening labor gap. One of these includes encouraging licensed practical nurses (LPN) to pursue online RN to BSN degrees. It makes sense for healthcare workers such as nurses to pursue further education in a digital classroom, as it gives them the freedom to simultaneously work on their professional career while studying. Aside from that, taking an online RN to BSN degree during these precarious times helps them update their skill set and provide better care for their patients. Plus, healthcare institutions recognize that such online degrees are just as valid as traditional ones — providing opportunities for students to connect with clinical leaders and industry experts.
Other steps that were taken to ramp up healthcare worker capacity during the pandemic are better incentives, relaxed scope-of-practice and oversight laws, as well as helping healthcare workers take care of emotional and personal needs. All of these have lasting effects on current healthcare practices and how institutions take care of their employees.
Author: Rosie Jordan
An exclusive submission to afcfranchising.com