Perhaps no industry was affected as profoundly by COVID as the healthcare field. Adrenaline probably pushed a lot of healthcare workers through the early days of the pandemic. As the caseloads grew, healthcare workers worried about bringing the virus home. StatNews says, “Eventually the pandemic took its toll, causing burnout, insomnia, anxiety, and grief.”
Now, two years past the pandemic’s onset, what trends are still here driving healthcare organizations around the United States?
What Healthcare Trends Should You Watch Out For This Year?
Telemedicine tools have been here since the 50s but even though many hospitals offered virtual doctor visits over the traditional in-office patient encounter, few patients used these services. With COVID, all of this changed. U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) says there was a 63-fold increase in telemedicine usage during the pandemic. Healthcare practitioners leveraged telemedicine to reach patients at home avoiding crowded waiting rooms where the virus could potentially spread.
Telemedicine leverages video conferencing on the internet to bring a clinician to the patient on any digital device. It can completely eliminate the need for traveling to a doctor’s office, which is particularly beneficial for patients with chronic conditions or for those living in rural areas.
The benefits of telemedicine include more efficient and cost-effective care. It seems as if we’ve finally caught onto these benefits and the American Medical Association (AMA) says, “There is no question that telehealth is here to stay.”
But that’s not the only technology that’s catching on in the American healthcare system. Another trend to watch is our increasing personalization of healthcare by using sophisticated, integrated technologies to improve treatment outcomes and the patient experience.
Today, your patients have access to affordable, accurate wearable devices that can track everything from their heartbeat to steps, calories, and more. Chronic diseases like diabetes or high blood pressure can be monitored in the hospital as the patient sits at home. There are also a plethora of mental health applications that allow patients to chat with therapists remotely in a very private experience that doesn’t even require a trip to an office.
All of these tools can provide healthcare organizations with the data to further improve patient personalization. When the healthcare provider’s technologies are integrated with these applications it gives us a much fuller picture of the patient’s true lifestyle and how it affects their health. These details can help with health initiatives that seek to improve the outcomes of an entire population demographic.
Value Based Care
The last trend we’ll mention is the increasing push to create value within the healthcare experience. The old days of simply putting out a shingle or building a hospital wing to attract patients are over. There is increasing scrutiny around the cost of care. Hospitals are now required to share their prices for procedures online. Patients truly have choices now that will save them money. Some insurance companies have partnered with their patients to provide a kind of shopping portal to help their clients make better decisions about the costs of receiving healthcare.
Are You Following These Trends?
The times are certainly changing in the healthcare industry and the Custom Group of Companies is right here to help you navigate what’s next in our field. We partner with healthcare providers to help them find the staff they need to adapt their services to a changing world. Call on us today to find out more.
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