3 Opportunities in Healthcare to Improve Quality of Care in 2022
By Space Coast Daily // January 27, 2022
It’s safe to say that the global healthcare system was thoroughly tested during the last couple of years. The COVID-19 pandemic got hospitals bursting at the seams and the lack of trust in healthcare providers and scientists showed there’s a lot more work ahead of us.
We need to redefine the way the healthcare system connects with its patients (and vice-versa), but we also need new policies and methods to combat widespread misinformation. Plus, the use of technology can help reduce the time spent waiting for a consultation, which would boost preventive care.
As the new year rolls out, here are the most important points the healthcare system should consider improving at both a global and local level:
#1: Patient-Reported Outcome Measures
Isn’t it a bit sad that you can measure your fitness level and have an accurate depiction of how much you’ve walked in the last month but you can’t figure out how to measure your progress when it comes to your general health state?
Plus, patients don’t have access to a rating system that lets them know which doctor or healthcare institution is a better fit for their needs. In all fairness, healthcare institutions do have a rating system, but it’s difficult for patients to understand it.
People are not exactly interested in the mortality rate of a hospital or the incredible success rate of a surgeon (unless the data points to the extremes). Instead, they care about how various procedures will affect their lives in the long term, how they are treated in the hospital, bedside manners, and more.
Also, the medical community can benefit from receiving data from the patients once they are out of the hospital. A system like physical therapy outcomes tracking can keep the patients in contact with the doctors without disrupting anyone’s lives while providing valuable data about long-term recovery.
#2: Dealing with the Digital Overload of Information
The pandemic also stirred an infodemic – a term coined by the World Health Organization that describes an overload of information that confuses people.
The wide and uncontrolled spread of information (often misleading and incorrect) created an entire assortment of weird and absurd situations. Combined with a lack of trust in authority figures, this infodemic didn’t help curb the spread of the virus.
This is a clear sign that the medical community must get involved in the creation of high-quality health content designed for social media channels. It is time we understand these are the channels most people use to get their information!
#3: The Widespread of Telemedicine
The lockdowns and the anxiety that came with all the restrictions took a toll on many people. Plus, no one enjoys the idea of going to a hospital that may be filled with sick people!
As a result, most of us paid less attention to minor health issues or put off regular checkups. The hope was that it would all end in a year or so and we could go back to the so-called normal.
Yet, here we are. Two years into the pandemic there’s no clear finish line in sight. So what’s the alternative? How can we continue to care for our health without crowding the system and feeling anxious about visiting our physician?
Luckily, advanced technology helped provide an answer to this conundrum as well. Telehealth or telemedicine is a great way to get yourself checked by a specialist without risking any of the aforementioned situations.
Plus, any physician will tell you that it’s less time-consuming and stress-inducing to check up on your patients in the comfort of their homes. It also eases accessibility to specialists and makes it easier for people to reach out when something isn’t right.
In summary, the healthcare system must pay more attention to the patients’ needs in the long term and allow advanced technologies to take over some of the tasks that burden physician. Also, always be on the lookout for tips on how to run a healthcare facility better!