The COVID-19 pandemic is definitely one of the defining moments of the medical field in and out of the United States. Every health organizations continuously perform to the best of their abilities despite the novel state of coronavirus to keep up with the intensive demands of fighting a pandemic. It is clear as day that as we transition to the “new normal”, COVID-19 is restructuring and reshaping the medical industry with foreseen permanence.
The complete nature and degree of change that it will bring, however, is as uncertain as our knowledge in fighting the pandemic. With the unprecedented pressure on medical providers, they can only see so far how things would change for better.
So how exactly is COVID-19 changing the future of healthcare? Here are some of the foreseeable events that will happen in the U.S. healthcare system:
Medical education, along with higher ends of training and experience, will be more critical than ever. Just as COVID-19 has proven, medicine should always be evolving to meet the current and future health care needs.
This is only attainable when those who are in medicine places value on the importance of pursuing what is more than the required qualifications. The future of healthcare is with qualified and highly trained individuals who have the capacity and ability to build, maintain, and push forward the boundaries of quality care.
Innovation is one of the driving points of the medical field and its crucial that we continue to introduce new aspects and practices to the field all while preparing and meeting the demands of the current health care system.
Value-based healthcare is a trend that we’ve been seeing in the medical field for quite a while now. With the coronavirus changing life as we know it, it’s also changing the landscape of primary health care.
The common business model of health care is a transactional basis where a singular service is exchanged with a corresponding fee. It’s an ideal model for most businesses; however, when it comes to healthcare, it can be pretty limiting especially when it comes to the patients.
A transactional basis would work if a patient only goes to the hospital or a clinic one in a while. However, when it comes to improving the way physicians would deliver care that patients would receive, value-based healthcare incentivizes both parties.
Think of it as a monthly subscription, similar to the way you would pay for your streaming services. With this model, it promotes more personalized and consistent care for both patients and doctors. Patients would be keener to regularly visit their doctors, not as a last-resort scenario that ultimately hampers their recovery rate. Those who require constant medical care would think twice less to come back. On the other hand, physicians are more likely to provide long-term care when they’re guaranteed that their patients would return.
Private practitioners are the ones mostly practicing this kind of care system and it’s slowly becoming a staple. On average, the minimum monthly fee that most private institutions charge for this is $50 for unlimited access to care. Through this model, those who can barely afford high-deductible insurance can comfortably seek medical care.
COVID-19 pandemic forced the majority of physicians to stop seeing their patients in person to lessen the number of visitors to healthcare facilities. In return, the transition to telemedicine is quickly adapted by health care institutions.
While this may seem like a temporary setup just until the physical distancing is lifted, telemedicine is actually important in moving forward to the new normal. Through relying on and using the current technology that we have today, telemedicine can eliminate unnecessary in-patient appointments and help increase the overall efficiency of health care.
Of course, necessary procedures and physical examinations will still need to take place in person but certain services like follow-ups, mental health assessments, or medication management can take place through a video conference or telephone.
With your patients available to contact you (rather than going through the process of booking an appointment and scheduling), the range of improvement for health care is undeniable. Not only that, but it will also help health care to be much more accessible to communities with less access to medical resources.
Technology has always been present in the medical field, but it’s been mostly on the aspect of treatment. With telemedicine paving the way, there’s an insurmountable need for technology to be integrated into patient health care itself.
It’s always been one of the goals of the medical field to provide better health care with the help of technological advancements. Now, COVID-19 accelerated the move towards computerized medicine. As this becomes the new normal, medical professionals and organizations are now looking into the prospect of pushing the boundaries of healthcare through technology to make it more accessible and efficient.
Think about instead of being interviewed, questionnaires combined with artificial intelligence can now be integrated into the physician’s diagnosing process. Real-time data from health trackers can be used to provide a more accurate patient history rather than relying solely on the patient’s memories and relative feelings.
Through this technology-first approach, earlier and more accurate diagnosis and intervention will greatly improve the effectiveness and efficiency of health care. It will greatly help minimize unnecessary medical decisions that both cost money and time.
One thing that every health care institution and organization in the world realized is that real-time data transmission is incredibly crucial for meeting the needs of patient care. The access to a reliable and updated patient-level data is very much needed to help prepare for emergencies and improve the capacity of the health care system.
The COVID-19 pandemic became a trigger for fundamental changes in the U.S. health care system. While it’s a challenge to face, it’s currently serving as a catalyst for advancement and innovation that pushes the medical field into providing better health care for everyone.