COVID-19 has challenged almost every industry more than anything else in recent years. Among the hardest hit was the healthcare sector, with shortages of supply and medical professionals. While healthcare has reached promising accomplishments in history, the large-scale impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic got everyone unprepared.
Since the pandemic began, the healthcare system faced a significant burden caused by fast-spreading disease around the globe. Health officials ordered the closure of most clinical practices, preventing patients from seeing their doctors and accessing medical facilities. Operational burden also increased in healthcare facilities because of health and safety protocols. To deal with these challenges, dialysis centers seek the help of hospital partnerships for dialysis to maintain control over matters such as communication, costs, service quality, and staffing coverage.
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the medical world more than any public health crisis. As COVID-19 develops new variants, many hospitals, clinical practices, and health systems remain in alert mode. Despite the current reality, these challenges serve as catalysts to call for the transformation of a better healthcare system. This article will talk about the lessons learned from the pandemic and how these learnings will transform healthcare.
Poor population health
The pandemic served as a testing ground for healthcare systems to implement quick-response measures to establish crucial experiences in fast innovation and adaptation. For instance, most public health centers were able to divide the community population according to risk factors. This aims to distribute resources more effectively, such as efforts to accommodate the needs of the elderly. Meanwhile, clinical practices are also slowly adopting telehealth to make their medical services accessible to patients staying at home.
The pandemic also suppressed access to regular preventative measures and primary care, such as screening programs, vaccines, elective procedures, and routine chronic care. Globally, millions of children missed their routine vaccines for polio, measles, and diphtheria. Hospitals canceled and postponed elective surges because of limited capacity and safety concerns.
Canceling and delaying procedures amid a health crisis has significant consequences on public health and healthcare systems. Failure to access these services makes it difficult to establish an effective healthcare system to support the health needs of the population. Physicians will also require support to provide effective care and keep people healthy in the middle of a pandemic outbreak.
Address health disparities
The need to address and solve healthcare disparities has become important now more than ever. It’s been a long-standing issue in healthcare on how healthcare providers and policymakers are working together to face this challenge. Disparities in healthcare have largely affected underserved populations as they deal with the impact of COVID-19 in terms of the growing infection rates and mortality.
There are plenty of factors that contribute to health disparities. These include living and food conditions, insufficient quality of education, poor housing quality, racial injustices, pressures of poverty, and other determinants that negatively affect a person’s health status. Because of COVID-19, the health crisis laid bare all the crucial needs to respond to the long-standing injustices at the local, state, and federal levels.
The pandemic has further highlighted this obvious shortcoming in healthcare systems compared with other countries that have better healthcare access, a secure safety net, and comprehensive public health policies that ensure societal equity.
Everyone will remain in danger until everyone has proper access to care. Achieving the collective well-being of a community is only possible when every member has equal opportunities to stay healthy.
Involve healthcare leaders in the planning of an improved healthcare delivery
Physicians serve as the engineers of the healthcare system, making sure that patient experience remains at its core. They have pioneered the development and implementation of modern approaches in care delivery and established team cultures to promote patient-centered innovation. In times of health crisis, involving physicians in building an equitable healthcare system is essential to successful reformation efforts.
Team-based and leadership cultures that form quality integrated systems are vital assets in controlling a pandemic and preparing the future of the healthcare system. When physicians take active participation in building response groups in managing a crisis, this will pave the way for a stronger healthcare system and a more patient-centric approach to care delivery.
As COVID-19 continues to rage on, it’s clear that the healthcare system should start making changes in crisis management and preparedness. The widespread impact of the virus is a wake-up call to our healthcare providers to invest more in integrating medical capabilities to ensure everyone’s medical need is properly met. This way, the healthcare system will come equipped for whatever health crisis that may come our way.