Hospitals are so very important to our lives, but they are under a lot of stress as well.
The coronavirus pandemic caused much disruption in the medical industry, but there was a silver lining: According to a report released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), telehealth visits under Medicare increased to 52.7 million in 2020, up from only 840,000 the previous year. Interestingly, most of the visits — 92% — occurred in the home of the beneficiary, which typically was not permitted before COVID-19. This represents a 63-fold increase in the utilization of telehealth under Medicare, but new reports are showing that overall use of this technology has increased by 38% as compared to the pre-COVID era.
Healthcare workers are often underserved and undervalued. And now they are even at higher risk for workplace violence than the average worker across other industries. Studies show that if you are a healthcare worker, you are up to five times more likely to be a victim of assault than people in any other job. Some recent surveys even showed that almost 70% of nurses in emergency rooms have been kicked or hit while doing their jobs.
In the healthcare industry, two things are essential for a high level of patient care: speed and accuracy. Savvy healthcare systems must focus on more agile decision-making and develop cost-effective ways of using technology to support core business objectives. Systems must be fast to implement, easy to understand and learn, and provide ways to free up staff to focus on more mission-critical tasks. And, with home-based care needs accelerating, healthcare organizations are searching for ways to assist direct care workers in bringing better, more targeted healthcare options to their homebound patients.
It’s no surprise that the ongoing pandemic has encouraged the swift adoption of a more digitized environment across many industries, but in healthcare in particular. Due to an increased need for virtual appointments, telemedicine has leaped to the forefront of healthcare decision-makers to-do lists, followed by a number of new ways to make healthcare more accessible to all through digital means.
When the coronavirus pandemic struck, many consumers and healthcare professionals alike looked for new ways to gain access to necessary healthcare without compromising health and safety in crowded waiting rooms and hospitals. The answer presented itself in the form of telemedicine.
During the coronavirus epidemic, the nation’s healthcare workers went into overdrive to care for their regular patients plus those needing special assistance battling the virus. The trend toward overwork is continuing, however, putting many physicians and their staff at risk of burnout.
With many challenges ahead of it in 2021 and beyond, the healthcare industry is reshaping the way it conducts business in order to stay agile and to seek to provide outstanding patient care. Among the tools healthcare providers will use is a growing relationship with digital providers that will help reduce physician burdens.
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