Although the principles of health care will always remain the same, the landscape of the health care industry is rapidly evolving. In 2020, the novel coronavirus rocked the world and made a significant impact on the way we think about health care. It has also been the first time most people have had to use social distancing and has brought on new norms for health care workers.
As we round the second half of the year, it’s a good time to review the health care trends that were predicted in the recent past, but are starting to get a strong foothold in practice.
Health Care Trend #1: Telemedicine
Telemedicine has been a great way to stay in contact with your physician’s office. It started out as a way to expand to treat a broader range of patients and to access those who lived in rural areas, but with advancements in technology, it is now accessible to everyone. Outpatient clinicians are able to see patients and take appointments over web-based platforms.
Physicians can diagnose and even prescribe medications for patients to their local pharmacy. It takes the place of a traditional office visit and provides clinical services via a software platform. Telehealth and telemedicine can be utilized for urgent care, general visits, follow up visits, specialist visits such as dermatology, and even to help manage chronic conditions.
Health Care Trend #2: Wearables
Which came first, the wearables or telehealth? In addition to fitness trackers, the health care industry has found a way to use wearables to track a patient’s heart rate, heart rhythms, and even blood glucose which can be tracked by an app. This allows nurses and doctors to monitor a patient’s vitals without an in-person visit.
Using wearable technology, health care facilities, and professionals can still deliver excellent patient care while practicing safe social distancing. It’s also more convenient for patients and could allow for doctors and nurses to see more patients in a day.
Health Care Trend #3: Vision Screeners
Long gone are the days of using the Snellen eye chart to complete vision screeners. With social distancing likely being the case as schools reopen, new eye screening technology will be helpful in keeping a safe distance and provide a more in-depth screening than the traditional methods used in the past. There are several vision assessment tools on the market to help community- and school-based nurses screen large batches of children and families.
Vision screeners allow you to perform vision screenings with the click of a button. You can even organize and store results on the accompanying software. Some of the newest and best on the market include Go Check Kids, and the Welch Allyn Spot vision.
Health Care Trend #4: Drugs.com App
This app is a miracle for easily identifying medications. It is an app version of the old drug reference guide that provides details on over 60,000 drugs. The guide covers brand names, generics, and over the counter. One of the most useful tools is that you can identify a drug based on its imprint, color, and shape.
Health Care Trend #5: Nurse Grid App
Scheduling has always been a hassle, but it’s easier with this app that was developed by registered nurses for nurses and other health care professionals to simplify scheduling, eliminating the need for paper schedules. Simply add your scheduled shifts to the calendar and share your calendar with other staff members. It’s so easy to swap shifts and even sync with your phone’s calendar app. You can also communicate on the platform via group and private messages.
Health Care Trend #6: Staffing Shortage
The average age of an RN in the United States is 51 years old, according to the National Nursing Workforce Survey. While nursing continues to be a profession that proves to be valuable and guarantees job security for years to come, nurses are starting to age out of the job, which is contributing to the staffing shortage. At the same time, the general population is also aging, so we’re facing a trend of a need for more health care professionals, and may soon be lacking those LVNs, RNs, and NPs.
Health Care Trend #7: Per Diem Nursing
In order to keep providing quality health care to patients, many facilities are turning to nurse staffing agencies to fill shifts. Clipboard Health is one of the easiest ways for facilities to ensure all patients are getting care and full-time nursing staff members won’t burn out. Additionally, it’s a great way for LVNs, CNAs, med techs, surgical techs, and other health care professionals to pick up shifts and earn extra cash.
The app allows facilities to add open shifts via a calendar, and for health care professionals in the area to pick them up quickly. Nurses can also choose to be paid daily, or on a biweekly basis. Facilities looking for health care professionals can fill out a short form to start working with Clipboard Health, and health care professionals can apply today and start working by tomorrow.
Health Care Trend #8: Tech-Savvy Public
Feedback and reviews are more popular than ever, and tech-savvy patients are looking for honest reviews of facilities, physicians, and health care staff. Sites like Healthgrades, WebMD, and even Google allow patients the opportunity to post reviews to their sites. Sharing reviews is now one of the major ways that new patients essentially “shop” for a new medical doctor.