The speed and intensity of COVID-19’s spread has forced the medical industry to think hard about the way it delivers its services. Hospitals will never look and work quite the same as they did in the past, as the pandemic has accelerated the development of new practices and methodologies. Glenmed Professional Healthcare Solutions explains the three trends that will influence the look and functioning of the hospital of the future.
The Three Trends Driving Hospital Management After COVID-19
According to Philips Medical, there are three trends that are driving change in the running and functioning of hospitals and healthcare as a whole. These are: networked healthcare, the rapid development of telehealth and virtual care; and the change in consumer’ attitudes towards health. Let’s examine each of these trends in turn.
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An Expanded Network of Physical and Virtual Care
The hospital of the future is not simply a fixed location. It is a scalable network that is flexible enough to deliver complex care to new patients across a wide area. Remotely guided ICUs have already been tested during the pandemic and have be remarkably successful. In the future, single, digital infrastructures will link these virtual facilities together, with centralised care coordination centres managing resources and patient flow. This will also equalise the quality of healthcare across different locations, with centralized care centres able to control the care their staff are providing regardless of physical location.
Telehealth – Bringing Care to The Patient
As many members of the public have steered clear of hospitals during the pandemic, it became necessary to develop methods of caring for patients with serious illnesses aside from COVID-19. Various means of telehealth or remote healthcare have started to emerge as a result. The hospital of the future will be able to provide care to certain patients over the phone or other virtual means. In more extreme cases, mobile care units can be dispatched to bring medical services directly to patients.
The Change in The Consumer’s Role
The pandemic has made us all more aware of our health than ever before. The message has come through time and again that if we take better care of ourselves, we stand a better chance of avoiding COVID-19 infection or fighting off without any major symptoms if we do catch it. As a result, people are starting to take a more active role in their own health. Whereas previously, consumers acted as passive recipients of healthcare, we will now be more involved in our own wellbeing, whether we are ill or not. The expanded virtual network of future hospitals will play a role in facilitating ongoing healthcare through AI and gamification and the internet of things, allowing constant, interactive monitoring of people’s health and wellness within their own homes.
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