The world is undergoing unprecedented change, and healthcare as part of it is no exception. It is one of the most sensitive industries, connected to us in more ways than one might know. The impact of healthcare is not just on human health but also on the economy. Therefore, change in healthcare transcends boundaries and impacts people and systems.
Leaders in all sectors have to grapple with the changes in their external environment whenever making any change in their organizational structure. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities are swaggering about using robots and implementing cutting-edge treatments and solutions to human ailments. As a result, the working efficiency inside healthcare has become one of the most competitive aspects of success.
However, changes in healthcare worldwide are not without presenting sufficient challenges to the people and systems. While many healthcare facilities have successfully transitioned to the next stage of incorporating these new changes, many are still struggling. Here are some significant challenges faced by healthcare.
1. A shortage of qualified individuals
Healthcare has reached a tipping point. The need for qualified individuals to treat healthcare like any other profit-making industry to develop connections with departments and institutions is quite urgent.
One way to develop and prepare such talent is by encouraging healthcare workers from all departments to diversity their education by continuing their education in the relevant field, like an NAU MBA program or a master’s in healthcare administration.
Such programs are designed to provide a holistic perspective of how healthcare works behind the scene. The current pandemic manifested fissures in the healthcare industry, showing how seriously it lacks people who can work under pressure and lead meaningful change. The presence of competent people in healthcare is essential to ensure the industry’s readiness to face an event of the magnitude of the recent pandemic; God forbid if it happens again.
2. Increased digital engagement
The pandemic was challenging because of the disease that threatened survival through human contact. It made treating patients even more tiring and difficult. But, whenever humanity is faced with such unprecedented issues, it devises new methods for its survival. The pandemic witnessed an unprecedented surge in the use of telehealth. According to stats in a report, telehealth HYPERLINK “https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/healthcare-systems-and-services/our-insights/telehealth-a-quarter-trillion-dollar-post-covid-19-reality”utilization has increased 38 times compared to pre-pandemic times. However, even when the darkest clouds of the pandemic are over, and the world is struggling to come back to its old regimes, people still have reservations about face-to-face engagements. Hence, digital engagement is no longer an option but essential.
The same report mentioned that doctors refusing to offer telehealth services would eventually lose the patients as it becomes a new niche in healthcare. The real struggle lies in making telehealth a regular practice and a standard in all clinics.
Providers struggle to develop new work models, flexible timing, and service and outcome quality maintenance. For example, historically, people only knew one way of meeting their care providers, by going to them. They could talk to them and look at their facial impressions. Similarly, doctors could decode a lot from the patients’ body language. Now, things will have to change, and for some time to come, this will present a mammoth challenge for healthcare and service providers.
With the use of the more technological applications, virtually all data of healthcare and patients are stored on cloud-based applications. The upside is that you can access it from wherever you want. But cyber theft and concerns about cybersecurity are real issues too.
Technology has strengthened healthcare functioning, making it more efficient, reducing time downtime, and promoting the optimal use of resources. But simultaneously, it has made it vulnerable too. With hacking becoming a regular trend across the countries, patient data stored in virtual storage is at the risk of falling into the wrong hands. In addition, centralized systems are more susceptible to outside threats.
The breach of data put the customer data in harm’s way and is also a blot on the name and reputation of the hospital. It can often result in hefty fines levied on hospitals when the data gets used for malicious purposes. You can be fined for breaching the privacy agreement made with your client. Many hospitals and service providers are investing heavily in keeping their security profiles updated, which is the right approach to do business now. The way to do this is by putting in place complicated impassable firewalls, multi-factor authentication, etc., to discourage hacking efforts.
Healthcare is a dynamic industry and to be in continuous change is a feature of such an industry. But not all changes are smooth, surely not in healthcare. Whether healthcare workers are struggling to learn the use of technology in their daily function, the inclusion of complicated systems and patient portals, funding, and financial constraints to keep afloat in the face of competition, the health is facing challenges all the time. However, if responded to correctly, these challenges also bring immense opportunities. For instance, leveraging the power of digitalization can increase your customer base. Similarly, the availability of skilled force can put your leg up on the competitors.