2020 was a major year for the medical industry. No one was expecting the pandemic and its major effects on the world. Now, a year after, the world is still recovering. For those in the field of healthcare, there is a lot to be concerned about. Whether they are in the field as doctors in the hospitals or making higher-level decisions as administrators, a lot of things are going to be changing. Here are some of the potential changes that might happen this 2021:
Online Consultations And Quicker Data Sharing
When everything was shut down in 2020, a lot of patients were stuck at home. This pushed for the quick development of online healthcare. Many people needed to consult with their doctors and were only able to do so via telehealth. Whether it was Zoom, Skype, or other apps, doctors had to adapt to the need to consult over the internet. Additionally, they also needed to learn how to more efficiently share patient records.
While the trend towards online data sharing has been going on for some time, the pandemic has accelerated it. With all these massive changes, the healthcare industry will likely keep a lot of the processes and infrastructure for the foreseeable future in the name of convenience.
Increased Digital Security
A lot of healthcare institutions have private data on their customers. They collect it to have a good idea of their medical condition. In the past, this was all in physical files but the advent of digital technology has converted them into files on a server. While convenient, they are also very risky. Hackers could potentially steal the data for a variety of purposes from selling them to using them for identity theft.
There is a lot of confidential information in patient files nowadays. Additionally, the rise of ransomware is a frightening thing and hackers can use them to hold the data hostage. To fight all of these risks, expect increased data security for all medical clinics and hospitals. For example, some hospitals might want to get a Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification or CMMC to show that their digital security is military-grade. This would be ideal for those clinics that deal with military personnel but it can also help reassure patients who maximum data privacy.
Still Dealing With COVID
There is no denying that the world is still in the grip of a public health emergency. For those who expect COVID-19 to be over this year, there is some hope but the world will be dealing with the effects of the pandemic for a long time. The current focus right now is on three things. First, testing and detection so that the spread of the disease can be traced. Next, there is the treatment for those who caught the disease.
Finally, there is the vaccination process so that the world can finally move on. However, even if the vaccination program is a success, there are COVID-19 patients who will have to live with the effects despite their recovery. Additionally, the world will need to recover from it which may well continue until 2022.
Public Health Reinforcement
As the world’s response to COVID-19 revealed, the world’s public health infrastructure needs some help. While some clinics and hospitals are using the latest technology, public health institutions are using technology from the last century. The reason for the difficulty in getting accurate COVID-19 stats is that the public health data is not being collected and analyzed properly.
That is going to change as 2021 sees reinforcement of the public health infrastructure and an overhaul of CDC guidelines. Patients and the general public can expect the healthcare industry to learn the lessons of the pandemic and use them for the future.
Moving to Value-based Care
In the past, a lot of healthcare institutions focused on service-based care. This approach had patients billed for every service. This is thanks to the insurance system that pays for treatments and services. However, the demands of the market are changing this philosophy. The focus is now on value-based care. Clinics and hospitals are now being reimbursed for the result of their care. The result is lower healthcare costs and happier patients.
2021 is the first year of a new decade and it is looking to be an exciting one. Medical breakthroughs and changes are on the way. Meanwhile, many in the industry feel that the pandemic was a wake-up call. Handling future global incidents like the pandemic will be a lot easier with all the infrastructure and preparation set-up.