Like all other industries, healthcare facilities have had to respond to the recent changes imposed upon them by the changing preferences of patients and the Covid-19 pandemic. Recently, there have been a few interesting trends in healthcare facilities that facility managers should be aware of to keep up with the times.
Integration of Mobile Devices into Healthcare
Our phones and tablets are parts of our lives now more than ever. We can use them for their original purpose of communication and planning, organizing meetings, managing work tasks, and as an integral tool in our healthcare management.
“Virtual doctor visits” became a common occurrence in the last year, with PCP’s arranging patient meetings over video for fairly mild conditions and triaging patients who presented with symptoms of Covid-19. This type of patient evaluation comes with its fair share of risks and downsides but also presents an opportunity to reach patients who, for whatever reason, would prefer not to (or are unable to) see their doctor in-person.
Additionally, for relatively cut and dry conditions based on the patient interview and visual inspection, doctors can make recommendations and write up prescriptions quickly and easily, improving patient management. Other features like mobile access to prescriptions have streamlined the process of getting medications filled at the pharmacy as well.
While we may be moving past the pandemic into a new, post-Covid world, by all appearances, the option for virtual doctor’s visits is here to stay.
Increases in the Number of Satellite and Smaller Hospitals
Major hospitals are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment for the diagnosis and treatment of a vast list of conditions. However, being seen at a hospital for non-traumatic or more minor conditions can come with a high monetary cost. After all, these facilities are needed for the more severe cases.
Therefore, an emerging trend in healthcare facilities is that of “micro-hospitals.” The growing preponderance of these facilities has led to increased convenience for patients, which, in turn, leads to higher rates of patient satisfaction.
The Use of “Smart” Devices
The increasing trend toward using new technology for security and building management has spilled into the healthcare world. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities now frequently equip their buildings with “smart” security systems that can be managed remotely, which reduces the amount of staff needed and thus increases overall profit.
However, in healthcare facilities, security is a significant concern. Healthcare facility managers need to be aware of and prepared for potential breaches in security that could compromise patient data or patient safety. A HIPPA violation is not to be taken lightly and should be strongly considered before hospitals implement any new technology integrations.
Healthcare is shifting rapidly toward a digital model designed to appeal to patients and staff, as with every industry. Technology is ever-evolving and will continue to provide innovative solutions to help patients recover from their ailments. Healthcare facilities need to balance the demand for convenience and hybrid solutions to patient care with the need to maintain patient safety and security moving forward.
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