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The New Normal: Advances in Healthcare in a Post-COVID-19 Setting 
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The New Normal: Advances in Healthcare in a Post-COVID-19 Setting 

 

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic took a massive toll on the healthcare industry worldwide. The effects of the pandemic have waned considerably since its peak, however, these effects are still being felt throughout the healthcare sector. 

 

Healthcare workers felt the full brunt of the strain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and this is evident in the number of nurses and hospital workers who had to work long hours for months on end. On the opposite side of the spectrum, the pandemic also opened up numerous opportunities for those willing to work in the world’s hardest-hit areas.

 

In the United States, sign-on bonuses and incentive pay skyrocketed for nurses and physician’s assistants looking for jobs.

 

Here, we’ll explore a few of the many ways that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the landscape of the healthcare space. 

 

Telemedicine

If you’ve never heard of telemedicine, you’re sure to hear it mentioned more often from now on. Otherwise known as “telehealth,” telemedicine is the remote, logistical delivery of healthcare services via electronic information and telecommunication devices. 

 

Telemedicine makes it possible for remote patient care regarding diagnosis, care advice, education, monitoring, and even remotely admitting a patient to a hospital. Essentially, a clinician in New York can deliver elements of a patient’s care in Los Angeles using technology associated with telemedicine.

 

The need for social distancing, and the highly contagious nature of COVID-19, made telemedicine a necessary technology. Most physicians wanted to keep as much distance as possible during treatment, and with the ability to remotely assist patients and colleagues, telemedicine proved to be a major technological asset for the entire healthcare industry. 

 

Home Care

It became apparent early on as COVID-19 was taking hold of the world that the least amount of contact with one another was the safest way to ride out the pandemic. This was evident with the wide amount of “essential businesses” that were able to stay open while all others closed their doors. 

 

One sector of healthcare that was extremely vulnerable during this time was nursing home facilities. Not only do elderly residents have a much higher mortality rate when infected with COVID-19, but these residents are also in close contact with both staff and other residents. 

 

As residents in nursing homes began getting infected and dying at an alarming rate, the need for home care was implemented as a preventative measure. The rise in the need for hospice workers and home health aides rose tremendously during 2020, and this trend is still on the rise today as of 2021.

 

While nursing homes are still in operation with new guidelines and restrictions, more families are considering the home health option in place of traditional nursing homes. 

 

“Distributed” Care

Dr. Shatanu Nundy coined the term “distributed care” in his recent book, Care After Covid: What the Pandemic Revealed Is Broken In Healthcare and How to Reinvent It.

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Distributed care refers to bringing healthcare services to wherever a patient is in need at the time, whether this is a grocery store, pharmacy, church, workplace, barbershop, etc. 

 

The upside to this type of care is that it eliminates the cost of lengthy clinic or hospital stays. In addition, by delivering healthcare to a patient in his or her immediate environment, a physician can better understand the root causes of poor health. 

 

Where distributed care meets the patient in his or her own area, this also opens the door for delivering healthcare to areas that otherwise lack healthcare resources such as in underfunded communities, rural regions, and those in dense urban environments.  You might want to read about Tracy Duhs, the ultimate female biohacker.

 

It’s safe to say that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live, work, and socialize throughout the United States and the world. While many people have been vaccinated, the evolution of new variants are now presenting a threat in areas that have just begun to recover from the pandemic’s initial onset. 

 

As we learn to live with COVID-19, so too is the healthcare industry. And, we can only expect more ingenuity and advances within our healthcare sectors.

 



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