The Healthcare system is a very complex sector with a variety of professionals involved that provide proper care to patients and promote their wellbeing. The healthcare sector of a country has economic as well as social influence, through the jobs they generate, the services they provide to their citizens, the direct or indirect revenue they produce, and the purchase equipment and services. The Healthcare industry is a realm that incorporates several different fields; medical, business, management, and information technology with the unified objective to improve the functioning of multiple aspects of medical facilities and patient care.
Similarly, the United States health care system is a crucial sector that is necessary for the citizens. However, the condition of the healthcare facilities is deteriorating day by day as healthcare expenses are escalating sky high, with the poor quality of patient care, lack of qualified, skilled medical staff, failures of the authorities to deliver, and an increasing number of insurance policies. To top it all, the recent outbreak of the Coronavirus has caused the U.S healthcare system to collapse with the influx of millions of patients and the shortage of qualified staff. Modern problems require modern solutions; therefore, U.S doctors and nurses must be qualified, trained to develop their existing skills and new practices to manage the burgeoning number of patients. Now, the services of the medical staff not just involve their focus on treatment, but they are required to acquire expertise in business, science, and technology.
Nevertheless, we can still do a lot to save the disintegrating U.S healthcare system by taking a few actions essential in these testing times. From generating patient-oriented policies and investing in primary care to enrolling doctors in a healthcare mba program and nurses in a specialized nursing program, there are numerous ways to improve patient care in the U.S.
Here we have compiled seven ways to improve U.S. healthcare for better patient care experience.
The healthcare field is developing day by day as per the need of the people, the new inventions, and the emerging viral diseases. Similarly, the role of healthcare staff has outgrown other professions as now more doctors need to apply business practices to healthcare environments. They are required to set specific goals, analyze data, and execute plans to bring improvement in the current patient care scenario. Therefore, they should earn a master of business online degree to incorporate and exercise business management, decision-making, and leadership in their current and future healthcare roles.
EDUCATE AND QUALIFY NURSES
Nurses have always served on the frontline of the health crisis, be it natural disasters or epidemics. They attend patients more than the doctors ever can, as they observe, evaluate, and record their every symptom, reaction, progress, or regress. However, the U.S healthcare system lacks qualified nurses, with nearly 2 million registered nurses among the 4 million who are over the age of 50. Moreover, approximately 18% of nurses hold a graduate-level degree. The dearth of qualified nurses is due to various reasons including, government policies, the social status associated with the profession, and inadequate compensations.
CREATE A UNIFIED TEAM
The U.S healthcare system involves various departments, professionals, with different skillset and experience; however, it is a fragmented industry that operated uncoordinated. Building a balanced team that is led by a senior, experienced head who unifies all under the healthcare banner is the only solution to make this divided system productive. The leader should be enlightened enough to guide, deliver oversight, and support the team, make well-versed decisions, and keep a check on the performance of employees.
INVEST IN PRIMARY CARE
The U.S government invests less in its primary care that ultimately increases the cost of healthcare and results in poor outcomes. Currently, the U.S spends 4-6% on primary care, raising it to 15-25% can lead to reasonable healthcare costs and better patient care. Moreover, companies should allow primary care visits in their health insurance plans.
USE TECHNOLOGY FOR BETTER ACCESS
With the development in the fields of science and technology, the healthcare system has also become digitalized. The U.S should employ more technologically advanced procedures to provide their patients with better access to healthcare. Investing in telemedicine, utilizing artificial intelligence (A.I.), and electronic health records (E.H.R) may help in saving time, increasing productivity, and delivering better patient care.
EXPAND TRANSPORTATION NETWORK
Approximately 3.6 million Americans miss or delay their medical appointment annually because of the lack of a means of transport to the doctor. Each day about 10,000 Americans turn 70; therefore, many suffer from at least one chronic condition, hence achieving regular health checkups, and care is vital. There are more seniors in the U.S than youngsters today; consequently, many are not comfortable driving; whereas, some are unable to drive or ride at all. An enhanced transportation network may help them to travel to the hospital in cases of emergency. At the same time, those who wish to see a doctor for general visits may also get facilitated.
COLLABORATE WITH OTHER ORGANIZATIONS
Non-profit organizations and other welfare groups wish to work in collaboration with the healthcare sector to provide the underprivileged, old, needy better patient care and access to improved healthcare. They have plenty of data and workforce to help the government bring about bringing a positive change in the medical facilities and services of the country.
In a nutshell, the COVID-19 is having detrimental effects on millions of lives around the world, and countries are taking steps to deal with it. Likewise, the U.S also need to work on the development and enhancement of their already crumbling healthcare system to make it strong and resilient. These seven suggestions may pave the way towards betterment in the U.S healthcare industry and may yield improved patient care. Although no single proposal is wholly impractical, they can be extremely challenging and should be taken one at a time to improve the quality of healthcare. They will be challenging to follow but not impossible with incredible leadership, decision-making, and business management in the current healthcare scenario.