Healthcare has always been one of the sectors facing the most challenges. After all, its job is to keep people alive. With the pressure put on healthcare providers by COVID-19, however, this industry is facing an unprecedented number of barriers and setbacks.
Here are just some of the main challenges facing healthcare providers in 2023, and how to solve them.
The pandemic was tough on everybody, but doctors and nurses bore the brunt of the stress. In fact, a whopping 50% of Chinese healthcare workers reported symptoms of depression.
As a result of this burnout mixed with huge numbers of people leaving the workforce to retire, the healthcare industry has been left with staffing shortages.
And the problem doesn’t stop at the doctor’s office. Pharmaceutical companies have ramped up efforts in drug and vaccine manufacturing since the pandemic, leaving them with gaps in their workforce to carry out the extra work.
For companies experiencing staffing shortages, outsourcing is an excellent solution. Outsourcing involves hiring experts from another company to carry out projects or tasks on your behalf.
Outsourcing CDMO mRNA manufacturers, for example, is ideal for fixing shortages in the drug manufacturing industry and allows companies to save on staffing costs while conducting projects with the help of experts.
Better mental health provisions should also be implemented in the healthcare industry to avoid a mass exodus of healthcare workers due to stress.
Evolving healthcare needs
Healthcare needs have changed in the last decade. Whereas medicine has typically been set up to treat acute illnesses such as infections, there’s now an increasing need for the treatment of lifestyle problems, such as diabetes and obesity.
Other increasingly prevalent challenges include antibiotic resistance – with 2.8 million antimicrobial-resistant infections occurring in the US alone – and the likely increase in pandemics, such as the COVID-19 pandemic we experienced in 2020 and 2021.
The solution to these evolving needs requires an industry-wide approach. Lifestyle medicine should be more widely adopted to reduce illnesses such as diabetes and obesity, with doctors prescribing lifestyle changes as the default before turning to medication.
To combat antibiotic resistance, doctors should only prescribe antibiotics when absolutely necessary and pharmacies should be more discerning about when antibiotics are given to patients.
When it comes to pandemics, we can learn a great deal from the response to COVID-19 by being more prepared the next time, with more PPE and quicker public health interventions.
For many patients – especially those with mobility issues – being able to see a doctor from the comfort of your own home can be life-changing. That’s where telemedicine comes in.
Telehealth involves seeing a doctor virtually via video call instead of in-person, and it’s an excellent time saver for patient and doctor alike.
However, the mass implementation of this new technology has proven difficult for many healthcare providers, especially as a result of budget issues.
While investment for these technologies should be prioritized in the long term, short-term vulnerable patients who would most benefit from telemedicine should be first in the queue to receive treatment this way.
Healthcare Business Today is a leading online publication that covers the business of healthcare. Our stories are written from those who are entrenched in this field and helping to shape the future of this industry. Healthcare Business Today offers readers access to fresh developments in health, medicine, science, and technology as well as the latest in patient news, with an emphasis on how these developments affect our lives.