3 Changes in the Healthcare Industry Since Pandemic

Healthcare Jobs

Well into year two of the COVID pandemic, the healthcare industry has faced serious challenges and worked hard to adapt to an environment similar to that of a 100m hurdles race. 

Equipment shortages, staffing shortages, high patient intake, delays of non-emergency procedures, the rollout and subsequent controversy surrounding the COVID vaccines, the winding up and winding back down from COVID numbers waves. It’s been a lot, however, hurdles aside, we’re also seeing that the healthcare industry isn’t a stiff tree to be broken in the face of hardships. It’s been bending instead of breaking and it’s adapting to not only persevere but to be better. We’re seeing three pivotal areas for change as the industry works to adapt:

  • More personalized individualized care
  • Online and digital tools for patients
  • PRN Staffing and smartphone apps for healthcare centers and clinics 

More Personalized Individualized Care

The idea of telehealth (virtual medical services) was born in the years prior to COVID as the internet became less a supercilious service and more a necessary utility in homes (and phones) across the nation. But it was the pandemic that forced it into its current legitimacy. While its subsequent growth in the last two years has had its share of growing pains, it has also established telehealth as a new necessary service for medical centers to provide. In short, telehealth is here to stay, and as the healthcare industry works to adapt its telehealth sectors its focus needs to be on individualized care.

In 2016, a study published by Prophet and GE Healthcare Camden Group published troubling findings:

  • 81% of consumers surveyed indicate they are unsatisfied with their healthcare experience.
  • Providers misjudge the perception of their performance on elements that are most important to consumers.
  • There is a gap in perception between providers and consumers on the quality of experience currently being provided.
  • Consumerism has upended other industries, leading to new expectations for the patient experience.

Personalized care that is satisfactory for consumers sounds like it might be a complex matter, so what can clinicians themselves do?

In August 2021, Accenture Health and Life Sciences Experience Survey was published with the following findings:

  • Research revealed that only one out of three people (33%) said they did not have a negative experience.
  • For positive experiences with a healthcare provider, people ranked “a medical provider who explains the patient’s condition and treatment clearly” (55%) as the most important factor with “a provider who listens, understands patient’s needs and provides emotional support” (52%) as a close second.
  • Research shows that improving care experiences will require better collaboration between all relevant parties

In short, people want compassionate and empathetic clinicians, they want to understand, and they want collaboration among their healthcare providers. 

Online and Digital Tools for Patients

The Health and Sciences Survey also studied digital healthcare access and satisfaction. While the hard lockdowns across the nation were mostly only in effect during 2020, it might surprise you to know that while work, schools, churches, AA groups, and any other communal meetups were using the virtual systems to continue their meetings, use of telehealth didn’t actually boom right alongside them. In fact, according to the survey, in 2020 “only 7% of people had a virtual consultation with a provider.”

While we have to keep in mind the survey didn’t encompass every person of the U.S. population, that number still seems a little low. However, the findings for 2021 were encouraging and showed increases all around:

  • 32% had virtual consultations with a provider
  • 31% used electronic health records
  • 10% agreed to remote patient monitoring
  • 18% used mobile phone or tablet applications
  • 12% used social media or online support communities

People are more likely to utilize telehealth services when recommended by their trusted healthcare provider. Furthermore, according to Applause, an agency that specializes in helping companies provide quality digital experiences, medical centers and clinics looking to better their telehealth services will need to focus on these four factors:

  1. Speed
  2. Quality
  3. Accessibility
  4. Usability

PRN Staffing and Smartphone Applications for Healthcare Centers and Clinics

Accenture research reports that 66% of the largest hospitals in the U.S. have their own mobile phone apps developed for the consumer. Nevertheless, consumers aren’t the only ones to benefit from digital technology for the healthcare experience, the facilities are benefiting as well.

Staffing shortages among nurses, aides, and allied health workers have been plaguing hospitals far and wide throughout the last several years, the issues only exacerbated by the stress staff are feeling and experiencing due to COVID.

As the staffing needs have continued to be a burden, smartphone technology has risen up to meet that very burden in a practical, efficient, and streamlined manner.

PRN staffing agency NursaTM developed a smartphone application that works as a high-volume bridge. That bridge is bringing together the centers and clinics that need staff to the wide pool of skilled clinicians who are seeking work on their own terms.

The NursaTM app is free for users, both facility and staff, to download thereby eliminating a significant barrier. This access allows clinicians to work as many or as few PRN shifts per week or month as they prefer. There is no minimum requirement, which further widens the availability pool for facilities. That nurse who is only interested in picking up one extra shift a month just might select that one PRN shift that your facility desperately needs to be filled.

Likewise, many nurses and clinicians who have been on hiatus or retired but hold valuable stores of experience and knowledge are picking up PRN shifts to keep current and licensed but don’t have an interest in making a full-time commitment. NursaTM is the bridge for hospitals and medical centers to a wider pool of talent. It means less paperwork and less stressed-out phone calls to switch around the staff. It means lower staff-to-patient ratios because the employment gaps are being covered.

Download NursaTM today, and browse the opportunities available in real-time.

Written by Miranda Booher, RN

SEO Content Marketing Manager Miranda is a 14-year registered nurse with a healthy background in travel nursing and digital marketing. She brings an interesting combination of stellar copywriting skills and first-hand nursing experience to the table. Miranda understands the industry and has an impeccable ability to write about it. And speaking of travel - Miranda currently lives in Bolivia, though she maintains an active Registered Nurse license in the state of Ohio and stays current on the latest healthcare news through her writing. When she is not creating killer copy, or serving others through her work as a nurse, you can find her spending time with her family traveling in the Andes Mountains.

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