The news is ripe with the novel coronavirus and the global effects of the pandemic. The number of cases are rising everyday with countries in lockdown for the past two months. Life as we knew has come to a halt and social distancing has become the new trend. Although governments have started giving certain relaxations in areas that have been able to flatten the curve, we are far away from what our lives were before the pandemic. Given the current scenario, it can become difficult to imagine a post COVID-19 world. However, this is the time to introspect and reflect upon the lessons learnt from the pandemic for a healthier and safe future.
There is no doubt that the pandemic will come to an end. Vaccines are being tested already and new treatment will be in place based on the millions of patients’ data. A major learning from this would be better preparedness and public health protocols for preventing another such calamity. One aspect you can be rest assured of is that the post COVID-19 life would be significantly different from what it was before the outbreak. The medical industry has been the battleground for this pandemic and the repercussions will be most felt here. From COVID-19 caregivers suffering from PTSD to new habits and shift in the point of care, let’s take a look at what all should and can change in the medical field.
- Patient access and treatment option: A number of providers have heavily shifted to telehealth in order to promote social distancing and minimize the risk. The delivering of services in this manner has been backed by regulatory agencies and insurance companies by providing additional coverage and flexibility with respect to technology and distant sites. Telehealth has also resulted in the patients experiencing easy accessibility that does away with transportation, exposure to virus and waiting in long ques. The shift towards telehealth due to the global pandemic is a significant one and is likely to increase post COID-19.
- Variation in patient volume and demographics: The post coronavirus period is definitely going to witness patient volumes rebound. As soon as the elective procedures begin, there will be an increase in the competition to overcome and capture the backlogged demand. Medical practices and clinics will also experience changes in the payer mix. Most of the people are bound to lose their health insurance due to unemployment resulting in a rise of underinsured or self-pay patients. This shift towards patient responsible payment and less of commercial coverage, the hospitals will have to focus on timely and accurate billing in order to maximize cash.
- Evolution of the staffing model: Medical institutes have always maintained a lean staffing level. Multiple roles might be filled by the staff, especially between the front and back office functions. In order to maintain a positive cash flow after the pandemic, medical practices may work with further reduced staff and with more focus on back office functions.
Apart from the logistic and monetary changes, there will be a definitive shift in the medical equipment and supplies are handled and acquired. We have all already shifted to using IR thermometers due to hygiene and sanitary concerns. The practice of sanitising and disinfecting instruments after every use, ensuring the use of face masks when sharing space with a patient are a few of things that will become the norm.
Procurement of medical supplies is another aspect that needs special attention. Only trusted and well reputed suppliers such as Smart Medical Buyer should make the list. They are a leading online distributor of hospital and home medical supplies and equipment, delivering to the remotest of areas within the country. Working in partnership with big names of the medical fraternity such as Romsons, Widex, 3M Littmann, and Ethicon, they have over 5000+ products listed on their website. If you are looking for the best thermometer, stethoscope, bp machine or hearing aids at the lowest prices online, Smart medical Buyer is your answer!