How is the coronavirus disease spread? Airborne droplets are produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes and are spread when others come into contact with the virus and touch their eyes, nose, or mouth. The virus can also be transmitted from someone touching a previously contaminated surface. 

Due to how highly infectious the coronavirus is, scores of patients simultaneously required medical attention during the pandemic. As a result, numerous limitations in the healthcare system became apparent.

This article will explore the changes Covid-19 will bring with hospitals and the healthcare system and what the average patient should expect moving forward in a post-Covid world.

Possible Changes in the Healthcare System Post-Covid

Increase in Digital Health Options

The pandemic saw the rise of patients needing urgent medical care simultaneously, exposing a limitation in the healthcare system. Consequently, electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems have never been more valuable and vital than they were at the height of the pandemic. 

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, healthcare practitioners realized the importance of digitizing their services to increase efficiency. As a result, many hospitals and clinics have now availed their services on digital platforms.

Minnesota is an excellent example of a state that has adopted the infrastructure to generate health records electronically. Additionally, the state of Wisconsin has made provisions for healthcare practitioners to purchase EMR systems on up to 50% tax credit, thus creating more opportunities for institutions to adopt this system. 

Medical Innovations in Technology

Before Covid-19, vaccines would typically be tested and developed over months or years before being approved for public use. However, gene-based vaccines were put into good use when the coronavirus began spreading, proving that similar innovations can be successfully developed and employed within days. 

How do these gene-based vaccines work? First, a genetic sequence is developed and introduced into the human body to boost immunity. Previously, these vaccines weren’t as stable as DNA variations, but scientists have been able to rectify and improve on this. 

Another area of possible innovation is in the field of research. For example, researchers have taken a keen interest in using smartwatches and other wearables to collect health data that can aid in the early detection of diseases. These wearables provide information that can detect symptoms even before they physically manifest.

The future of medical innovations is looking bright!

Pharmaceutical Funding

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the pharmaceutical industry was responsible for funding drug development, manufacturing, and distribution. However, the pandemic saw philanthropists and governments stepping in to fund these projects and other pharmaceutical innovations.

Through public funding and government subsidies, medications have become more affordable to patients. However, will this switch from private to public financing outlast the pandemic? The nations with leading economies will likely be able to sustain it, but only time will tell.

Improved Efficiency with Medical Supplies

Supplies such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits have always been essential in hospitals, but before the Covid-19 pandemic, hospital staff didn’t use them as often. However, with the demand for the kits at an all-time high, it became apparent that most hospitals weren’t nearly as prepared to handle such a crisis as they should have been. 

As a result, more emphasis will be placed on the availability of medical supplies in preparation for unforeseen emergencies in the future. 

Diversification of Services

Hospitals will focus on and invest in more than just their inpatient services. Multiple people requiring medical attention during the pandemic created a need for diversification in ambulance services, virtual support, and home-based care. 

Additionally, institutions such as hospices that support mainstream hospitals are now being managed and owned by the hospitals, providing a larger pool of medical care for their patients. 

Unfortunately, some people died during the pandemic, not because the disease was so severe but due to inadequate resources to handle the influx of hospital patients. However, we can expect such scenarios to become less common. 

Emphasis on Sanitation

The global anthem for the Covid-19 pandemic was “Wash and sanitize.” Considering this virus’s infectiousness, doctors emphasized the importance of hospital infection prevention and control. All public utilities upheld this standard, even though some had previously been lax about it. 

Patients can expect this thorough cleaning and sanitation trend in medical institutions to keep improving, following the emphasis on integrating the lessons learned during the pandemic.

Increase in Medical Care Costs

The cost of healthcare will rise due to innovations developed in a post-Covid world. Why would it cost more? Research costs money, and someone has to cover that cost. Yes, governments will fund institutions, but these funds come from the taxpayers’ pockets. Additionally, for one to access healthcare services, one must pay a cost set to rise with each improvement and innovation. 

Despite the rising cost being a downer, improving healthcare in our society is necessary. We should remember that this is all for the greater good. Our descendants needn’t suffer disease and death if medical practitioners can carry out research to eradicate or diminish such disasters. 

Inevitably, someone must pay the price for a better tomorrow. 

Conclusion

The overall efficiency in running hospitals is set to improve in a post-Covid world. However, the pandemic served as a wake-up call to the realities of the flaws in the healthcare system globally.

So how can these limitations in the system be addressed? First, healthcare practitioners must adopt innovations and adjustments in business models. Additionally, government entities ought to be willing to fund these innovation attempts. 

Patients can expect to experience better services, more digitized options, and efficient systems regarding medical treatment in the future. However, the caveat is that costs in healthcare are set to increase. Is this a price that we are willing to pay? 

Although the Covid-19 pandemic was an adverse incident, it positively impacted the global healthcare system as we know it. The world of medicine continues to evolve, shaping our experiences and strategies, one innovation at a time.