How the COVID-19 Pandemic Disrupted Healthcare (and a Few Ways We Can Begin to Conquer It)

It is nothing new that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have an unprecedented impact on the world, negatively affecting the overall health and economic well-being of its people. The healthcare industry, which was already in need of more healthcare professionals, despite efforts to increase staffing levels, has experienced a financial whirlwind as well. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Below are just a few ways the pandemic rocked the industry, but a few suggestions as to how it can rebound.

How the Pandemic Struck the Healthcare Industry

The around-the-clock coverage of COVID-19 has leapfrogged all other existing health issues, which could have been dangerous, but for obvious reasons, makes sense. The virus has now churned 8.46 million cases, including 223,000 deaths, all in the U.S. alone.

For a time, the economic crisis, due to the novel Coronavirus, also crippled the healthcare system, which called for a national bailout campaign, across many different industries. The smaller hospitals were then forced to furlough, restructure or even close. The lone bright spot, as a direct result of the industry’s unfortunate financial fallout, was that many people were abiding by proper social distancing practices.

The nursing shortage could not have been more apparent. In 2010, a report from the Institute of Medicine predicted a 1.2 million registered nurse shortfall by 2024. Prior to the pandemic, there were already understaffed standalone facilities and multi-hospital systems. The virus merely spotlighted our need for more healthcare professionals to be integrated, as well as the importance of staffing agencies.

Alongside the nursing shortage, patients also began delaying required procedures and putting off appointments because of fear of the virus. Losses for healthcare facilities and hospitals, as estimated by the American Hospital Association (AMA), could have reached a staggering near-$50 billion-per-month.

How the Healthcare System Bounces Back

Encourage patients to continue to practice social distancing and wear a mask and trust that the industry is taking precautions in keeping them safe and healthy. This can be achieved by labeling doors and windows with visual alerts, providing hand hygiene instructions for both patients and staff and giving tips as to proper coughing and sneezing etiquette.

The virus has unfortunately realized a few shortcomings in the healthcare industry. By taking a step back and approaching it academically, the industry can make strides in improving itself.

An adoption of a more efficient way of transmitting digital records and data should be considered. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) can sometimes be a burden. Requirements can be slightly altered in still prioritizing the safety and privacy of patients. By introducing more data points into its methods, this could lead to more beneficial discoveries for all involved.

Reevaluate the healthcare insurance market. Examining possible alternate plans for younger people, specifically millennials, by means of partnerships, with companies like GoodRx or LabCorp, where they can get regular tests and checkups at a fraction of the cost they are at now.

The importance of staffing agencies could not be more apparent. In highlighting the need for supplemental staffing, our collective preparedness makes for a brighter future. A recent report has predicted the healthcare staffing market to surpass the $45 billion mark by 2027. MedPro Healthcare Staffing and MedPro International can help clients meet their staff fulfillment in building a more prosperous future. In fact, MedPro International has placed more foreign-educated healthcare professionals into the U.S. healthcare system than any other company in the industry.

Partner with MedPro Healthcare Staffing for Consistent and Reliable Service Delivery

MedPro is among the top staffing companies in the country and leading healthcare providers trust us to fulfill their staffing needs. We can help you find qualified travel healthcare professionals, long-term foreign-educated healthcare professionals or an overall workforce solution. To learn more, simply visit MedPro Healthcare Staffing, MedPro International, Submit a Job Order or call us at (800) 866-8108.

Author: Michael Stagno

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