Larger institutions with massive capitals and savings in the bank are likely to survive this pandemic unless they are based in one of the hard-hit regions. Organizations that have implemented a watertight digital strategy and have leveraged telehealth also hold the upper hand
Fremont, CA: The COVID-19 pandemic has brought upon a sense of emergency across the world. Businesses around the globe have had to shut down. Some industries have even had to resort to extreme measures such as laying off vast parts of their workforce, while many others have been forced into bankruptcy, forcing the company to wind up. Amidst all the chaos, the healthcare industry has been overwhelmed with the amount of work flowing in. Given the nature of the disease, hospitals everywhere have been on high alert to equip with all the necessities to tackle incoming patients.
Despite staying in business, it is not likely that the healthcare industry will be able to return to normal once the pandemic passes. While on paper, it may seem the demand for healthcare services will only increase, the real picture begs to differ. The industry is currently in a state of flux and is likely to face a period of financial instability shortly. At the end of the crisis, the question remains who had the best resources to meet the situations.
Larger institutions with massive capitals and savings in the bank are likely to survive this pandemic unless they are based in one of the hard-hit regions. Organizations that have implemented a watertight digital strategy and have leveraged telehealth also hold the upper hand. These organizations stand a better chance of stepping out of the pandemic into a future laden with growth.
On the other hand, smaller institutions with fewer resources such as rural clinics and small labs will be the worst hit by the crisis. The financial pressure will be bigger than ever before post-COVID-19. The situation has also brought to light some of the cracks in the current healthcare system. Personal protective equipment has become extremely important for those working at the front line of the pandemic, and there is a severe shortage for the same. The coronavirus pandemic has also brought to light how the lower sectors of the economy are more exposed and at risk to such diseases.
While the healthcare systems attempt to overcome these problems, it is also important to prepare for a possible second wave of COVID-19. Many of the population have been holding back scheduled visits to the hospital, fearing they might catch the virus from there. The second wave may likely be more dangerous than the first, regardless of how prepared the industry is.
New Strategies for Elective Surgeries
Even after the crisis is over, patients are not going to walk into hospitals to get their treatments willingly. They will require some wooing. Patients who may have put off surgeries during the crisis need to be reassured that it is safe to visit a hospital and get the necessary treatment. It may not be as simple as hanging a shingle that reads 'We are Open.' Some healthcare services have undertaken initiatives to assure the patients that they are doing what is necessary to ensure patient safety. At the same time, organizations are also offering patients the option to get their surgery done at ambulatory surgery centers.
Developing Local Supply Chain Sources
One of the most critical flaws exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic was that of the hospital supply chain for vital equipments. Health systems faced severe problems due to the shortage of equipment. This became a more significant issue when health systems began competing amidst themselves for these equipment. One of the reasons for this problem was the lack of a proper track of the supply chains. With most health systems, the process is analog, and there is minimal tracking details for shipments of the essentials. Going into the future, the supply chain needs to be perfect to tackle the next crisis. One way to do so is by setting up local supply chains. At the same time, health care firms within the same region need to create a better understanding amongst themselves and form a consortium.