Healthcare is one of those ever-evolving, fast-growing industries with tremendous technological developments. However, that does not stop the occurrence of challenges that healthcare management has to face. Sometimes such growth exerts more pressure which can trigger various issues such as lack of staff, inadequate resources, and compromised healthcare.
The recent pandemic has been the cherry on the cake, which has made 2020 far from an ordinary year. What was supposed to be a year of positive change for the healthcare industry turned into numerous challenges and ruthless alterations.
Below, we have discussed the most critical challenges faced by the healthcare industry in 2021.
- Financial Issues
Governments across the world are seeking ways to cut down the healthcare budget every year. Such diminishing budget rates have made health insurance more expensive and less effective. Besides, a more significant portion of the medical bills is now falling on the patients, which is a very concerning issue. Many patients fail to undergo treatments for chronic illnesses being unable to pay healthcare costs.
Notably, several healthcare managers are working to offer affordable healthcare rates despite the rising costs in various areas such as insurance premiums, pharmaceuticals, and healthcare spending. However, other financial issues in healthcare management are related to payroll management, processing insurance claims, negotiating repayment and medical billing and denial management, etc. All these issues have made it pertinent to devise strategies that can help to mitigate the financial issues in healthcare management.
Today, the medical sector seeks to hire professionals that can propose practical solutions to control financial challenges. Also, advanced education programs such as on-campus or online MBA in health administration focuses on equipping students with the right skills required to cater to the rising issues in the health sector.
Cybersecurity has been an ongoing concern for healthcare management for decades. However, the pandemic has made the issue more pressing than ever, as the latest technological advancements have increased the threat of data breaches, ransomware, and insider threats. The healthcare industry is now more concerned with ensuring data security, as any disclosure of confidential data can put the lives of millions at risk.
However, cyber-attacks have consequences well beyond privacy breaches. Cyber attacks can lead to unrecoverable financial losses, distributed denial of service, and may restrict a health facility from providing patient care. What’s even worse is that these issues are likely to grow further because healthcare workers are pretty reluctant to respond to all these threats.
Telehealth is an online health consultancy service that requires little to no in-person interactions. Thanks to the recent pandemic, the telehealth sector grew enormously the past year. According to a survey, 69% of adults made telehealth appointments in 2020, and 76% of users shared that they will continue to do so in the future. While telehealth has been a breakthrough in the healthcare department, it still faces some significant issues.
The level of uncertainty is the biggest concern when it comes to telehealth. It has further increased the fear of misdiagnoses amongst doctors and patients because of minimal human interaction. Besides, many patients lack technical skills, which refrains them from benefiting from the telehealth facility. It has further posed a threat of exposing confidential patient data and information all over the internet.
- Big Data
Big data in healthcare is used to collect a massive amount of data using digital technologies to store patient records, analyze hospitals’ performances, and improving healthcare management. Big data tremendously reduces the risk of errors, but it still possesses several concerning problems.
Many professionals believe big data can lead to misguidedness, patient mortality, and spiking medical costs. Scattered data amongst multiple sources make it quite tricky to optimize patients’ experience. The healthcare industry also faces a lack of a single system to retrieve data from numerous sources, making it difficult to analyze data. Sometimes malfunctions can lead to a threat of security breaches, which is a considerable concern, especially in healthcare.
- Workforce shortage
The healthcare industry faces a severe shortage of workers in various departments, including nurses, pharmacists, and nursing assistants. The admission rates of students in these fields are falling severely. One reason for this could be immense academic pressure. However, whatever the reason might be, such a workforce shortage is not suitable for the industry, as it can lead to burnout issues in physicians and other healthcare workers.
The number of facilities providing emergency services also reduces due to a shortage in the medical force. To overcome such concerning issues, healthcare leaders should thoroughly understand the industry’s labor market. It will teach them how to balance rising costs and the quality of services. Similarly, they will also learn practical ways to overcome such shortages and recruit more workers.
Healthcare is a challenging field with a series of never-ending issues and concerns. However, improvements in healthcare should always be a priority. It assures to prevent massive losses from an unprecedented crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has successfully depicted the current challenges in the healthcare industry. More and more healthcare experts are now preparing themselves to face any new or unforeseen challenges to reduce health risks by maximum.