Biggest Challenges the Healthcare Industry Faces in 2021
Good healthcare system is the backbone of a country. A robust healthcare system reflects how developed a country is. Although the healthcare sector has made tremendous advancements over the years, it still has a long way to go. The current pandemic brought to the surface several gaps in the healthcare sector and challenges that are yet to be conquered.
Digitization has benefitted the healthcare industry in many ways, but data breaches and cyberattacks are some cons of the digital age. Sensitive information, such as patients’ records and payment information, can fall into the wrong hands, which not just affects the patients but also affects the hard-earned reputation of medical institutions. Recent trends, such as teleconsultation – is a major contributor to the increase in breached patient records. As healthcare functions continue to occur online in the post-pandemic world, such issues need to be combated with swift and strong security measures.
Thanks to digitization, a tremendous amount of patient data is being generated every year, which is scattered across multiple parties. As a result, the entire information is not transferred properly, and it becomes very difficult to harness the power of that valuable data to generate useful insights.
As social distancing became a necessity in 2020, medical providers had to adopt more digital platforms to make healthcare accessible even during the pandemic. Telehealth tools proved to be a boon during such times. As a result, they grew from 11% during 2019 to 46% in 2020. While telehealth adoption is expected to grow in the near future, several major issues loom over it, such as – uncertain regulatory future.
The escalating cost of healthcare is an issue that impacts all the stakeholders in the long chain. From drug manufacturing companies to the patients, everyone becomes affected due to the rising cost. The rising cost of healthcare also prevents patients from seeking consultation on time and taking routine health checks, which serves as a deterrent in disease control and prevention.
Patient confusion and surprise billing issues
Patient confusion and surprise billing issues are the two issues because of which patients fail to pay their financial responsibility. It is because of this reason; several healthcare systems are now opting to make their service prices accessible. Those who do not make their pricing public are not considered by the patients when booking their appointment.
These and many other challenges have been brought into the spotlight by the ongoing pandemic. It’s time for healthcare organizations and governments to face these challenges and reflect upon, embrace and innovate new solutions to address these challenges.