The WHO predicts that in the decades to come to the population of people above 65 will surpass that of children under 5 years of age. Analyzing the current trends, it can be concluded that many of these senior citizens are prone to have one or more chronic conditions.
Chronic conditions could mean more expenses for the payers and more pressure to the system. This is a volatile situation, where the social and demographic changes resulting will have a negative impact on efficiency and per capita cost factor.
To cope with this rise in senior population with chronic conditions, healthcare systems will have to manage the following:
1. Adding human resources:
Perhaps the most obvious but the most important step to adapt is to invest in human resources. It has been observed that human interactions cannot be substituted, healthcare delivery centers who focus on having optimum qualified resources in their care delivery system have more often proved to deliver the better patient experience.
2. Precision Medicine:
Precision medicine is understanding and acknowledging that different patients react to medication and treatment differently due to genetic disposition. Treatment and medication must be engineered to get the best result as possible.
Connected devices and health monitoring equipment that aids in gathering patient information near to real-time helps best possible health outcomes achievable even in the most complex scenarios.
3. Overcoming impending shortage of healthcare professionals:
The proportion of healthcare providers to that of the population is already less than ideal. This trend is said to continue even as the number and necessity of patients multiply. Healthcare providers must find a way to bridge the gap between demand and supply in healthcare. One way to do it is to create new models of care delivery using technology to stretch help across geographic distances. Telemedicine is a viable option available for healthcare professionals to augment their services in order to do more with less time and resources.
4. Holistic Medicine:
Decades of focus on specialization has made healthcare professionals see a disease or its symptom as an isolated case, and the patients are considered cured by only removing the disease. In practice, a person might be suffering from multiple health issues and a simplified isolated view might do more harm than good to a patient.
5. Leading cause and concentrated efforts
In the coming years and even now, termination of a patient’s life is more likely to occur due to traceable lifestyle choices or practices than from any infection or diseases. For example the relation between obesity and disease has for long been proven beyond any doubt, furthermore, obesity and related illness will increase the cost of treating a patient. Therefore a concentrated effort to reduce obesity can bring about a positive result in reducing the possibility of heart disease and stroke.
Like obesity, scientific observation can identify key causes of a disease and healthcare providers can make a concentrated effort in reducing the causes in a population.
These are the most important steps a healthcare provider will have to consider in improving healthcare outcomes.
The transition to a more technology involved healthcare delivery management can tremendously help providers be agiler and more effective with necessary amendments.
Healthcare strategies must be relooked to have a more holistic & flexible approach not only to accommodate CMS led changes but also to benefit the entire population.