The year 2020 was one of the hardest years for the medical industry, one that most people working in the profession won’t forget. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like things will spring back to normal any time soon, but does look like 2021 will also be a very difficult time for anybody working in the medical industry. Of course, the main concern continues to be a constant threat to patients’ lives of coronavirus across the world. Even if you don’t work in a hospital, the extra health and safety precautions will still have an impact on everybody, no matter where they’re treating patients.
For example, dentists will have to take further precautions like wearing extra PPE protection and cleaning equipment more frequently, so they aren’t at risk of catching the virus from any patient they treat. On top of this, it’s likely that many sectors of the medical world will have to catch up with a number of different procedures or operations that were canceled. Lots of these often-routine tasks have been postponed either because they were deemed too risky to complete with the virus still spreading through towns and cities, or because the staff due to complete those procedures were needed elsewhere in the hospital.
Luckily, one tool that is increasingly helping medical staff get through this huge amount of work is technology. New devices, websites, apps and processes are constantly being developed to try and make it easier for doctors and nurses to treat patients. With this in mind, here is a look at some of the ways that technology making life easier for medical workers in 2021.
Getting the right equipment to facilities at the right time
Just like any tradesperson, doctors and nurses need specialist tools to complete every task in their day. The only problem is that often most of these tools can only be used once before being thrown away for hygiene reasons. For example, while a carpenter could use the same hammer for years to nail pictures to the wall, a nurse may only be able to use a pair of gloves, a mask or a protective apron to treat one patient before safely disposing of them. That means medical professionals need a constant flow of this equipment into their building. Without some of this equipment, they simply wouldn’t be able to carry out some vital and often life-saving tasks safely.
While it’s hugely important that the right equipment is available at all times, the process of ordering this equipment can take up a lot of a medical expert’s time. This is time they could be using to help improve more patients’ health. With this in mind, it’s important that every medical building finds a supplier that can provide them with the right equipment at the right time every day of the year.
It’s not just important to make sure that the right number of each piece of equipment is delivered so that staff don’t run out. It’s also important to try and get the right number as some of these products have a very short shelf life, and if providers order too much of one product at once they could end up throwing it away and wasting money. Luckily, there are a number of websites where you can now instantly update the number of a product you’re ordering if the need for it changes. This not only means that the medical professional can get back to treating patients quicker, it also means that when they suddenly need more of a certain product, they know their supplier will be able to react quickly and have the products to them within hours.
Offering emotional support
As well as providing physical support to patients, it’s also important that those being treated have access to the emotional support they require. Being in hospital, even for a minor treatment, can be a very stressful time in anybody’s life. It can also be very stressful for their friends and family at home wondering how they’re recovering from any procedure.
With this in mind, it’s important that the patient can speak to their friends and family whenever they want. Of course, in an ideal world, this would involve their friends and family coming to see them at their bedside, but there are several reasons why letting strangers walk around wards throughout the day would be a bad idea. Luckily patients are now able to speak to their loved ones by video calling them on a tablet computer. Not only does it give the patient control over when they speak to their loved ones, but it also reduces the chance of spreading infections and viruses as it reduces the number of people in the building. It’s also a great way for them to speak to family members that struggle to get to the hospital during visiting hours, either due to their work schedule or because they live far away from the hospital.
Tracking their progress away from the clinic
Once the treatment or the diagnosis is complete, it used to be that a doctor or a nurse had to simply trust that the patient was taking their advice once they left the building. For example, if a patient was suffering from breathing problems, they might instruct them to eat healthier or get more exercise. The only problem is if they came back reporting the same problems, there was no way of truly knowing whether the patient had been taking their advice.
Now technology like smartwatches can track how much exercise somebody does in a day. By looking at this data, you can see clearly whether the patient has been following your advice. Doctors could even encourage patients to use diet tracking apps to track the amount of food they consume every day to check they are eating the right sorts of food in the right amounts.
It a patient sent this information back remotely, a doctor or nurse could even offer follow-up advice via email or phone without the need for the patient to come back and visit them in person.