Managing healthcare services and ensuring that all the patients and their families get the best care is the primary goal of a healthcare facility. Good management can make a facility stand out and develop a long-lasting relationship with its internal and external stakeholders. However, the continuous transformation of the healthcare management field in the past couple of years does not make it an easy job. Moreover, technological invasion and the unique challenges posed by the covid-19 pandemic have also put immense pressure on facilities to ensure effective healthcare management.
As the healthcare needs of patients evolve, so does the need for new management systems to oversee the process and manage the needs of patients and healthcare professionals. As a result, new systems develop frequently. These systems, managerial portals, and modules are helping healthcare professionals and making the delivery of healthcare services more efficient by reducing errors and streamlining them. However, working with such intricate systems presents its own set of challenges. The ripple effect of the state-of-the-art yet complicated technology and new healthcare systems has created a demand for a more specialized workforce. Managers, Administrators, Medical Specialists, Legal experts, Technology gurus, technicians, and nurses are all part of the professional human resources in demand. Here are some trends that can potentially change how things work in healthcare management.
Need for more qualified staff
In the coming years, the health management professionals’ jobs will become more complicated and entail higher skills and knowledge. Medical facilities will require more qualified staff to manage the administrative affairs of the facility, big or small. This demand is probably behind an upsurge in public health program enrollments in recent years. If you search for “master in public health jobs” you will find jobs featuring vacancies for health managers or administrators.
This trend will likely grow with more job opportunities expected to open up in the coming years. According to BLS projections, career opportunities for public health managers will increase to 32% from 2019 to 2029. Thus, aspiring candidates would be wise to enroll in the right degree programs and prepare themselves for a future role in health management.
Expanding healthcare industry
The pandemic has highlighted infrastructural inefficiencies and shortages in healthcare facilities. Due to a sudden massive increase in patients, the current healthcare facilities proved insufficient. An even bigger issue was providing healthcare services to people in far-flung areas. However, the scope and scale of healthcare services are expanding. Expansion of the healthcare industry also means more jobs and career opportunities for the public. Currently, the healthcare sector employs 18 million people in the US, and 80% of them are women. From 2020 to 2030, healthcare is expected to employ 2.6 million more people, making it the only sector to add such a large number of employees. So, as new facilities open up in marginalized areas and cities, more healthcare administrators are required to manage the staff and functions.
The use of complicated technological applications
Technology has penetrated all aspects of work-life in all sectors across the board. Therefore, the use of technology in healthcare management is a significant trend shaping it for the better. The important trends changing the healthcare management landscape include Artificial Intelligence, data security, digital health, smartphone-assisted therapies, and other mental healthcare treatments. One noteworthy aspect is that none of these trends are in their nascent stages. More healthcare facilities adopt these trends aggressively to remain more competitive or become more efficient. Moreover, with a higher investment in digital health, distance will continue to act as a less significant factor in the future.
The demand for IT managers in the healthcare
Technology improves service delivery and brings better treatment solutions. But there are other benefits of this change too. Using more technological applications in healthcare means people with IT acumen have a higher probability of getting specialized roles in health services. In the case of healthcare management, increasing technological penetration means a growing need for IT managers and professionals. In the coming years, IT professionals are expected to shoulder more responsibilities. They are expected to be aware of the latest technology trends in healthcare management. More significantly, they will have a seat on the decision-making table and make critical IT-related decisions in healthcare.
Social media in healthcare management
Social media has already proven its worth in spreading the word and reaching people. Therefore, healthcare management is not an exception when it comes to the use of social media. Healthcare facilities and their staff use social media to reach their current and prospective patients.
Other ways of using social media in healthcare management include infographics and helpful posts to educate the public and their patients about keeping safe and healthy. Hospital management also develops their social media presence to attract new customers, let people know what services and facilities they offer and share their customer reviews.
More agile and strategic supply chain
The supply chain has become one of the important factors ensuring the survival of healthcare facilities, and healthcare management is directly linked to the supply chain. Successful supply chains are forward-looking and plan for the long-term. Therefore, sudden events or the slightest shock disrupt the supply chain creating a shortage of supplies and equipment, etc.
If covid-19 was a healthcare emergency, it was an equally severe supply chain emergency. With the world coming to a halt suddenly, impediments in the supply chain globally posed an unprecedented challenge for healthcare. Learning from past mistakes and promoting an agile and strategic supply chain is a prominent trend that you will witness in healthcare.
One of the ways healthcare can ensure a continuous supply chain is by adhering to the old methods of buying in bulk and self-distribution. Buying in bulk can reduce the cost, avoid excessive reliance on just-in-time delivery and minimize the depletion risk of essential items, such as medications, tools, and equipment.
Another way to ensure an agile supply chain is by deepening your relationships with your suppliers. The pandemic has taught us that you must not always prefer the suppliers with the cheapest rates, who may bail out on you during events such as the recent pandemic. Instead, the need is to strike a balance between trust, performance, and price. Staying in contact with the suppliers and sharing your inventory situation is essential to avoid scrambling for supplies. Similarly, it is unwise to rely on one supplier only. A better approach is to have contingency plans.
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Knowing the trends shaping and changing healthcare management and preparing to stay afloat in their face is essential for the healthcare sector. Failure at managerial levels can prove chaotic for the whole healthcare facility. Finding yourself at a stand-still when the staff demands supplies or the inability to navigate your way in the presence of complicated technology can disrupt the overall functions of a healthcare facility which ultimately has an impact on the quality of service and the institution’s reputation.