Changes have been a part of life during the Coronavirus pandemic for a number of people globally. There is an effort for people to reintegrate into society after a few months in lockdown. The changes that medical offices and hospitals have seen could remain permanent. In an effort to social distance, there have been a plethora of people embracing new ways to visit the doctor and clean their homes. One aspect to keep in mind if frustrated with the changes is that the healthcare professionals have been fighting this virus for months. These professionals have selflessly put their health at risk for the greater good of society as a whole. Below are changes that have occurred due to the pandemic the US is facing.
Use of Telemedicine has Skyrocketed
Telemedicine allows patients to receive the same quality of care without having to physically come into contact with a medical professional. The convenience of telemedicine has been apparent but a large number of people were skeptical before the pandemic. People have been forced to use telemedicine and have had positive experiences for the most part. Being able to take daily vitals to input into daily records can even allow a doctor to take more preventative action. A doctor seeing you twice a year will not provide the same quality of care as a doctor that can see your daily vitals leading up to the appointment.
There are other reasons that telemedicine had not taken off to its full potential. Billing is a huge reason as physical and virtual visits were billed very differently by the major healthcare payers in the country. The billing differences have been lifted during the pandemic with the potential of this being permanent depending on the results. State laws also prohibited medical professionals from practicing across state lines if they were not licensed to practice where their patients were located. These restrictions have also been temporarily lifted in an attempt to allow medical professionals to treat patients in rural areas lacking doctors.
What the future holds for telemedicine is still up in the air but a large number of people have seen the value of this technology. The convenience for people that have trouble finding a ride or cannot drive due to their age cannot be matched. The number of people utilizing telemedicine is sure to grow after the pandemic comes to an end.
Robots Reducing Patient Contact with Staff
The use of robots entered hospitals during the age of the Coronavirus. The robots were used to reduce contact with potentially sick patients and to improve efficiency in hospitals. These robots sport some sort of screen whether it is on an iPad or other device so the doctor can see the patient/communicate. There are even ways to take vital signs with a stethoscope attachment which also allows a doctor to hear the breathing of a patient. The robots have been used to do everything from take vitals to deliver medication that needs to be taken.
Deep Cleanings Done Daily in Private Practices and Hospitals
There have been a number of cleaning services that have adapted to commercial settings. These professionals clean all areas whether it is the walls down to the chairs that patients sit in. Searching “carpet cleaning Durham NC” can provide results for a local area. Many cleaning services have made it a mission to help flatten the curve and stay in business during this trying time. The deep cleanings done at practices can be done in a far easier fashion as hospitals never close but private practices do.
Waiting Room Distancing Policies
The waiting room of any medical office can be intimidating and can be a breeding ground for sickness. Plenty of people are going to go back to their doctors physically now that the curve has flattened in a number of areas. Waiting rooms around going to be enforcing distancing rules which could impact the number of appointments a practice can take on a specific day. Plenty of pediatricians used a drive-thru method during the peak of the virus in efforts to keep everyone involved healthy. There could be waiting rooms that require masks as well which should be a focus of patients regardless. Other practices have become more prompt to make sure the waiting room is not too crowded at a specific point in time.
Hospitals and private practices are sure to be changed forever due to the Coronavirus. There will be welcome changes though as many new tactics and adaptations are more efficient like that of telemedicine.