The healthcare industry in the US is worth a trillion dollars. Yet, despite its vastness, healthcare still struggles to be accessible for many. Everyone has a right to excellent and qualified medical experts. However, numerous ailments need immediate station, and delaying treatment can lead to a massive outbreak. The unavailability of healthcare resources also prevents patients from forming bonds with their medical providers. As a result, there are seeds of distrust, vaccine skepticism, and refusal to take medication. All of these need immediate remedying. For a healthy, thriving, and growing society, here’s how you can make healthcare accessible:
What Does Healthcare Access Mean?
Healthcare access refers to how patients access medical services. Many factors control this, including economic reasons, geographic location, and social issues. Similarly, not comprehending the process of booking an appointment, asking for consultation, and a poorly managed hospital can also contribute to the setback. While you can’t control systematic issues which require state policy and government intervention, you can ensure that the healthcare system has top-notch management. Working in administration as a healthcare executive can bring structural change to hospitals.
To achieve this status, you can choose to enroll in MBA healthcare management online; you will gain the essential skills and knowledge to build a structured administration. So the next time a patient comes to seek care, you know how to guide, assist and connect them to relevant help. A deep-rooted understanding of the healthcare system also enables you to design lucrative budgets, hire excellent staff and dispatch medical teams to help out in rural communities. All of these features work collectively to stabilize the industry.
However, the bottom line of making healthcare sustainable is to make it both affordable and easy to reach. Here are some ways you can explore:
1. Make Scheduling Easier
Patients often face difficulty booking an appointment if the hospital lines are busy or a language barrier. Patients who require immediate care or need a consultation about their well-being neglect their health since they cannot match with a healthcare provider right away. One way to make scheduling faster is to incorporate more phone lines into the hospital. Each landline call should be no longer than a minute. If a patient needs extra information, they should get redirected to the central administration.
Waiting time should get reduced to at least three minutes, and if an operator is free, the call should get shuffled to available personnel. You should also enable booking an appointment online by an appointment scheduling software to arrange patients according to available dates.
2. Utilize Emails
There is no need to restrict patients to in-person meetings or consultations. Patients may have questions about their health or want information about a procedure. They may also need to collect test results and lab reports, which can easily get emailed. So if a patient needs a reminder or wishes to schedule a follow-up, shoot them an email. Lab results and reports can get sent as electronic mail. You can also send information and helpful links on general medical techniques, insurance policies your hospital covers, and a list of doctors the patient can consult through email. This eases the burden on the healthcare sector and saves patients a trip to the hospital, especially if they need minute information.
3. Switch Over to Telehealth
Telehealth is virtual consultation. Over the internet, patients can have a consultation session with their doctor from the safety of their home. Rural patients away from hospitals can also use telehealth to get a checkup facilitated by public health officials. Telehealth allows patients to book an appointment, request an ambulance, or get a routine checkup if they cannot go to the hospital. Recovering patients who are temporarily immobilized, older patients with joint pains, bedridden patients, and those with decreased immunity can turn to these services.
4. Make Use of Mobile Clinics
Mobile clinics are vehicles that get used for administering healthcare. They can be trucks, vans, or buses but get turned into medical facilities. These vehicles are cleaned, sterilized, and fitted with medical equipment to provide primary care. Patients can get vaccines and flu shots and even donate blood at these mobile clinics. Additionally, these vehicles can provide urgent care, primary care, dental care, and prenatal and pediatric care.
By accessing mobile clinics, patients also save significant money. For every $1, patients save up to $12 in the cost of accessing primary care. Mobile clinics are also helpful during emergencies. Patients can get immediate help and curb bleeding from severe injuries without going to the hospital. According to a self-report by 291 mobile health clinics, almost half of them help uninsured patients, while the other half serve lower-income patients. Nearly 30% of mobile clinics also care for homeless patients, while above 35% work with rural communities.
5. Offer Your Assistance To Retail Clinics
There are over 2,000 retail clinics in the US. These are affordable, convenient, and can look after minor injuries. According to health affairs, retail clinics get almost 6 million visits annually. Patients don’t need to get an appointment. A walk-in is sufficient for a checkup. Retail clinics can pop up in grocery stores, pharmacies, and community centers. You can dispatch a team to help out at these centers since they operate throughout the week and during the weekend. Popular examples of retail clinics include Minute Clinic at Target and Sutter Walk-in Care.
The services your health team can provide are X-rays, Ct scans, stitches, and vaccines. Other benefits include minor illnesses, testing skin conditions, investigating ear pains, and pregnancy tests. Anyone older than 18 months can seek help from retail clinics. There is also no limit for people above the age of 65. But it helps if you let patients know what illnesses you cannot provide treatment for and when they should visit an ER.
Healthcare accessibility is essential for a growing and thriving society. There are many illnesses and diseases that your immune system cannot cure. Without a professional healthcare expert, your health will deteriorate further. Despite knowing this, not everyone can tap into healthcare facilities. These include marginalized communities, poverty-stricken regions, and rural areas. Unless this dilemma gets addressed, the population will struggle to maintain their health. As a healthcare worker, you can offer your assistance. Your knowledge in maintaining a hospital’s structure and organizing teams to work beyond traditional healthcare centers can make a massive difference.