If you are part of the healthcare industry or you are running a healthcare company. It’s important to be aware of the issues and potential hazards that are shaping the sector right now. By understanding these hazards, you can make sure that you are taking the right preemptive measures to ensure that your business can effectively adapt the right way and that is important.
Arguably, one example of this would certainly be the coronavirus pandemic. Those under the impression that the worst of the coronavirus is behind us might want to brace themselves for a nasty shock. Experts are already warning that the delta variant could just be the beginning of a wave of more deadly, dangerous, and contagious variants that are going to impact both society and the healthcare system. It’s also worth noting that the pandemic is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the threats on the horizon for the healthcare sector.
Cyber attacks are becoming far more common in general. One report has suggested that there could be a major cyberattack on a business every 20 seconds this year. This alone should tell you how significant the issue has become and it’s not just office companies that are feeling the burn here. Healthcare sector companies are also impacted. Indeed, the amount of ransomware attacks on hospitals has increased exponentially over the last few years and that cost ranges in the millions. A major issue here is that healthcare providers always keep a wide range of sensitive data that is connected to their patients. This mustn’t fall into the wrong hands.
That’s why it’s critical that healthcare businesses do have the right form of security and advanced solutions in place. For instance, it’s worth exploring whether a healthcare company should hire an IT support team. An IT support team can be used to ensure that crucial systems can be monitored remotely 24/7. The benefit of this is that if there is any sign of a hack then it can be dealt with immediately without any delays or issues. This means that there is no chance of a hack taking down a healthcare company or leaving patients vulnerable.
Reports have suggested that spending on cybersecurity in the healthcare sector is well below what it should be. As such businesses do need to take steps to change this and ensure that things are at the right point.
Healthcare acquired infections or HAIs cost the U.S healthcare system billions annually. It also contributes to the loss of tens of thousands of lives. Recent reports suggest that 1 in 25 hospital patients are suffering from infections like this. As such, it’s important to make sure that the right action is taken to prevent further damage. Another study suggests that these infections can come with a cost of $9.8 billion per year.
There are numerous solutions that could be worth exploring here. However, one way to handle infections is to ensure that sanitation solutions are up to date in the hospital environment. These need to be operational at all times and staff members must be given the training to ensure that they know how to use them effectively.
In terms of a risk management process, experts recommend that basic infection control techniques should be at the forefront of plants. At the very least, medical personal personnel should be washing their hands with antiseptic soap each time they are treating different patients.
The good news is that the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the threat here and it has led to more vigilance when it comes to ensuring that these policies are in place and utilized the right way. It’s highly unusual these days to see a hospital without the right type of sanitation setup. This often becomes apparent the moment that you walk through the door of the hospital and that’s great news.
We associate hospitals and healthcare environments as a place where people can heal and get the care that they need. However, over the past few years, hospitals have also become a hotbed for violence and general levels of crime. Indeed, the number of violent incidents in hospitals has been increasing every year. These incidents put everyone at risk from the patients to team members who work in these places. Individuals are exposed to risks that relate to harassment and intimidation. One study found that violence in the healthcare sector is nearly three times that of other private industries. Rape, assault, and even homicide are also alarmingly common in healthcare environments.
To combat this effect, it is crucial that health companies do have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to dealing with violence in the workplace. It is also recommended that medical businesses work to develop a violence prevention program that can be used in a wide range of different situations.
A significant part of this will be ensuring that employees and team members understand how to deal with certain violent situations. It’s important that problems can be handled without things escalating to the point where there are more significant problems.
A lot of healthcare businesses are also putting more investments into comprehensive levels of security designed to keep violent events under the right level of control and ensure that a situation doesn’t become more serious.
Resistance To Antibiotics
Medical professionals are constantly pointing at resistance to antibiotics as one of the greatest threats that they are facing right now and it’s not hard to understand why. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria changes due to the use of medicines. Specifically, bacteria are becoming resistant to antibiotics because these treatments are being over-prescribed on a massive level. You don’t have to look far to find someone who has been prescribed antibiotics for a basic cold. Every year, more than 2.8 million people in the US get a condition that can not be treated with antibiotics. In a lot of cases, patients do die because no treatment is available. 214,000 newborns also die each year due to blood infections that are caused by resistant bacteria. This is a growing concern but how can it be prevented?
One of the ways to combat this issue is to make sure that doctors and healthcare providers understand the dangers of overprescribing antibiotics. A lot of people in the medical field simply aren’t aware of the damage here so education tactics will always be a key element worth exploring.
As well as this, it’s important to look at more effective diagnostic solutions and techniques. The right diagnostic options from companies like Thermo Fisher will guarantee that antibiotics are not used for cases where they are not necessary. You can learn about programs for antibiotic overuse from Thermo Fisher online. Their research is quite fascinating and could be key to tackling this threat head-on.
Fatigue For Alarms
Alarms are often a nearly constant factor or variable in the healthcare industry. If you are working in a hospital, it’s unlikely that you will get through the day without hearing at least a few different alarms. These are attached and connected to a wide range of devices from ventilators and cardiac monitors to oximetry devices. Alarms are typically used to draw attention towards a potential issue that is going to get worse as time moves on. However, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that medical teams are learning to tune them out. This means that they don’t respond to them as quickly as they should and the results can be fatal. Indeed, the Joint Commission reported that there were 98 alarm events between 2009 and 2012. Of these 98 events, 80 resulted in death and 13 resulted in permanent loss of function. Another report suggested that alarm fatigue was a top-rated concern for 19 in 20 hospitals across the US. So, this isn’t a significant problem and there are ways to eliminate the apparent risk here. One of the ways that you can do this is by making sure that you are thinking about guaranteeing that there is a process in place that is designed for effective, safe alarm management. This is particularly crucial in certain areas that are considered to be more high risk.
Research is also exploring what types of alarms are more difficult to ignore in these types of environments and how they can be implemented the right way.
It’s clear that there are numerous challenges that are shaping and impacting the healthcare sector right now. This goes beyond just the coronavirus pandemic and ties into a variety of concerns. The good news is that medical companies do have the building blocks that they need to address these problems head-on. It’s just about making sure that funding is focused on the right areas and protecting patients is always the first and foremost priority. There are other threats that we haven’t touched on at all but are being referenced by experts including the obesity epidemic.