The global pandemic has had a big impact on healthcare around the world, with its effects likely to continue to dictate policy and operations for much of the year ahead. Healthcare workers all over the country and the world have needed to adapt to the new situation. Health care aides have worked hard to care for vulnerable clients. Medical office administrators have had to implement new office procedures to avoid contamination and keep everyone safe. And dental administrative assistants and veterinary assistants have also had to look into implementing new office procedures to avoid spreading the virus. Now that 2021 is here, what can graduates expect to see?
To understand more on some trends to expect in healthcare this year, let’s take a closer look.
Those in Healthcare Programs Can Watch for a Continued Evolution of Virtual Medicine
While virtual and telemedicine aren’t new, the global pandemic caused an acceleration of the practice at a level that no one could have predicted—and Canadians appear to like it. In fact, just a couple of months into the pandemic, a national poll revealed that almost half of Canadians had already used virtual care and that 91% of them were “highly satisfied” with the approach. In the same poll, half of Canadians who used virtual care reported that going forward, they would prefer to continue with the approach for the first point of contact visits with their doctor.
Putting virtual medicine into practice over the last many months, both healthcare professionals and patients have noted its many benefits, extending well beyond preventing the spread of COVID-19. For one, virtual medicine eliminates commutes to appointments—a huge plus for those living far away from the clinic and for those with disabilities that make commutes difficult. The virtual format also allows for more scheduling flexibility, and typically quicker, more efficient appointments, often meaning more patients can be attended to in a given time period. With all of this in mind, medical office administrators who have recently graduated from their healthcare programs might book more online appointments in the coming years.
Look Out for Increased Health Monitoring
Prior to the pandemic, it was rare to have your temperature taken at the office, or upon entering a public building. Yet this practice has quickly become the norm at all kinds of places of business, along with the practice of customers giving mandatory responses to health-related questionnaires in order to be allowed inside many establishments. This trend of heightened health monitoring is expected to continue in 2021, with the businesses that can afford to do so investing in on-site technologies and systems to more efficiently screen and maintain the health of employees. Other changes in 2021 those seeking healthcare schools in Calgary are likely to notice at various places of business could include a marked increase in sanitization stations and much stricter workplace policies on quarantining measures and employee self-screening guidelines. Healthcare professionals working in dental offices, veterinary clinics, long-term care facilities, and other places might see a continuation of different measures in an effort to improve public health and safety.
Expect an Increase in Mental Health Treatment
Consultations for mental health care treatment are expected to greatly increase in 2021. As members of the public continue to grapple with the isolation of quarantining and social distancing measures, job losses fears over loved ones getting ill, and more, those seeking healthcare courses in Calgary may find it unsurprising to learn that mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and stress are all on the rise. The demand for healthcare services to attend to these conditions is expected to remain at a peak throughout 2021, with some analysts predicting mental health-related visits to represent 31% of all expected virtual healthcare appointments in the coming year. As a result, medical office administrators working in mental health facilities may notice an increase in demand for services. Health care aides may also pay particular attention to the mental health of residents under their care, who might be especially vulnerable to feelings of isolation as family visits remain limited.
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