Future pandemics? We’re barely recovering from the last global health crisis, and there are already discussions of potential threats ahead. Although it’s not something you want to think about, it’s a topic that shouldn’t be ignored. Health and environmental experts have pointed out that factors like a rapidly growing population, changing food quality, and the deterioration of the environment increase the chances of a future pandemic.
Not wanting to get caught off guard and suffer the same challenges, the healthcare industry has taken substantial measures to prepare to combat future threats. Here’s how:
More Efficient Diagnosis
When a patient visits the doctor or hospital due to illness, quick diagnosis and testing are essential to identify and treat the issue. Unfortunately, if healthcare professionals aren’t diligently analyzing symptoms and ordering the appropriate tests, it causes them to miss out on pandemic-potential pathogens that could threaten the human population.
Similarly, if healthcare facilities aren’t utilizing the most advanced resources to test pathogens, viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites, the threat is identified too late to prevent another health crisis.
Testing and diagnosis are the first line of defense for preventing a global health crisis, prompting the healthcare industry to focus on medical personnel awareness and advanced testing solutions.
- Increased Awareness – Disseminating up-to-date, relevant information to healthcare workers raises their awareness of pandemic threats and symptoms.
- Thorough Patient Evaluation And Testing – Medical directors and managers are also stressing the importance of thoroughly analyzing the patient’s concerns, avoiding the diagnosis of a typical virus or infection, and ordering adequate tests.
- Gene Therapy – Advanced solutions like genome sequencing enable researchers and clinicians to identify rare diseases with pandemic-related risks at a faster rate. As you know, early detection is the most effective way to prevent serious problems.
Better Reporting And International Healthcare Communication
Once a pandemic-potential pathogen, virus, parasite, or fungi is discovered, this information must be shared with medical facilities and government entities worldwide. Shared knowledge and open communication enable world leaders and the healthcare industry to develop a plan to protect citizens.
Although 196 countries have already agreed to share information about potential outbreaks, many struggles to collect, organize, and transmit the data effectively. Governments continue to develop guidelines to strengthen international communication and generate accurate reports on potential health threats; however, getting everyone on the same page is an uphill battle.
Fortunately, The Rockefeller Foundation and a health-research organization called Welcome in the UK are working to rectify the problem. They’re developing an early-warning system that will detect health threats faster. The technological platform will work by pulling relevant medical information and test results from international health databases.
In 1959, the University of Nebraska utilized video communication for medical purposes. However, it became a popular and essential tool for the healthcare industry amid the pandemic. It enabled medical professionals to address their patient’s concerns without putting themselves, staff, and other patients at risk. Telehealth visits allow doctors to view their patients, ask critical questions, make a diagnosis, and write prescriptions.
Telehealth platforms aren’t going away any time soon. In fact, healthcare facilities worldwide are increasing their efforts to inform and encourage patients to use this method to get assistance with non-emergent health concerns.
Citizens play a significant role in the prevention of future pandemics. However, they can’t do their part if they’re unaware of the threats or the steps to take if they’ve been affected. Federal and state governments and healthcare providers are doing everything possible to improve citizen awareness.
Some of those efforts include posting updates on social media, sending out alerts via text message, and encouraging citizens to sign up for apps that allow them to post their health status and identify high-risk areas.
The question isn’t if another pandemic will arise; it’s when. While many external factors are beyond our control (or challenging to resolve), some things can be done to reduce the risks and outcomes from 2020. The healthcare industry is utilizing technology and other efficient solutions to enhance its preparedness for whatever lies ahead.