When you think about healthcare advances, what comes to your mind first? Is it some of the latest research you’ve read about regarding the diagnosis and treatment of a disease? Is it a new drug that seems to be helping with a health condition? While these are certainly advancements in healthcare to celebrate, there is another area of healthcare where innovation and technology are important as well.
Our world has made huge advances in our ability to work from anywhere, shop from anywhere, and talk from anywhere. But sometimes our healthcare options struggle to keep up with these trends. And surveys show that people want more individualized healthcare, with time built in to talk with doctors and providers, to develop longer-term patient/provider relationships, and to be included as a bigger part of decisions on healthcare choices. These desires and expectations on the part of patients are changing the face of healthcare.
So what are some trends you can take advantage of now and what are some trends that you as a patient should be communicating to your doctor’s office that you expect if they are to continue to be your healthcare partner?
- The continued use and growth of telemedicine and teletherapy. It’s not just a pandemic-era trend. The virtual healthcare space is here to stay. Patients and doctors have learned that it’s an effective, cost-saving, and more convenient alternative to time spent in waiting rooms and searching for appointment availability on the calendar. Healthcare options like Altrua HealthShare have led the way in making telemedicine and telecounseling staples in their healthcare offerings. If you are a current Member of Altrua HealthShare, be sure to familiarize yourself with the specifics of your membership for these features. And if you are considering making the move to a health share as part of your healthcare options, you can learn more about Altrua HealthShare by clicking here.
- More in-home care options. Johns Hopkins has led the way in developing the ‘hospital-at-home’ care models for a variety of healthcare facilities across the nation. This option of receiving hospital-level care in your home includes providing you with a 24/7 nurse if needed and consistent physician visits to evaluate your healing process. This type of care even includes diagnostic tests that can be done in your home, such as electrocardiograms, echocardiograms, and x-rays. Various treatments can also be carried out, like i.v. fluids, oxygen therapy, and i.v. medications including antibiotics. This type care is usually a third of the cost of traditional hospital care and patients report a high level of satisfaction with this model.
- At-home testing. From blood tests to HPV screenings to colorectal cancer screenings and more, at-home testing has become more affordable and accessible than ever. And the lists keep growing. These tests can be done at your convenience, in your home, don’t require a prescription, and you don’t have to wait for your doctor to give you the results.
- Over-the-counter medical monitors. From keeping track of your blood sugar levels to blood pressure cuffs, heart monitors, and more, your ability to track your own health indicators has never been more convenient. Also, if you’re a Member of Altrua HealthShare, there are memberships available that include access to the Altrua HealthShare App. The App has features that allow you to connect certain health monitors to the App, so that you can track your water intake, exercise levels, and heart rate. Learn more about the Altrua HealthShare App.
- Greater collaboration between healthcare providers for your health situation. You’ve probably experienced the frustration of being bounced from doctor to specialist to physical therapist and back again, sometimes hearing competing messages or confusing information between all those appointments. Patients are now asking for better cohesiveness in their medical providers, so that lines of communication can be simplified and the patient can receive the best care customized for them. As patients continue to communicate these expectations, doctors and healthcare providers will need to provide this level of interaction and collaboration, or they may find their practices slowing in growth as a result.
- Greater transparency in pricing. The world of what hospitals and practices charge their patients has long been a murky and confusing one. The No Surprises Act and the Transparency in Coverage Final Rule will hopefully be a strong step forward in equipping you to know what your costs are when it comes to your office and hospital visits.
- Expanded use of technology in all areas of healthcare. From being able to schedule appointments on your phone to submitting prescriptions to receiving testing results, your medical records and needs should eventually be easier than ever for you to access. Because of cost, privacy, and HIPAA requirements, some provider offices have been slow to make the more to more tech-driven tools for their patients. But as more and more of our lives and access to information expands, patients want and need easier access to their information than ever before. Altrua HealthShare is now offering dental sharing, and as part of that offering, they have partnered to create the SmileShare App powered by Bento, in which you can locate SmileShare dentists, track your costs, keep track of your appointments, and more. These advances in tech for patients will help make taking care of your health all the more streamlined in the coming years.
If you’re a current Member of Altrua HealthShare, you’ve probably already experienced several of these advances. If you are looking for a cost-effective option for your healthcare, learn more about Altrua HealthShare and how it could be a fit for you and your family. Altrua HealthShare is committed to innovation, healthy living, and healthcare solutions.