There is no doubt that 2020 will always be linked to the irruption of COVID-19. The world’s population has had to face up to the first major pandemic of the 21st century whose impact, at all levels, has been devastating. In fact, this crisis has highlighted how fundamental a sector such as health is to keeping society working.
With our sights set on 2021 and the vaccine, we may think that the pandemic is coming to an end and health care will finally have some relief. But the fact is that it is time to prepare the system to adapt to the new normality and address the weaknesses that COVID-19 has brought to light.
▶ Waiting lists
Waiting lists have always been the battle of the Spanish health system. For years, there has been a struggle to reduce waiting times. However, the pandemic has taken away all short and medium term forecasts, and during the toughest months, non-urgent operations were practically paralysed and most ICUs and even operating theatres became areas for COVID-19 patients. The highest surgical waiting figures seen in years. With the vaccine and some normality on the horizon, it is vital to focus on treating all those people and diseases that, to some extent, have been put into the background.
▶Fatigue of the medical staff
In the face of the lack of knowledge about the disease and the lack of treatment, the best defence against the pandemic has been the care and dedication of health professionals. Professionals who have given the best of themselves, even at the cost of their own health, to help the rest. However, as well as being heroes, they are also people who, after all they have experienced, need to rest mentally and physically.
▶Protection of patients and health professionals in the event of hospital outbreaks
The vaccine may help us recover to some extent from the worst of the pandemic, but it does not mean that COVID-19 will cease to exist and that it will not continue to be a major health risk, especially for certain sectors of the population. That is why, as is already happening, it is important that health centres impose measures and protocols to protect as many patients and health workers as possible from outbreaks. So that any in-hospital infection can be traced as early as possible and all those who have been exposed can be protected.
▶ Optimisation of staff and resources
While it is true that the pandemic has highlighted the importance of health care and, as a result, there has been an awareness on the part of the authorities to safeguard this public service, people and resources are, for the moment, limited. To be able to cope with the new normality and to face challenges such as the increase in waiting lists, it is vital to optimise the work of professionals and enhance the efficiency of resources. Implementing tools based on the Lean methodology can allow healthcare professionals to better focus on the really important tasks, managing those that are necessary but do not add value to patient care in a much more optimised way.
▶ Improving communication between professionals and patients
The times during the pandemic have been uncertain for patients and families and very complicated for professionals to manage. Not being able to know instant information about their relatives, not being able to accompany them, not having more details of what was happening than some call at certain times of the day must have been tremendously distressing. A distress shared by the professionals who, in addition to devoting all their attention to caring for the patients, had to make an extra effort to try to keep their families informed. A complicated communication that continues to be difficult to maintain in waiting rooms restricted to one family member per patient. However, keeping people safe should not be an obstacle to smooth communication between professionals, patients and families. It is essential to use the technology and tools at our disposal to facilitate this complicated task.
MYSPHERA and its technology can play a key role in addressing the health challenges of 2021
These challenges are not new to the health sector, but they have become vital to meet the new normality. MYSPHERA has been working side by side with professionals for years to know these needs first hand and to develop systems that allow them to be faced in the most optimised way possible.
Comprehensive management solution for the surgical process, offering visibility of the process, allowing its orchestration, and promoting improvements in the management of health organisations and resources.
Solution for the comprehensive management of the Emergency Department. The system provides complete visibility of the entire patient process (from entry to discharge from the Emergency Department), its identification and instant location, and complete traceability of the process thanks to its location (e.g. in triage, while awaiting tests, in X-rays, etc.)
Solution for the protection of professionals and patients against nosocomial outbreaks within hospital facilities. By means of a APP installed in the smartphones of the health centres, it is possible to track their interactions with the patients, by means of the digital identification bracelet, as well as with other professionals. In this way, in the event of a positive case, it is possible to know in real time all the contacts of that person, both direct and indirect, as well as the time of exposure.