What does your hospital, care home, or practice need to be prepared for?
It’s been a tough and busy few years for healthcare.
But then, when has that not been the case?
COVID-19 has put a lot of strain on hospitals, care homes, and medical practices alike.
Unfortunately, the difficulties don’t end there. From financial troubles and staff shortages to cyberattacks, running a healthcare business is no easy task.
It is often accompanied by a myriad of challenges.
To ensure that your business can anticipate and overcome such challenges, remain profitable, and ultimately deliver a supportive and effective patient experience, here are some of the key challenges that you may encounter.
Money’s on the mind for most medical facilities—89% of respondents to a healthcare survey identified funding and budgetary constraints as their number one challenge.
Much of this pressure can be attributed to an increasing demand for healthcare as a result of a global increase in life expectancy, as well as an increase in chronic diseases.
Moreover, If you are just opening your healthcare business, many other financial factors can cause worries, such as insurance and the quantity of equipment and products that you need to purchase.
However, all hope is not lost. While there is little you can do about the pressures of rising costs in the healthcare industry, there are some simple steps you can take to ease your finance-related headaches.
Simply being aware of potential financial challenges can be an asset. By staying in the loop, keeping up to date with any news of increased costs and preparing for them with a fool-proof business plan, you can create realistic financial goals and budget accordingly.
Additionally, financial sources such as bank loans and investors are also available options in times of need.
Availability of a skilled workforce
Providing safe and effective patient care will be one of the fundamental principles of your healthcare business. Therefore, hiring and maintaining qualified employees is a must. If only it were that easy—the United States alone will face a shortage of between 40,800 and 104,900 physicians by 2030.
In order to overcome staff shortages in an industry that only faces increasing pressures, your business must be able to adapt and transform accordingly.
Ensure that you take proper care of your staff, offer opportunities for extra training, and provide resources to help deal with anxiety and stress.
Additionally, you can implement new technologies that will take some of the strain off your employees. Platforms such as telehealth and live streaming can help enormously.
Using advanced technologies to your advantage will allow your business to continue despite staff shortages.
Cyberattacks and data breaches
The healthcare industry is one of the most highly targeted industries for cyberattacks, with hospitals the victims of 30% of large data breaches.
Since electronic data storage is much more efficient and simpler to manage, one of the major cons of living in a digital age is that sensitive information can attract the attention of malicious hackers.
Data breaches can cause financial loss, delayed care, and can destroy patient trust in your business. Therefore, it is crucial that your healthcare business invests in strong cybersecurity. Opt for one that implements multi-factor authentication and robust firewalls.
Unfortunately, data breaches will remain a risk across the industry. However, if you prioritise security protocols and ensure that all your employees are fully trained on the topic of cybersecurity, you will help to minimise risk for your specific business.
Maintaining a positive patient experience
The healthcare industry continues to undergo various changes, advances, and challenges, all whilst still recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite this, it is important not to lose sight of the most important part of your business: a patient’s experience.
Every interaction a patient has with your business, from booking an appointment to waiting room experiences to medical procedures, will have an impact. By maintaining an organised and streamlined operation, your patients will have confidence in your business.
Similarly, it is important to train staff to be warm and comforting to patients in their time of need. Patients requiring your healthcare services can be nervous or emotional, so it is vital that your business provides them with a positive experience that fully meets their needs.
Your healthcare business is more than just a service. It is about providing quality care that enables a patient to feel safe, comfortable, and happy to return. By keeping this at the forefront of your business, success will be guaranteed.
Face the challenges head on
Running a healthcare business is far from easy and it is inevitable that you will encounter some, if not all, of the above challenges.
By keeping such challenges at the forefront of your mind, and incorporating some of the useful tips outlined, you will be able to plan for and overcome any obstacles that come your way.