These Are The Most Pressing Issues In Healthcare Today
Medical technology concept.
What are the most pressing issues in healthcare today? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
To state the healthcare industry is dismantled is an understatement – whether it’s staffing shortages, clunky infrastructure, or expensive and inaccessible care – there is, what feels like, endless work to do to improve the current system.
Staffing shortages are a glaring concern. The U.S. could face a shortage of up to 124,000 physicians by 2034 as the number of patients needing treatment continues to grow while staffing diminishes. As clinicians become overwhelmed with patient load, they become limited in their ability to provide exceptional care. They are forced to make quick, intuition-based judgment calls when treating patients, leading to unnecessary medications, clinic visits, hospitalizations, and readmissions.
Due to understaffing and the lack of tech-enabled tools, current medication therapy treatments only offer partial solutions and lack a clear standard for quality of care. This can be attributed largely to the lack of comprehensive medical reviews (CMRs), and consultations designed to improve patients’ understanding of their prescriptions. If completed properly, CMRs can be effective in reducing drug-related costs and events – which is critical, as adverse drug reactions (ADRs) are a leading cause of death in the U.S. However, with varying quality of reviews and a process that can take hours, most patients don’t have the opportunity to receive CMRs and thus, the right clinical intervention. It’s heartbreaking to know that the billions of deaths per year caused by ADRs could be avoided if the right tools and processes were in place.
Without comprehensive medication reviews, hospitalizations and the cost of treatment and medication increase, which can put at-risk patients in a more vulnerable state. Providing clinicians with deeper insights and the tools to provide medication treatment recommendations to avoid ADRs can save patients thousands of dollars. Not only does the right medication management save money, it more importantly saves patients’ lives and enables them to live with better health outcomes.
It’s critical that we improve the current system and leverage technology to provide comprehensive, autonomous solutions so clinicians can more effectively and efficiently conduct CMRs, and in turn, better serve their patients. Integrating advanced technology like AI into the healthcare system can provide medical professionals with the tools they need and ensure complex medication regimens are no longer a major threat to human health. AI has the ability to conduct whole-person analyses to generate comprehensive medication reviews and recommendations efficiently, enabling clinicians to better support the health of at-risk patients, make the process of treating patients scalable and still retain accuracy. With AI, clinicians are able to close the loop and monitor for real outcomes, whereas existing medication programs tend to measure review completion rather than real impact.
Repairing our healthcare system is not an easy fix, and will take immense effort and innovation. But harnessing the power of AI can get us one step closer to improving patient outcomes at scale.