COVID-19 completely altered the way that medical professionals approach their profession. More medical care providers are looking for innovative ways to tackle some of the most daunting aspects of running an effective and successful hospital.
While it feels like the pandemic consistently has us second guessing, the coronavirus’s grip is going to slip, and we will finally be free to look towards the future. Though COVID has slowed a lot of medical innovation, there are still many to look forward to as we march on to 2030.
Medical professionals and administrators demonstrated how quickly the medical field can shift in times of an emergency. When an emergency strikes a community, like an earthquake, wildfire or hurricane, people flood hospitals in hopes of finding care, shelter and safety from the emergency.
The most effective way to tackle emergency management is to utilize a HICS-based incident command structure. The hospital incident command system structure is meant to protect hospitals in the incident of an emergency by employing prevention, protection, mitigation, response and recovery. While HICS isn’t necessarily a new set of concepts, a variety of strong innovations are available to make HICS more accessible and usable for healthcare entities across the board. Improved HICS allows hospitals to tackle a variety of situations.
True Multipurpose Rooms
If COVID-19 taught the medical field anything, it’s to be prepared for the unexpected. While having a solid emergency management plan and HICS program will help, having a plan won’t get anyone far if there isn’t a way to implement it.
Penn Medicine introduced an innovative way to tackle this issue: adaptable, modular rooms. These rooms were built with function in mind. With the COVID pandemic in the forefront of their mind, many of Penn’s new rooms are designed to function as an ICU if necessary. If a patient’s symptoms change from severe to dire, their medical team can quickly change the room to meet their needs without moving them out of their space. This is more effective for the hospital, the patient and the staff because it reduces waste, waiting time, and cleaning/sanitation efforts.
Stem Cell Research
Stem cell research has been part of the conversation for decades, but that doesn’t mean that scientists aren’t finding new ways to explore and utilize these precious cells. Over the next 10 years, many current projects and initiatives will be completed, and as we learn more about what stem cells can do, more projects and initiatives will be introduced.
In 2021, Dr. Doug Melton was recognized for his work with stem cells and beta cells to encourage insulin production. He created a small implantable device that helps the stem and beta cells to produce insulin. Dr. Melton started his work over a decade ago, and last year, they were finally moving onto trials. Like many stem cell research projects, the results are very promising and could significantly change medicine for the 10.5 percent of Americans who live with diabetes.
Hospitals Are Changing
While the last two years have been a struggle, and that struggle cannot be understated for overtaxed hospitals, significant changes to hospitals are around the corner for better or for worse. Hospital staff, administration and care providers learned a lot about how they can be adaptable to the unexpected and emergent situations as they arise. New research is consistently being developed to support many of these issues to support hospital protocols and procedures, facilities, and everyday diseases and ailments.