There is no question that our healthcare industry has made massive progress in the past century. Today, medical professionals are able to treat and cure illnesses that were nothing more than the kiss of death 100 years ago. Research and technology have helped to drive the field forward and provide patients with all new methods of treatment and care.

Hospital bays

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So, while the healthcare industry has certainly seen its share of successes and advancements over the years, it also faces a fair share of hurdles. Our hospitals are facing a number of very real challenges today, which in turn affect the level of care patients are getting. Here’s a look at some of the biggest hurdles of today.

Healthcare Associated Infections – A Very Real Issue

When you think of checking into a healthcare facility you assume you are there to get better, recover, and receive treatment. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case thanks to the amount of healthcare associated infections (HAIs) happening today. These HAI’s refer to different infections that can be contracted while in hospital such as UTIs, pneumonia, staphylococcus aureus, gastrointestinal infections, and infections at the surgical site/wound site.

Here in the UK, it’s almost impossible to track the amount of HAIs that occur because some may go by unreported. Public Health England (PHE) does its best to monitor a number of infections that do happen in a healthcare facility, and it also conducts routine surveillance programs. Those in the industry are in agreement that the best way to deal with this challenge is to limit the odds of contracting a HAI in the first place.

Infection preventionist methods have become not only popular but necessary. By taking the proper steps meant to prevent infection, hospitals can reduce the amount by up to 70%. Companies can now be hired that will come in, audit the hospital, create a plan, and work with them to install infection prevention methods.

The Population is Aging

Thanks to the aging population, the hospitals are now feeling a strain like never before. People are living longer thanks to disease treatment, but this means with a population that is aging fast – treatment is needed at a much higher rate. This is putting a lot of strain on the healthcare system. There needs to be enough beds, staff, and facilities.

A Boom in Emergency Department Visits

The emergency departments in hospitals have seen a rise in numbers over the years as well. Again, this puts a strain on the resources and creates longer wait times. Part of the problem is that patients are finding it hard to get an appointment with a GP so they resort to the emergency department instead.

The Issue of Costs

Let’s not forget the issue of costs, as the healthcare industry is suffering quite a bit. Demand is rising, costs are rising, which places a lot of pressure on the financial end of things. The question of how it will all be paid for is quite common.

The healthcare industry seems to be coming to a point where it will soon need to address these issues more robustly and look for ways to solve them rather than forging forward.

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