The medical industry is facing some very serious challenges at the moment. Advances in medicine and technical skills mean people are living longer, with many more diseases being treatable. Knowledge is a powerful tool, and whilst this is fantastic news, it is also costly. There are a number of issues which need to be addressed.
Thanks to medical advances, people are living much longer. However, older people tend to need more medical care than younger people. This could be hip replacements or developing conditions such as diabetes, heart or kidney disease which will need long-term treatment by specialists.
Obesity is a time-bomb waiting to happen, with more young people being overweight – this brings many health problems. Alcohol misuse, smoking and poor diets which are full of salt and sugar without enough fresh fruit and vegetables are also creating major problems.
Patients Dying Needlessly
Poor care and the wrong diagnoses mean patients are dying needlessly in the UK. Research by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine showed one in 28 deaths in hospitals was due to poor monitoring, misdiagnosis or the wrong medicine being administered. This means about 750 patients are dying unnecessarily in NHS hospitals every month.
Millions of pounds are wasted on health care every year. This can be because patients do not turn up for appointments or inefficient rotas and the cost of equipment or medicines. A study found that Latex gloves cost £5.44 in one hospital but just £2.39 in another. One hospital was buying liver failure tablets for £1.50 each when they could be bought for 2p.
Major Advances in Technology
With massive improvements in software and technology, many of these poor practices can be eliminated. A model can be set up to improve best practice and create good working routines for the future.
Some areas of work can also be outsourced, so a clinical research organization such as G and l scientific could be used to improve efficiency.
By improving the way the health service works, more money can be used where it is really needed the most – on patients and improving their care. By applying the best business methods to reduce waste, the health service can work more economically.