We’re only in the infancy of the COVID-19 pandemic’s long-lasting impact on the healthcare industry. It’s safe to say that we’ll be studying the ripple effects for years to come. But what about in the more immediate future? Let’s take a look at some predictions about COVID-19’s impact on hospitals as we enter a new year.
Patient volumes will continue being disrupted.
Patient volumes in healthcare facilities, including hospitals, were disrupted throughout 2020 in a way that we’ve never seen before. That’s because as the number of COVID-19 patients went up, most elective procedures and surgeries were postponed, rescheduled, or canceled entirely. Many people stopped visiting their healthcare provider unless it was a dire need, and that directly impacted patient volumes in healthcare facilities of all kinds. That’s likely to continue well into 2021.
Financial challenges will continue.
The American Hospital Association estimated a total loss of at least $323.1 billion in 2020 amongst the nation’s hospitals and health systems. That number in and of itself is staggering, and it’s only going to grow as the pandemic continues to rage. Even if the arrival of vaccines helps to mitigate the impact of the virus on communities in the early parts of 2021, it’s likely that financial challenges will be around for some time.
PPE will be a hot commodity.
We all remember the shortages of personal protective equipment for hospital workers early on in the pandemic. Many places are still dealing with shortages, and they’ll probably continue to struggle as we enter the new year. Some hospitals and health systems have managed to stockpile PPE, but even those reserves could become strained depending on how the pandemic ebbs and flows in 2021. In any case, it’s safe to say that PPE will be as hot a commodity for hospitals as ever.
Temporary workers will be in high demand.
With more surges in COVID-19 cases likely, hospitals will probably continue to turn to temporary staffing solutions to help with increased patient numbers or staff shortages. We’ve already seen that happen in late 2020, and it’s likely to be even more important in early 2021 as we make our way through the peak of flu season.
Is your healthcare organization in need of staffing help to support your existing staff? You’ve come to the right place. Get in touch with Health Advocates Network to find out how our staffing service can help.