Since the beginning of Covid-19, Healthcare has continued to raise the bar for excellence.
The standards of hygiene within the healthcare industry are always at the very top. Since the outbreak of Covid-19, healthcare has only improved those efforts to keep people safe and well.
From the moment it was first diagnosed as a disease, the Covid outbreak quickly became a health emergency on a global scale.
The spread of the disease threw the world of healthcare into new and extraordinary circumstances. All through this crisis, questions have arisen regarding best practise and whether certain health protocols were working effectively or needed to be overhauled.
It was the unprecedented demand for specialised equipment and personnel that stretched the healthcare industry to almost breaking point.
The increased demand for one essential within the healthcare industry
One of the most critical issues of healthcare is to maintain services and the highest standards of performance, whatever the situation.
The predictions of the healthcare industry being overwhelmed by the growth in cases of Covid-19 were alarming, to say the least. Reliability of health services was integral to dealing with the disease and any shortcomings were going to be exposed with potentially tragic results.
A key element of healthcare environments is the guaranteed supply of clean, compressed air. It is an essential part of the ongoing operation of hospitals and medical locations. It was abundantly clear that there would be a desperate demand for an industrial air compressor froma wide range of health facilities.
The need for a high-quality air compressor includes supplying medical-grade air for;
- surgical settings
- cleaning and disinfection of a facility and its equipment
- high-level filtration of air
- decontamination procedures
- even for use in the function of specialised tools and equipment
Almost any health facility would be severely compromised without it.
Sanitising within the world of healthcare
The early discovery that Covid-19 was passed from person to person through physical contact meant that hand sanitising would be a must in an effort to stop the spread of the disease.
As the pandemic wore on, the need for effective hand sanitising only grew in importance.
Wherever possible, a hand sanitiser stand would be erected. Whether it was at the entry to a supermarket (a place deemed essential under the toughest restrictions), a medical facility, chemist or bank, almost every place had a dedicated hand sanitiser station.
Within office buildings, from the reception area to the office kitchen, toilets, meeting rooms, and beside water chillers, hand sanitising stations were quickly set up.
In the case of a beauty salon, even merchandise for sale such as waxing creams, self-tanning lotions, even novelty items of coloured contact lenses such as sclera contact lenses which people would normally be encouraged to pick up and examine, were now off limits.
The simple act of picking up something that someone else had handled suddenly became a serious health risk. Everyone was asked to sanitise their hands and keep a safe social distance.
The change of role to a pseudo-healthcare worker
It was not unusual for employees across a range of industries to be asked to oversee the working environment in an effort to stop the spread of disease.
The general public was asked to familiarise themselves with the latest government directives and follow the safety guidelines. There was resistance from certain pockets of the community in some circumstances, especially when out shopping.
That’s where the staff of any business or retail outlet were shifted into the role of a ‘gatekeeper’ to ensure that no two people (including staff) came into contact with the same surface.
Special metal display stands were created to inform people of the latest requirement in hygiene and healthcare with directions on the safety measures related to that particular environment.
Whether it was that mask wearing was mandatory or a direct request to maintain hand hygiene and social distancing, there was barely a public space that wasn’t guarded by a Covid-19 requirement display.
Sanitising right throughout the healthcare industry was taken to a new level.
Changing the game in healthcare
What became a rude awakening for the healthcare industries across the globe, also made the everyday person and their actions a focus.
If any medical or healthcare professional could manage the often difficult task of following the most stringent rules of sanitisation and Covid-safe behavior, surely others could adopt and adapt to those same standards?
It was quickly seen that healthcare was taken for granted in many respects.
How did the healthcare industry adjust to the heavy demands upon it?
This is where a new outlook and modeling on how to perform came to the fore.
Some of the new initiatives in healthcare included;
- the introduction of Telehealth and off-site access to medical supervision
- remote assessment of medical issues
- changes to elective surgery
- contract tracing of infections
- different ways to sustain healthcare services – e.g. delivery of medical supplies outside of hours
It was the adaptability of the health industry that was one of the greatest strengths in dealing with the changes thrust upon society with the pandemic.
On the positive side, this worldwide health emergency has triggered the need to re-examine and re-evaluate how the healthcare system can better work in the future.
Suggested changes since Covid-19
There are other ways that healthcare has upgraded its way of working and can continue to improve.
Getting the information out to different areas within the field is a focal point of dealing with infectious diseases. Any shortcomings in disseminating important facts have been addressed, with work still to do on a coordinated front.
The accountability of staff working in different areas of healthcare and at different locations is another factor that needs to be addressed during lockdown measures.
The healthcare in Aged facilities has improved with new measures being implemented throughout the sector.
Other suggested changes will follow with the evaluation of what has and has not worked in dealing with Covid-19 since the initial outbreak and on through each wave of rising cases.
By learning from each scenario and examining what has gone on right across Australia and overseas, there will be new approaches to consider for the entire field of healthcare.
The healthcare future
If there is one key thing to take from the Covid-19 pandemic it is that the importance of healthcare should never be taken for granted again. There are a number of improvements that have already been made across the sector and several important initiatives are in the pipeline.
It is hoped that the lessons learned today will lead to a more consistent, agile and effective healthcare for the future.