There has been a radical shift in the climate of healthcare since COVID, with many positive reforms have coming out of the season. Telehealth and the associated technologies havebeen amazing for providers. With virtual visits, minor issues can now be addressed far more efficiently and cost-effectively. In addition,the ability to work with patients who are potentially contagious in a safer environment is fantastic. While telehealth has its limitations for a proper diagnostic workup, it makes follow-ups and overall provider-to-patient communication much more accessible for individuals who live long distances away from the doctors they love.
One of the major shifts for many patients is the realization that they need to take responsibility for their own health. There is a big difference between “being healthy”and “trying to not get sick”. Unfortunately, much of healthcare today is centered around waiting until individuals get sick and then trying to manage the symptoms. During this season, many individuals saw the negative ramifications of this type of healthcare. Patients have realized that their doctors and healthcare providers are there to guide them, but they do not have infallible control over anyone’s health. Furthermore, patients have realized doctors cannot manipulate the body to perform healthy functions, regardless ofhow the patient treats their body. It has been a truly positive shift as individuals begin taking responsibility for their health and reaping the amazing benefits.
Another positive shift has been seeing patients doing the things that they know they need to do! It is very difficult to get different results when you keep doing the same things. If you already know you need to eat better, exercise, quit smoking, or decrease stress, then it is best to attempt to do these things first. If this doesn’t work, or there some specific issues that is holding up progress, your provider is then much better equipped to help guide you. An example of thisis individuals who have knee pain and know they need to lose weight. It is best to attempt to drop the pounds first, and then seek the advice of your provider when you are struggling, have plateaued, or have lost the weight and still have the pain. You get so much more from your visit!
One thing that has really surged in this new season is the use of labs to measure progress. There is improved access to lab testing from anywhere in the countryallowing doctors towork with patients in multipletime zones with incredible ease and accuracy. With the wide availability and affordability of lab work, providers can get more accurate diagnoses, put together better treatment plans, and monitor progress in real time.
While there are many struggles in healthcare, there are a lot of positives that have come for those who are committed to doing what it takes to gain and maintain health, vitality, and longevity.
Dr. Jae Hitson, Clinical Director of Blue Umbrella Medical Center –www.blueumbrellamedical.com