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Emerging Healthcare Trends in 2014

March 26, 2014

Healthcare is in a state of constant change. We are perpetually looking to solve the world’s health problems through new and innovative procedures, equipment, drugs, antibiotics and much more. Because of our reluctance to settle for the care and cures that we have, healthcare will always be in a state of constant change and improvement. This means that as years go on, trends begin to emerge within the medical climate. 2014 is barely through the first quarter and already we’ve seen some very surprising and exceptional medical trends start to pop up. These are just a few of the more exciting ones.

Chronic Care

2014 has seen a large amount of attention drawn to how we can improve the processes with which we handle chronic care for patients with long term disabilities and terminal illnesses. Chronic care has always been a notoriously tricky area of healthcare, and organizations are looking to improve many aspects of how it’s handled. One idea that an increasing number of healthcare providers are suggesting is the use of Ambulatory Intensive Care Units or “A-ICUs,” which are intensive care units that are mobile and able to meet the needs of the patient in home. This will also mean a rise in the number of people interested in taking a personal support worker course, in order to meet the rising demand for more in-home care workers.

They are most commonly found as modified ambulances and healthcare providers hope that they will be able to better meet behavioral health and chronic care needs with them, increasing the amount of beds in hospitals and lowering the length of stay and readmission rate. Medical office assistant training numbers have also increased dramatically because of the rise in paperwork and bureaucracy involved with increasing chronic care.

Better On the Job Health

An increasingly large number of companies are now offering incentives for healthier behaviour in employees, as well as penalties for unhealthy behaviors or non-compliance. This includes giving employees free pedometers to monitor their activity, or subscriptions to health and wellness websites like iFit. Staying healthy can lead to benefits like discounts or gift cards, paid leave and more. There are even some corporations like Hollywood Casinos that have a hiring ban on employees who test positive for nicotine.

Companies are pushing hard for better employee health, mostly as a way to curb their costs on increasingly expensive healthcare plans for employees. Who knows, maybe in a few years it won’t matter if you took accounting courses, you might not be able to get a job simply because you smoke. While it’s an inventive system, many employees or potential hires are sure to get miffed about being penalized for personal choices. While it may not be a terribly popular way to cut costs, at least according to skeptics, it’s certainly an inventive one, and it’s definitely going to inspire people to head to the gym after work instead of the bar.

Healthcare is a continuously changing field, and these are just some of the more interesting changes we’re seeing so far in 2014. However, there’s much more to come, so keep your eyes peeled!

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