In some of the early years of medical practice, it wasn't uncommon but more often widely accepted, that a bloody surgical coat signified the efficiency and well practiced background of a doctor. Many doctors would refuse to wash or replace this "lucky" coat in hopes that their success would continue. In modern times, we would be horrified if we witnessed anything similar at a hospital or clinic.
photo courtesy of flickr.com/photos/jimsurkamp/
The jump from a show of pride to a sterile practice is light years apart, yet there are improvements made within healthcare which produce radical benefits for each one of us. Because these changes are not so outwardly dramatic, they may just be so commonplace and thus go unrecognized. For example, almost no one would opt out of anesthesia during even the most basic of procedures. Expectant mothers look forward to seeing their unborn child by way of sonograms. Even the instruments that are used may not be all that far from its creation.
Improvements aren't always from the doctor's perspective in treating the patient, but also the patient as a consumer looking to better their quality of care. Patient satisfaction, lowering of medical errors and readmissions, along with eliminating duplications of services are just a few of the fundamental focuses that are being analyzed in order to improve the overall quality within healthcare.
By no means are patients going or should they begin treating himself or herself. However, being a well-informed patient or relative of a patient creates a foundation with which better care will be provided. This can include knowledge about treatments, follow-up appointments, prescription medicine schedules, and at-risk behaviors that may prevent or retard recovery.
Other improvements make sure that the healthcare professional has as much information at their fingertips. Whether this is having the patient's medical history readily available, being able to immediately look up outside sources to diagnose illnesses, or catching when prescribed drugs might cause serious consequences with one another. The more information that is accessible, the more effectively and efficiently treatments can be made, especially on an individual basis.
Improvements in healthcare go hand in hand with many of the technological developments of our day. Some applications may initially start out benefitting other industries, yet there are a vast number of healthcare professionals that are working to find ways to implement these new discoveries into many diverse areas that will better the next time you end up in the hospital or visit your doctor for the yearly health check-up.
photo courtesy of flickr.com/photos/haydnseek/
Just as changes in any business come with hesitation, sometime resistance, and other times regulation restrictions, it is no different in the field of healthcare, maybe even more so than other trades. Due to the longevity with which many professionals work in their healthcare career, change does not come without opposition. In addition, the level that the government controls the healthcare industry is almost second to none. There are many peoples and powers that must receive proof before any new ideas or standards are put into daily practice. This isn't such a bad idea when compared with days gone by and those lucky coats.