“There’ll be no ‘back to normal’ for healthcare” after the current crisis caused by the new coronavirus, a healthcare insider recently opined at Modern Healthcare.
What Jonathan Manis, senior VP and chief information officer at CHRISTUS Health, is talking about is the suddenness with which COVID-19 has imposed a new reality on hospitals and healthcare providers. The factors that have become so essential in fighting the virus are those that have only too slowly been integrating into hospital life, like remote patient monitoring, or the ability for patients and clinicians to meet virtually.
Needless to say, the use of these types of technologies has proven very useful in a period where isolation is a top priority. As such, they’ve quickly found a place at the forefront of many facilities’ COVID-19 treatment regimen. And, as Manis argues, their widespread use is likely here to stay.
Why COVID-19 Is Forcing Us to Learn New Clinical Skills
And that means it’s in the best interests of healthcare providers to get acquainted with such technologies, and develop the skills it takes to operate them and adapt them to your day-to-day workload. This has long been a priority for many workers, who have taken continuing education (CE) courses covering telehealth essentials like remote patient monitoring (RPM) and virtual data sharing.
At this moment, too, many nurses and clinicians are learning these skills under fire. Anyone who works in a facility that’s hard hit by — or seriously preparing for — the deluge of new patient cases often delivered by COVID-19 is likely already leveraging telehealth tech for remote meetings, monitoring, or other similar use.
For those nurses and clinicians who may not as yet be on the front lines, and who operate in an area that may not see heavy caseloads until the summer, continuing education classes are a great way to develop these new clinical skills. (Also, if you’re a nurse looking to join the fight against the new coronavirus, we’ve got opportunities in facilities that need your help!)
What Are Valuable Clinical Skills in the Age of COVID-19?
The priority of protecting the sick and vulnerable from the most serious effects of the new coronavirus is top of mind for most nurses and clinicians today. Yet whether you’re directly acknowledging it or not, the new clinical skills you’re picking up along the way will be of great importance not just during the current crisis, but throughout your career.
According to experts, these are, after all, the tools needed to move healthcare more firmly into the realm of value-based care. The better they’re known, the more effective care will be for everyone.
“Courtesy of COVID-19, the genie is out of the bottle,” Manis says. He then goes on to offer a rundown of those new clinical skills that are being ushered more quickly into being by COVID-19:
- Proficiency in telehealth and telemedicine tools like remote patient monitoring and virtual visits
- The ability to leverage social media for professional networking, including cross-industry collaborations
- The effective use of remote working, when possible
- Leveraging technology to preserve real-time communication across various settings
- The encouragement of self-service diagnostics and self-care
- Knowledge of CMS payment and reimbursement rules regarding digital care
- Use of collaboration and coordination tools typically found in private-sector business settings
- A better understanding of how predictive analytics and knowledge management makes care more efficient
- Utilizing artificial intelligence and informational chatbots to provide information for patients
“The list goes on and on,” as Manis says.
Does this mean every nurse and clinician has to become fully up on the implications of AI or predictive analytics? Of course not. But all clinical workers are strongly encouraged to beef up on their understanding of basic concepts like remote care and virtual visits. (And some casual knowledge of AI and the industry’s likely future doesn’t hurt, either: Keeping up with medical news at Wired, TechCrunch or other such sites is a great idea for that type of info.)
For more resources on the day-to-day progress of the COVID-19 coronavirus, check out The World Health Organization (WHO)’s live updates and The Joint Commission’s Infection Prevention and Control resources. For a frequently updated international assessment, check out this country-by-country coronavirus tracker at worldometers.info.
Ready to Join the Fight against COVID-19?
If you’re willing to join the fight in your community — or on the road, if that’s where you’re needed — we can connect you with assignments in facilities dealing with surges in coronavirus cases. Because the need has become so serious, nurses and clinicians in good standing can work in any state, so your license is good anywhere in the U.S. you want to work.
And remember: At CareerStaff, we take care of our workers. We know how important you are, and we’re careful to keep you healthy during the course of your assignment. That includes making sure you have the equipment and info you need, as well as strict policies to prevent infection and the assurance of quarantine reimbursement.