The point of care is the time and place where care is administered to a patient in the form of products and services when it is needed. The most common point of care is the hospital where patients would run tests or receive care from physicians. But since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the point of care is shifting from hospitals to other places, such as private clinics and even patient’s homes.
Diagnostic tests, treatment and therapies are now shifting from hospitals to other points of care allowing patients to have a faster and more comfortable healthcare experience. This change is highly driven by the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic and a rapid increase in the digitization of healthcare.
This is a welcomed change in healthcare as we moved on from outpatient-centered treatment to inpatient-centered treatments.
This trend is however not just driven by the pandemic but also by other factors. Some of these include:
- Rising Cost of Healthcare
New government policies are making it more expensive and difficult for patients to get their healthcare from hospitals. They are searching for more ways to get their healthcare from other places that offer cheaper and easier options. This is one of the factors pushing this trend.
- The Rising Shortage of HCPs
Over the years, there has been a significant drop in the number of HCPs worldwide, especially doctors and nurses, who provide hospital care. This leaves little numbers of physicians to attend a large number of patients in hospitals across the globe, making it extremely stressful and tiring to get good and efficient healthcare in hospitals.
- The Rise in the Ageing Population
The growing rate of the ageing population is another factor that drives the trend. Life expectancy continues to grow thanks to advancements in modern medicine, and the birth rate continues to drop. This has led to a lot of older people who need urgent and comfortable treatment. Therefore shifting point of care seems to be a better option for them.
- Poor Infrastructure
This is also one of the reasons for the shifting of point of care, especially in developing countries: poor infrastructural development. Hospitals are not properly equipped to provide optimal healthcare and so patients are forced to locate better healthcare elsewhere.
Point of Care Technologies
The world has grown in so many ways and technological advancement has been blended into the healthcare industry making it easier for HCPs to do their jobs. Healthcare industries have continued to embrace technology that is helping to create awareness about better treatment options.
This change has led to the inventions of various gadgets, which help to make healthcare a little easier and better. Technologies like Point of Care Technologies (POCTs), such as test kits, HIV test kits, blood glucose monitors are used at the location to help improve the effectiveness of healthcare and to make POC treatments safer and reliable.
They enable diagnosis at home, in private clinics, ambulances, and anywhere else by reducing the workflow processes and making things easier for both patients and physicians.