No doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic has become the reason for immeasurable turmoil and uncertainty around the world.
The pressure was even more tremendous for the research community, scientists, healthcare professionals, and policymakers from the very start.
Unfortunately, existing healthcare infrastructure and global efforts fell short of containing and dealing with the rapidly unraveling and worsening situation.
Introduction to The Importance of Research post COVID-19
It is why the post-COVID-19 era marked the beginning of exploring differently, cautiously, and hurriedly than ever before.
It is because the first and foremost prerequisite to dealing with unprecedented challenges is the act of exploring and identifying root causes. Otherwise, finding a cure is not possible.
The same goes for the healthcare challenges post-pandemic and subsequent research efforts.
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Research efforts are crucial to simplify the journey from the detection of diseases to their cure.
The endeavor enables stakeholders to understand diseases, risk factors, progression, and susceptibility. In essence, research efforts are vital to enhance preparedness and deal with unprecedented challenges proactively.
The following sections further explore the significance of research in the healthcare sector after COVID-19.
The post-COVID-19 research struggle attempts to Identify possible alternatives for effective cure
Since emerging problems surface with many unknown characteristics, catering to them is more challenging than managing existing ones.
No doubt, the entire journey of diagnosis to treatment involves significant risk and uncertainty for participants. Hence, research efforts struggle to identify and bridge knowledge gaps on the way toward effective treatment. However, it is the only possible route to deal with novel healthcare conditions.
Though the field is challenging, it is even more rewarding, lucrative, and self-fulfilling for healthcare professionals and researchers because, in current times, even an entry-level clinical research coordinator’s salary can go up to approximately $49,066 per year.
Apart from wages, clinical researchers’ contribution to the healthcare sector, public well-being, and sustenance of humanity matter the most.
It is their determination and efforts that made vaccine development possible in a record-breaking duration. Otherwise, the global public could not anticipate coming back to their routine lives.
Still today, ongoing efforts are striving to minimize health complications for hospitalized and severely ill patients. More than that, clinical trials are underway to upgrade medications so that it is possible to deal with the rapidly transforming nature of the virus.
Additionally, global efforts intend to ensure future generations encounter less uncertainty and damage due to unpredictable healthcare emergencies in the coming days.
Confine healthcare complications and losses
The healthcare community was struggling to restrict healthcare complications once the virus laid bare its devastating nature. This is why the promptest approach was to identify ways and put a brake on the loss of lives.
However, it was not possible without a detailed examination and analysis of the disease, complications, and how it presents itself.
Hence, several researchers endeavored in their capacity and expertise to understand and confine progressing complications. Otherwise, minimizing damages was impossible. As a result, several prevention measures emerged to fight the contagious disease and its challenges effectively.
As such, distancing and avoiding mutual contact surfaced as the effective remedy to curb the spread of the disease. The measure of restricting movement and transportation spared some space for countries to design and implement standard safety protocols.
A newer and specific to the pandemic version of hand hygiene became the new safety norm. Catering to physical fitness and a balanced diet became unavoidable. Similarly, the obscurity of personal safety’s connection to public safety and vice versa was also among the awareness agenda.
Though the list of such protocols is extensive, every effort aims to minimize healthcare complications and damages. And it was not possible without rigorous research efforts.
Manage healthcare burden and maximize capacity
The pandemic surfaced as one of the challenging trials for the already drained healthcare sector. As a result, its existing capacity and infrastructure could not manage the overwhelming burden of patients.
Most of the time, professionals could not save lives due to over-occupied healthcare facilities. The situation became worse to the point of categorizing lives even when every life is equally precious.
The scarcity of ventilators minimized the chances of survival. Healthcare professionals could not attend to every patient and give undivided attention due to exhaustion, overwork, and shortage of workers. In essence, the system could not prevent the unimaginable loss of lives.
Thus the post-pandemic research efforts are exploring how to enhance capacity and make the sector flexible regardless of the scale and intensity of upcoming healthcare challenges.
Thus educating and training professionals was one of the best approaches to expand the capacity of the healthcare facilities.
First of all, the training enabled workers to maintain personal safety while dealing with infected patients. Thorough awareness of every healthcare staff and the creation of multiple skilled teams distributed the overall work burden.
The staff members with narrow scope and skillset became proficient in managing complex healthcare complications.
As a result, such a strategic approach enabled several hospitals to attend to COVID-19 patients while managing the previous healthcare burden.
Detect gaps and ensure readiness
Naturally, uncertainty is an inherent part of the unprecedented challenges. However, the journey to perfection depends upon minimizing the percentage of failures regardless of their nature.
The pandemic has highlighted several deficiencies and gaps in the present healthcare framework, leading to mishaps. It is why the early days of the fight against the virus challenged the healthcare sector nearly to a standstill.
Hence, post-pandemic efforts strive to untangle ambiguities throughout the healthcare sector and ensure effective preparedness for upcoming emergencies.
For instance, the methodology of conducting clinical trials needs refinement to reduce errors and risks. It is because clinical trials usually involve humans as test subjects. Hence, strengthening and practicing safety protocols are equally vital.
Similarly, testing equipment and laboratory infrastructure need upgrading to enhance accuracy and minimize delays in testing. Identifying loopholes in the data handling capacity of management systems was also one of the vital agendas.
Before everything else, research efforts have identified that enhancing the capabilities of the workforce is crucial. If they are inadequate or inefficient, managing or confining situations is not possible without much damage. As such, their carelessness and healthcare complications can overburden the system.
Though avoiding healthcare problems is impossible, such comprehensive efforts can minimize the likelihood of damage and keep emerging crises under control.
Reduce healthcare expenses
Undeniably, emerging healthcare complications are contributing to expanding healthcare expenditure. Such a connection is also widening the gap between access to delivery and care to quality, thus minimizing the gap between healthcare expenses and uninterrupted care is one of the focus areas.
Healthcare expense is also one of the major hindrances to other prerequisites and sustainability of the healthcare sector. Costly healthcare services have already exhausted the public, let alone fight on the new fronts. It is why the pandemic’s impact has amplified expenditure to new heights.
Even before the pandemic, healthcare expenditure was approximately 10 percent of the global GDP. Just imagine the expenditure during an emergency. Observatory studies estimate that the recovery period will add to exhaustion even more.
Thus ongoing research efforts intend to minimize the overall expenditure of the sector. In essence, ensuring unbiased and quality care without unmanageable expenses is one of the main motives of post-pandemic research.
Undeniably, the damaging impact and consequences of the virus challenged the very survival of human beings. Perhaps the world would not be able to regain damages against the fight so far.
However, tireless efforts have given the sector some breathing space. And it only became possible with the unwavering efforts of the research community.