For more than a year now, healthcare consumers have been putting off their check-ups and preventive screenings because they want to avoid any in-person interaction that could expose them to COVID-19. But that’s not the only reason.
When career, family, and household affairs command attention, people often put their personal wellness at the bottom of the list of priorities, intending to “get around to it” at some point in the future. Health and well-being can seem pretty abstract when more concrete concerns pop up, such as the kids’ overdue science projects or an urgent email from the boss.
That’s why providers must be even more vigilant in identifying care gaps and recommending appropriate follow-up action as the country begins to recover from the pandemic. After all, clinical professionals are the trusted advisors most likely to convince patients to engage in positive health behaviors. By prompting engagement with overdue preventive health services, care teams can help patients achieve better outcomes.
As we regain the footing we’ve lost under the shadow of the pandemic, we need to go even further and redesign healthcare’s future to address care gaps in a way that’s sustainable. The need is urgent when you consider these revealing facts.
- In a study of 7 million patient records, researchers found cervical cancer screenings declined by 94 percent in 2020, and colorectal cancer screenings were down 86 percent.
- Women are more likely to have gone without healthcare services during the pandemic compared to men, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
- As many as 3 million people in the United States have undiagnosed diabetes.
- About 116 million people in the United States have hypertension, and 92.1 million do not have their condition under control.
- Among young people with major depression, 60 percent didn’t receive treatment.