There is no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a massive impact on healthcare in this country. Hospitals have become overburdened with patients and have had to ship out many or most elective surgeries to ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) and physician-owned hospitals.
While the future is always uncertain to some degree, it appears likely that the pandemic will persist throughout 2022 and possibly beyond. That being the case, here are some trends in orthopedics that are likely to continue and be emphasized even more.
Greater use of technology
Remote communication has become an integral part of healthcare in this country, and it is already being used to a large extent to connect doctors with patients. This trend is likely to grow even more prominent, as telemedicine, webinars, online conferences, and virtual-reality education become more ingrained as part of the healthcare scene. It has already helped to solve the problem of inadequate numbers of physicians to cover all the patients who require healthcare.
Rise of ASCs and physician-owned hospitals
It was only natural that a greater volume of work would be shifted toward ambulatory surgery centers and physician-owned hospitals, simply because primary hospitals are unable to handle the tremendous volume of pandemic patients in addition to others. It has already been demonstrated that many patients prefer the smaller setting of these healthcare facilities, as opposed to the huge population of people found in hospitals. While fear of the pandemic stays in place, it is likely that ASCs and physician-owned hospitals will continue to gain in popularity.
Robots in the Operating Room
There have been some starts and stops regarding robot usage in the operating room, but it appears that using robots in the OR will become much more prevalent in the realm of orthopedics in the near future. While hospitals may have difficulty investing in this technology due to revenue losses, it seems likely that ASC’s and physician-owned hospitals will be investing more in operating room robot usage. The technology is growing more sophisticated while costs are being reduced, and this will contribute to the trend.
Laser therapy franchises
More and more orthopedic surgeons are discovering the tremendous convenience and value offered by collaborating with OrthoLazer and starting up their own laser therapy centers. OrthoLazer offers a business-in-a-box franchise and provides tremendous support to surgeons who may not have the time to commit to starting up a new center. The company will help with everything, including finding a location, staffing the facility, and providing ongoing support to assure success.
About orthopedic trends
It’s hard to predict the future of any branch of medicine, and orthopedics is no exception. It will be difficult to assess the ongoing impact that the COVID-19 pandemic will have on patient care in the future. However, given the impacts already in progress, it seems safe to say that some of these same factors will be increased and emphasized while the pandemic holds sway. The trends described above are good bets to stay in place in the world of orthopedics and are even quite likely to become more popular.
OrthoLazer Orthopedic Laser Centers offer patients and their doctors an innovative and effective alternative pain management option to treat acute and chronic orthopedic conditions. Founded by Dr. Scott Sigman – the original opioid-sparing surgeon – our centers further his mission of providing his patients non-operative and non-opioid treatment options. If you’d like more information about OrthoLazer, please visit our website at ortholazer.com.