According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there will be approximately 77 million people at age 65 or older by 2034. As a result, demands on allied health professionals are also expected to dramatically increase. As an aspiring leader in the allied health field, how will this aging population and the healthcare challenges it presents affect your future career? Here, Eastern International College takes a closer look at the leadership challenges the healthcare industry will face as it adapts to serving a growing number of older adults and their unique medical needs.
A Larger Volume of Patients
Hospital admissions and doctors’ visits could potentially double for Baby Boomers by 2030. This means that many clinics, health centers, and hospital networks will be taxed by this influx and may even find themselves overloaded. Growth planning will be essential to prevent an overload of patients with too few physicians and other dedicated providers to serve them.
As a future leader of a healthcare team or organization, you will need to assess the growing demand, identify the resources most likely to be taxed, and develop strategies to ensure smooth operation and quality care. Additionally, it may be challenging to keep yourself and your colleagues motivated and energized during these challenges. Administrative leaders must offer the support, open communication, and vision needed to keep everyone on the same page and focused on positive patient outcomes as visits and admissions increase.
A New Focus on Safety
An aging population also means a higher incidence rate of age-related accidents and diseases. For instance, healthcare professionals can expect to see many more falls, whether they occur inside or outside medical facilities. This is because Baby Boomers are not only expected to live longer but also to remain more active than previous older populations.
Aside from falls, healthcare professionals can also expect a greater need for memory care services in the not-so-distant future. Researchers project approximately 12.7 million people will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia around the world by 2050.
Accordingly, future healthcare leaders must prepare for greater patient safety concerns at their facilities and within seniors’ homes. Doing so requires a greater emphasis on patient communication, working with family members, and understanding how memory care needs will coexist with other common age-related health concerns.
A Need for Innovative Strategy
With a much larger population to care for, many healthcare facilities will eventually need to think outside the box when it comes to allocating resources. Future healthcare leaders must approach budgeting, supply management, and facility use with new care and insight, as well as deploy these changing principles to their teams.
With so many future patients to care for and so little time, healthcare leaders must think strategically with every step they take. From planning daily scheduling to communicating with patients, knowing how to oversee resources and advise your team will contribute greatly to better care for an aging population.
Rise to the Challenges of Healthcare Leadership with EIC
Strong leadership is essential to serve an aging population and meet their healthcare needs. Will you be ready? If you’ve already completed an Associate Degree in an allied health field, the Bachelor of Science in Health Leadership (Completion Program) Online at Eastern International College will prepare you to meet the challenges faced by older patients and the organizations that provide their care. To learn more, request additional information about this program or apply online today.