There is no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic seriously strained the healthcare industry and taxed both the mental and physical health of medical and administrative staff. The virus that has claimed more than 800,000 lives in the U.S. alone has severely affected healthcare budgets and placed increasing demand on healthcare workers. Since the start of the pandemic, nearly 20 percent of medical staff have quit.
While “silver lining” may be too callous a term, there are several unexpected benefits that have resulted from the increased demand for quality healthcare workers and infection control strategies that the pandemic has instigated. These include:
- Financial benefits. According to a 2021 survey conducted by Health Facilities Management with the American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE) and the Association for the Health Care Environment (AHE), managers have often had to pick up additional positions in emergency management, patient surges and environmental services, in order to keep everything running. There are some financial benefits for managers who take on more work, the survey found. Taking on more work is sometimes reflected in salaries. For example, environmental services managers taking on three or more extra tasks reported salary jumps from an average salary of $76,400 to $87,628. Facilities managers, meanwhile, saw a jump from $109,867 to $117,765.
- More inter-departmental coordination. Respondents in the ASHE survey noted that taking on these jobs helped them in coordinating between departments and improved their coordination. Managers also got experience in multiple fields and gained a more expansive, big-picture view of their workplace, causing them to be more effective at their jobs.
- Improved infection control standards. The COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a heavy blow to the public health system, but it has also brought with it a multitude of valuable lessons about infection prevention and control and highlighted some of the flaws in the current procedures. In a recent issue of Health Facilities Management, an article titled Space planning for pandemic resilience showcased new hospital design and planning strategies developed in response to COVID that will better prepare facilities for future pandemics and curb hospital-acquired infections (HAI)s.
The COVID pandemic isn’t over yet and will likely claim more lives and continue to put pressure on healthcare systems. If hospitals note the gaps in their infection control strategies during this pandemic, they will be able to better respond to future outbreaks.
Life Balance Technologies helps hospitals and other companies easily analyze air quality conditions and effectively manage their HVAC systems. By streamlining the process for compliance, auditing, and reporting, we help reduce costs and save lives.