With all the horror stories you may have heard about the United States healthcare system, along with growing concerns about the fate of the Affordable Care Act, you might be feeling uncertain about obtaining medical care for you and your family. Thankfully, many providers and systems continue to deliver spectacular levels of care, with improvements continuing in many aspects of the field. Additionally, since most state and local governments place the wellbeing of their citizens as a priority, public health experts continue working to make a difference.
Because of these ongoing trends, schools continue to educate and prepare professionals to take leadership and service roles. The common saying, “the future is now,” could apply because program administrators keep their sharp eyes on relevant developments. From increased use of technologies to more attention on environmental issues, both public health and health informatics specialists face new and unique challenges in the next few decades.
New Areas of Study Hold Promise for the Public Health Field
Although administrators will be continually needed in the public health field, new disciplines offer additional promise in the fight to improve individual and community wellbeing. Several factors make these developments especially germane. The University of Southern California’s Master of Public Health program recently mentioned new career opportunities, including HIV specialist, natural science manager and reproductive health specialist. You can learn more about the online MPH degree from USC if this field interests you, and many exciting innovations and challenges could be ahead in both the immediate and long-term future.
Aging Populations and Innovation Drive Employment Prospects in Health Informatics
Healthcare professionals expect that several trends will shape their field in the next several years. For one, the population of senior citizens will likely increase to 98 million by 2060, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. With this growth, the National Institute on Aging speculates that more death and disability will result from chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes rather than from communicable diseases. As a result, providers could emphasize more preventative care as well as broaden remote access options so that patients can take advantage of healthcare services.
Aware of what many of these developments could mean, curricula across the country are readying themselves to adequately prepare learners. For instance, the University of Cincinnati’s Master of Health Informatics program created this infographic about health IT, which mentioned aspects such as telehealth, more patient records stored electronically, and the use of social media to promote healthy habits.
Hope Emerges Amid Uncertainty
Although recent political developments could be worrisome, the need for skilled professionals in both healthcare and public health remains clear. Salient trends in the demographic shift of the population. along with continuing health and environmental concerns, call for leaders who will lend their expertise to improve the wellbeing of the American public. Moreover, technological developments stand to improve the ability of medical providers to offer better services and outreach to patients, particularly those in underserved communities. With these factors, higher education builds and revises curricula so that graduates are willing and able to answer these challenges.