When you’re on a journey, it’s a good rule of thumb to pause occasionally to see how far you’ve come and how far you have yet to go. In the medical industry, there have been many obvious improvements over the years and yet, there is still room for growth. Here are three ways that the field of healthcare is continuing to evolve:

1. Patient-Centered Care

To a patient, one of the most important aspects of healthcare is the assurance that one is being seen not as a “diagnosis,” but as a valuable and unique individual. With that perspective in mind, doctors, nurses and other hospital staff must consider the way they treat their patients and strive to serve them as people rather than as health issues to solve. Some medical schools have made substantial steps in this direction by requiring medical students to develop their bedside manner and by offering mentorship programs where they can learn directly from seasoned patients and their experiences.

2. Healing Arts Programs

Is investment in the arts worthwhile? Ask scientific researchers as well as hospital patients and no doubt, you will hear resounding affirmation. Background music playing in the hallways, colorful photographs and paintings hanging on the walls, intriguing sculptures positioned in waiting rooms and peaceful gardens outside of medical facilities – all of these additions make a tangible difference in lifting the spirits during heavy trials. Studies have even shown that holistic treatment options (like music therapy) can help with pain management and mobility. Fortunately, medical institutions are increasingly taking note of the many benefits offered by the healing arts, and are implementing a variety of alternative therapies alongside their standard services.

3. Developments in Technology

Technological advances have affected most areas of life and society, and the field of healthcare is no different. With ingenious inventions and improved equipment, medical professionals are now able to more quickly find and diagnose various conditions and diseases. Furthermore, highly precise surgeries and “targeted” treatment options are possible thanks to innovative developments in the field. Of course, new technology means that time, effort and money must be spent for the new equipment to be tested and for the medical staff to receive training in how to use it, but the definite progress in this area of healthcare is certainly promising.

In these three important ways, the medical industry has drastically changed and expanded over time. Appreciating the growth while looking for potential to improve, medical professionals will be able to make healthcare the best they can for their patients.