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Research 2

A Look at Healthcare, Then and Now

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In the last 50 years, healthcare has seen numerous changes from the way providers dress to how medical records are stored. In this ever-changing industry, it is important to continuously strive for excellence.

Read on to learn more about how healthcare has evolved throughout the years at Ochsner and beyond.

Operating Rooms

Operating rooms and hospital layouts in the past were set up to accommodate every surgery taking place on a particular day. All of the tools the doctor would need for the day were pre-arranged, surgeries were largely experimental and doctors often worked alone.

Now, each surgery and all of the necessary equipment to perform it are prepared beforehand to ensure everything is kept sterile. Doctors also work in teams and shifts to increase expertise and reduce error.

vintage photo of operating room and then present photo of operating room

Nursing Uniforms

The early version of a nurse’s uniform combined functionality and femininity. Longer hemlines and sleeves were designed to protect nurses from infection, while the white caps conveyed the prestige of the profession.

As more men entered the nursing field, scrubs were introduced as a gender-neutral, professional and practical (as well as washable) option.

past and present nursing uniforms

Number of Practicing Doctors

In 1950, there were only 219,900 physicians in practice, and practically all were men. Today, that number has almost quadrupled to 838,473 physicians with 30 percent of them being female.

past and present healthcare technology


In just the past few decades, there have been countless milestones in medical technology innovation including the cardiac pacemaker, vaccines and organ transplants.

More so than ever before, healthcare today continues to see advancements such as robotic surgeries, 3D printing and stem cell research.

past and present healthcare technology


While some diseases such as cancer were once thought untreatable, new research has given birth to vaccines, prevention options and treatment for several diseases.

From clinical trials to putting new options into practice, medical research continues to expand and offer new insights each and every day.

past and present research methods


In the past, pharmacists had little patient interaction and solely filled prescriptions behind a counter either within the hospital or at a community pharmacy.

Today, an increased amount of education required for pharmacists has led to a better equipped workforce who are able to not only fill prescriptions, but also administer vaccines, review medication regimens and prevent harmful drug reactions.

past and present pharmacy images

Record Keeping

Storage rooms used to be filled floor to ceiling with patient files and paperwork. But gone are the days of paper medical records!

Today, a large amount of hospital records, patient files, prescriptions, forms and more are kept on computer systems.

past and present ways of record keeping

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