The reach of technology innovation in healthcare is getting crazy.
Technology is evolving. Technology is creating more processes. Technology is gathering more and more data. Technology is creating security risks. Technology is replacing conventional monitoring and recording systems. Technology is driving the adopting of devices like smartphones and tablets.
With all these advancements, we created a list of the top 5 technology advancements in healthcare that all IT professionals in healthcare should be aware of.
Mobile health is removing the limitations of mobility inside of clinics and hospitals. Not all, but many healthcare devices are wireless, enabling physicians and patients alike to check on healthcare progress, while on the go. Smartphones and tablets allow healthcare providers to freely access and send information, while healthcare apps like epocrates help doctors and nurses better serve patients. Mobile devices are great tools for orders, reviewing documentation, and interacting with patients.
mHealth isn’t about wireless connectivity, only. It’s become a tool that allows patients to have more control and ownership of their overall health. mHealth allows patients to review their weight, blood pressure, wireless, and even take measurement like an EKG, and simply input data put into a smartphone while transferring to a healthcare professional.
It’s not without risks. IT staff that work in healthcare need to be extra diligent in ensuring their facility is compliant, while keeping patient data secure. There are, as evidence by this post, technology advancements in healthcare specifically geared toward both security and accessibility.
Studies consistently show the benefits of telemedicine in rural markets. For patients that ultimately need help, but don’t live close to a healthcare campus, concepts like telemedicine allow providers to offer medical service while being hundreds of miles apart.
The cost benefits of telemedicine cannot be ignored, either. When patients can receive care, through a video chat with a physician, claims are typically lower as clinical fees are reduced because of the elimination of traditional office costs.
Patients are owning their healthcare with data, and portal technology is helping them accomplish this. Portal technology allows patients to access their medical records, online. This type of technology puts the patient in the driver seat as it allows them to become more involved and better educated about their healthcare. Portal technology gives patients a sense of empowerment and responsibility that they’ve not had prior. For IT professionals managing this, challenges will arise, like compliance and security. Any IT provider, or outsourced IT firm, needs to have a documented process, to overcome and prepare for any pitfalls associated with accessing data online, via a portal.
Similar to portal technology, self-service kiosks can help expedite processes like checking in through the hospital registration system. Self-service helps with staffing costs, as it reduces payroll, and self-service helps the patient to validate information that otherwise might be incorrect. Some automated kiosks can even assist patients with paying co-pays, signing paperwork and other registration requirements. That said, hospitals should be cautious when implementing these kiosks as to not lose a high level of customer service. Interacting with patients is still important and should never be completely eliminated.
Remote monitoring tools.
Monitoring patients’ health at home can reduce costs and unnecessary visits to an M.D.’s office. For example, someone that has cardiac issues, with a pacemaker, automatically transmits data to a remote center. If there’s something wrong with the data, the patient can be immediately contacted by their doctor or medical staff. Remote monitoring gives patients peace of mind they never had before by allowing other people to monitor your health for you.
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