The world of healthcare is ever-evolving. As the demand for quality care increases, so does the need for innovative solutions that streamline healthcare practice. Technology has played a significant role in meeting this demand, providing healthcare professionals with tools and resources that make it easier to deliver quality care.
But among all the different types of technology available to healthcare providers, which ones are making the most significant impact? Here are some examples of how technology is helping to streamline healthcare practice:
Electronic Health Records (EHRs)
The use of EHRs is one of the most important innovations in healthcare. EHRs provide a digital record of a patient’s medical history, which providers can easily access. This information is critical in providing quality care, as it helps the healthcare team make informed decisions about diagnosis and treatment.
EHRs also help improve communication between providers, as different care team members can easily access and share patient information. This feature can help to avoid duplication of services and reduce the risk of errors. Collaboration among care team members is essential to providing quality care, and EHRs are helping to make this possible.
Patients also benefit from the use of EHRs. They can easily access their medical records and share them with providers, which can help ensure that all relevant information will get considered when making treatment decisions. There’s no more need to track down a physical chart or wait for test results to get faxed — everything is right there at the provider’s fingertips.
Although still in its early stages, the use of EHRs is increasing. According to reports by Healthcare IT News, the EHR market will expand at a compound yearly growth rate of 6% for the next five years. And there seems to be no slowing down the momentum. It’s a digital transformation that is here to stay and one that will help healthcare providers deliver quality care.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, telemedicine has become an essential tool for healthcare providers. It allows them to consult with patients remotely without needing an in-person visit.
This capability is significant for vulnerable populations, such as older adults and those with chronic conditions, who are at a higher risk for complications from the virus. Telemedicine can help them avoid exposure to the virus by staying home and receiving care from the comfort of their own homes.
In addition to reducing exposure to the virus, telemedicine can also help reduce wait times and improve access to care. It can help a variety of consults, including primary care, mental health, and specialist visits.
Telemedicine is not new, especially in innovative countries such as Singapore, Japan, and South Korea. However, the pandemic has accelerated its adoption in other parts of the world. As telemedicine increases, it will help healthcare providers maximize efficiency and give services to anyone who needs it.
Flexible Payment Options
In the past, patients often had to pay for healthcare services out of pocket, which could be a significant financial burden, especially for those who needed ongoing care or had unexpected medical expenses.
Now, more flexible payment options are available to help patients cover the cost of care. For example, many providers offer monthly payment plans that allow patients to spread the cost of care over time. A growing number of insurance plans also provide coverage for out-of-pocket expenses.
Patients can also avoid the hassle of bringing cash, as many providers allow digital transactions. Today, mobile banking makes it easy for patients to pay their providers directly from their smartphones. Plus, it’s a safer option than carrying cash upfront.
Flexible payment options help patients access the care they need without delay and provide peace of mind. It’s another way that healthcare providers can focus on patient outcomes.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Surgical site infections (SSIs) are serious complications that can occur after surgery. They happen when bacteria enter the body through an incision site and cause an infection.
SSIs are a leading cause of hospital readmissions and can extend a patient’s hospital stay by an average of 4.5 days. They also increase the risk of mortality. Luckily, healthcare providers can now rely on artificial intelligence (AI) to reduce the incidence of SSIs.
Robotic surgical assistants equipped with AI are used in operating rooms across the country. These machines use machine learning algorithms to identify patterns in data that can help predict the risk of SSIs.
One study found that AI could reduce the incidence of SSIs by up to 50%. It is a significant advance for patient safety and shows how AI is changing healthcare for the better. So, while AI may still be in its early stages, it has great potential to improve patient outcomes and help healthcare providers deliver quality care.
The healthcare landscape is constantly changing, and new technologies are emerging that can help healthcare providers deliver quality care. The above are just a few examples of how technology is helping to streamline healthcare practice. As the healthcare industry evolves, so will the technologies supporting it. It is an exciting time for healthcare and holds great promise for improving patient care.