Healthcare Investment Priorities

Jul 25, 2020 9:29:41 AM / by Joy Youell

Efficient and accessible technology has cemented the partnership between IT and healthcare. IT healthcare technology can save practices thousands of dollars through security protection and automation that can replace workers. Not only does healthcare technology save money for medical centers, it also saves time. 

Effective technology can save a ton of time for all staff members. With plenty of options that can improve the healthcare industry, it can be difficult to know which tools are mission critical. Surveys have shown that there are four main areas in which the IT healthcare industry is investing.

Continue reading for IT healthcare news in these four essential areas:

  1. Productivity
  2. Infrastructure
  3. Security
  4. Patient Experience

Workplace Productivity in Healthcare

There are inexhaustible kinds of tech that can improve productivity in medical workplaces. Medical staff are faced with a number of responsibilities and only a small percentage of completed daily tasks include seeing patients. 

In fact, only 27% of a physician's day includes seeing patients while 49% includes doing administrative work. This administrative work typically consists of writing patient charts, consulting with specialists and writing and approving prescriptions. 

Employees who work in administrative roles may spend a lot of time speaking with and directing patients. This often leads to unproductive workdays and discollaboration with physicians and nurses. When administrative staff and medical staff don’t communicate effectively there can be huge financial losses. Statistics show that unproductive communication may result in as much as a $4M annual loss for large hospitals. 

Fortunately, there are solutions to these problems. To combat productivity problems, Houston ENT & Allergy Clinic in Texas began to use Luma Health. The feature that made the most difference for this practice was smart scheduling. When a patient cancels their appointment, the empty space is sent to the next group of patients who have been waiting for an open space. 

This ensures that the clinic is not wasting valuable time and money. The clinic reports a $500,000 increase in revenue that they credit to this feature alone. Staff also had more free time to work on other important tasks, rather than calling patients all day. There are many different kinds of hospital technology that have these same features. This is only one example of how a small IT healthcare investment to increase productivity can make a huge difference.

Infrastructure in Healthcare

With new medical software being introduced everyday, one would expect hospitals and practices to utilize modern systems to optimize communication. In reality, 50% of healthcare transactions are relayed through fax. It costs $125 billion a year to process these faxes. 

There are plenty of reliable, quick and effective communication platforms that medical centers could utilize instead of fax machines. The same can be said for virtual messaging and video chatting platforms in which many hospitals and practices continue to use inefficient or outdated technology. 

So why aren’t more medical centers using advanced technology to form a sturdy virtual infrastructure? The problem is interoperability. 45% of physicians have difficulty integrating patient information into Electronic Health Records. This is why hospitals rely on fax machines and other platforms instead. Incorporating systems with interoperability features into the digital infrastructure is the best way for medical centers to overcome this issue. 

Catalyst Health Network, based in Dallas, claims that data was getting lost and staff couldn’t follow up with patient referrals because they relied on fax machines and other outdated systems. Catalyst contacted LeadingReach who committed to finding affordable and easy solutions to improve the infrastructure. Through customized technology, LeadingRanch was able to improve internal and external communication at Catalyst. This single healthcare investment was enough to revolutionize the way that Catalyst operated. 

Security in Healthcare

Security is a hot topic in the IT healthcare industry. Patients are concerned about where their information goes and providers worry about breaches. In fact, there are 17,000 patient record breaches a day. This is enough to make anyone want to go off the grid forever. 

Not to mention, the millions of dollars that the healthcare industry loses every year from these incidents. All medical software has its own security features in place. Some of these are better than others. But even with these features, investing in healthcare security IT is an excellent way to further lock down sensitive information. 

Even though they may be unstable and insecure, 91% of providers use cloud-based platforms. While these systems are easy to use and accessible for employees, they leave protected information at risk. Most data inputting software, including cloud-based, requires manual labor. 

Yet, 47% of medical personnel worry and are not confident about the security of their data. Some providers don’t see the value of implementing hospital software that works to secure all information. This can be because it is costly, especially when individual programs claim to be HIPAA compliant and secure. What many fail to consider is that practices can lose millions of dollars, and even shut down completely, due to security breaches.

In Brooklyn, New York, Interfaith Medical Center has pioneered successful security measures. Interfaith tested its security through a simulation exercise. This allowed the hospital to detect its points of weakness. Using a variety of VMWare solutions, Interfaith was able to create a no-trust security wall. 

Investing in security hospital apps has essentially made it so that Interfaith will be able to withstand any cyberattack. This saves the hospital billions of dollars in the process. With an endless list of these sorts of anti-attack platforms, medical providers should consider testing their own systems to identify and shore up points of weakness.

Patient Experience Improvements in Healthcare

Patients are always on the lookout for physicians who can offer the most efficient experience. Here are a few statistics about the features that patients look for: 

  • 79% of patients prefer medical providers that also include virtual appointment availability  
  • 43% of patients report that wait times are the worst part of their visit
  • 81% of patients said that they want online appointment booking options at their physicians office

Two of these statistics have simple solutions. There are plenty of medical apps that offer online appointment booking and virtual doctors appointments. Wait times, on the other hand, are something that all medical centers struggle with. Late patients, charting times and long appointments are the main culprits. 

Fortunately, there are some things that can be done about this. Doctors offices can implement strict late policies to try to curb delays. Hiring medical scribes to chart can eliminate hours from a doctor's work day, leaving more room for patients. Lastly, even if wait times can’t be reduced, you can give your patients real-time wait times through DocClocker. This feature will alleviate stress for your patients so that they can know exactly how long they have to wait.

There are all kinds of apps and platforms out there that can help improve your patient experience. These can range from telehealth to medical wearables. All it takes is finding out what the needs of your patients are. 

Each demographic will have different ideas as to how their experience could be improved. Elderly patients may not be interested in online booking, but they may be interested in medical wearables that can track health information. 

A great way to begin investing in patient experience IT is through a survey. Giving patients the option to dictate how they want their experience to be is an excellent first step. Check out DocClocker below to learn about their reviewing platform and real time wait times.

DocClocker for Physicians and Patients

Some medical platforms are not only for physicians or patients, some can fit the needs of both. DocClocker does it all. With exciting features for medical offices and for patients at home, DocClocker can take care of all your needs. 

For patients, DocClocker offers:

  • Reviewing platform
  • Doctor locator
  • Real-time wait times
  • Automated reminders
  • Online appointment booking
  • Updates from the operating room

For physicians:

  • Automated messages
  • Secure data
  • Notes section
  • Waiting room management
  • Profile building tools

Go here to check out all of DocClockers amazing features:

Tags: DocClocker, Healthcare news, IT healthcare, Medical health, IT healthcare news, Healthcare trends

Joy Youell

Written by Joy Youell

Joy Youell writes about IT healthcare, digital medical innovations and improving patient experiences for DocClocker.