Healthcare in the United States has rapidly changed in the last 100 years. From house-calls and community clinics to commercialized hospitals and facilities, the healthcare industry has evolved in every way. A marked shift has been from decentralized to centralized healthcare.
Public health workers do a lot to make their communities healthier and happier. The sector operates under federal and state oversight, issuing and implementing important protocols that keep people safe. With so many public health careers and policies that improve and preserve lives, it is important that initiatives and operations are well-equipped. Technology plays a big role in effectively improving community health. From first responders to health educators, public health workers need effective technology now more than ever.
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.
Due to the urgency of COVID-19, healthcare providers are scrambling to find technology solutions to help them navigate through these unprecedented times. Medical centers are having to quickly adapt to mandatory safety guidelines, telehealth and quarantine requirements. In the wake of this, technology has to adjust to healthcare industry needs.
An electronic health record (EHR) is a form that physicians fill out during or after a patient's visit. These forms document a patient's complaints, diagnosis, treatment, medication, health stats and more. While they are more convenient than paper charts, they are time consuming. On average, physicians spend 16 minutes on each EHR.
In a medical office, almost all daily tasks are dependent on technology. Patient medical and financial information is shared between offices every day. While these sensitive documents are being digitally shared and stored, hackers are finding ways to get through cybersecurity systems.
Healthcare is not only about diagnosing and treating patients, it is also about engaging with them. Building better relationships with patients is one of the biggest priorities for healthcare professionals. Doing this increases quality of care, patient returns and productivity. Sequence Health reports that medical staff use 1.5 to 2 hours a day speaking to patients on the phone. This time could be used for other important tasks if medical offices implemented technology that could make patient-office communication more productive. Time management issues like these are common in doctor’s offices. Fortunately, there are many types of technology that can assist medical professionals in having better patient engagement. These programs include apps for patients, office management software and data analysis.
Clinical Support With AI and Machine Learning
Diagnostic errors are one of the most prevalent issues in the medical field. That is why new healthcare technologies are being produced to increase accuracy among physicians. The use of AI in healthcare has become the focus for many healthcare technology manufacturers. Machine learning allows the algorithms to improve through use and experience. Some AI diagnostic tools run autonomously while others require prompting from the physician. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first autonomous AI diagnostic tool to be sold to clinicians in April of 2018.
IT experts are front-and-center in the evolution of clinical processes. This is because tech now informs numerous ways that clinicians carry out their work. From wait time apps to medical wearables, there are endless ways that healthcare is being roboticized, digitized and otherwise updated to inform best practices. Here are three key ways that quality improvement is supported by tech optimization in healthcare facilities nationwide.
Every day, hospitals around the country are looking for opportunities to leverage innovations in healthcare IT. The goal is that digital healthcare tools enhance medical care in numerous ways. From the care itself improving due to implantables or other IT medical devices to doctor-patient communication and wait time apps, there is ample room for growth and hospitals are taking note.