The use of technology in healthcare has been growing for decades. Hospitals, private practices, and care facilities use technology on a daily basis to help streamline their operation.
Digital technology now makes it easier for patients to interact with their doctors and track their own health. It also helps healthcare organizations maintain patient information and provide efficient billing services.
Almost every area of the healthcare industry is now aided by some form of technology. To get a better idea of what’s going on, keep reading.
We’re going over eight surprising facts about digital innovations in healthcare.
1. Mobile Apps Help Improve Quality of Care
The use of mobile apps give both healthcare professionals and patients the ability to stay on top of the treatment process. This translates to faster, higher quality care.
Apps empower patients to manage their own care and medication needs. They also give them a direct line of communication with their providers.
Patients can track their appointment schedule and view details of prior visits. Mobile apps make it easy to chart important facts such as blood pressure readings and weight fluctuations.
Doctors can use mobile apps to view a patient’s medical history, prescribe medications, and send alerts to patients. Healthcare facilities can send important information about upcoming appointments and billing schedules.
2. The Benefits of Telemedicine
The use of video technology to aid in communication in the healthcare industry is referred to as telemedicine. Many fields now use some form of this technology.
This important tool helps doctors provide remote consultations with patients. It aids in the transmission of data such as x-rays and electrocardiograms. It can also help remotely monitor a patient’s vitals.
Telemedicine technology is now used in many different fields. For example, telepathology can help streamline the organ donation process.
When used in hospitals and private offices, this technology helps reduce wait times and allows for better medical treatment in remote, rural areas.
3. Social Media Outreach
It seems like social media is part of almost every industry today. Healthcare is no exception.
Medical facilities now use social media to reach a larger audience. This puts current and potential patients in direct communication with providers.
However, this isn’t just a good marketing tool. Providers can use social media sites like Facebook to answer questions about their services. They can also provide information to people in need of healthcare options.
Social media also allows patients to leave reviews about facilities and doctors. This is useful for people seeking a certain type of care. They can easily find firsthand insight about a provider.
4. More Efficient Care with Information Technology
It’s now commonplace for hospitals and private practices to use IT on a daily basis. This allows them to provide a level of efficiency unattainable in the past.
Nurses and doctors now use hand-held devices to chart patient data. This could include symptoms, treatment plans, lab results, and medical histories. This data is then made available on the facility’s network.
This means the right people can access patient records instantaneously. The result is quicker, easier treatment for the patient.
Healthcare IT also helps keep patient data secure. Patients don’t have to worry about their information getting into the wrong hands.
5. Streamlining the Medical Records Process
A few decades ago all medical records were kept in physical files. However, now everything is digital and this means a much higher rate of efficiency.
This has revolutionized the medical billing procedure. It’s also made medical billing its own profession within the healthcare industry.
HIPAA laws require the use of software to send out patient bills. This has made the process much quicker and more accurate.
Electronic medical records also benefit doctors. They can now access a patient’s entire medical history. This provides deeper insight when establishing a diagnoses and treatment plan.
This technology can also chart trends in patients’ treatment to help provide higher quality care to future patients with the same illness.
6. Home Monitoring
The evolution of home monitoring devices provides a number of benefits to the patient and doctor. These devices monitor a patient’s health status remotely.
Home monitoring devices are especially beneficial for elderly patients and those with pacemakers. A facility can track a person’s condition and alert them if there’s an issue. They can also alert emergency services if needed.
These devices help cut down on unneeded medical visits for patients. They also help reduce costs for both the patient and medical facility.
Home monitoring provides an easy solution for those at risk of serious, unexpected medical issues. It’s also a great way for doctors to track a patient’s condition without the need for a visit.
7. Technology is Bringing Self-Service to Healthcare
Web-based technology is allowing patients to become more involved in their own healthcare. It also provides more education about a patient’s illness.
Many healthcare organizations now use online portals. Patients can log in from home to view their treatment plan, communicate with their doctor, and pay bills. They can also update their own portal with information for the doctor.
Facilities use self-service kiosks to streamline the sign-in, payments, and paperwork process. This makes things easier on the patient and staff.
This self-service technology reduces wait times and makes the experience of visiting a doctor much easier.
8. Predicting Health Issues
Search engine trends can now aid in the prediction of certain medical issues. Professionals can evaluate the volume and proximity of search queries to monitor when certain outbreaks will happen.
For example, if there’s a spike in searches pertaining to a specific illness, doctors can predict how prevalent the illness is during a certain time. These predictions are also regional.
Understanding when outbreaks occur is invaluable information. This can help doctors and facilities prepare for seasonal illnesses and provide faster, higher quality treatment.
What Do These Surprising Facts Mean for Healthcare?
The healthcare industry has completely changed over the last two decades. Much of this is due to advances in technology.
These surprising facts show the importance of technology in healthcare and how the treatment of illnesses is becoming much more informed and efficient. This quality of care will continue to grow alongside digital technology.
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