The healthcare industry is one where technology can play a vital role in reducing costly and time-consuming manual or paper-based tasks and streamline workflow to deliver better care to patients. All too often, healthcare providers are bogged down by tedious administrative tasks and record keeping which takes time away from treating patients.
Three types of technologies have emerged in the healthcare field that are revolutionizing how healthcare professionals perform their day-to-day tasks:
1. Remote Monitoring Tools.
2. Patient Engagement Platforms.
3. EHR (Electronic Health Records).
The American Society for Quality (ASQ) has found that remote patient monitoring is the number one solution that can help healthcare organizations decrease costs and reap greater returns on investment. Of the 170 participants in a recent survey, 69 percent said that remote patient monitoring has the greatest impact on reducing costs. Surprisingly, 68 percent listed both patient engagement platforms and EHR technology as the other two types of technology that could improve workflow. Let’s take a look at the three types of technology.
Remote Monitoring Tools
Remote patient monitoring (RPM) enables healthcare professionals to actively monitor a patient’s vital signs when she resides outside of a traditional hospital or clinic. This involves wearing sensors that monitor health vitals and parameters. The data collected is shared with a healthcare provider, and alerts are issued when health deteriorates. This enables healthcare providers to provide proactive care and avoid costly emergency room visits.
In this scenario, patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes and dementia can live at home and live a more independent and active lifestyle. It also provides peace of mind for the patient and her family knowing that there is medical support readily available if the need arises.
Patient Engagement Platforms
Patient engagement platforms encourage patients to take a proactive stance in managing their own care. These are essentially online resources where patients can educate themselves, share data and updates with healthcare providers, take part in decisions that impact their health and access digital health plans. These platforms improve patient well-being and reduce healthcare costs.
Electronic Health Records (EHR)
One of the biggest bottlenecks in a healthcare organization is the arduous task of maintaining records for thousands of patients. The old paper-based method of record keeping is rife with errors such as inaccurate data transmission and misplaced files. Moving to an electronic system helps to improve accuracy and data security. It also allows for easier access to files and greatly reduces the time required to manually fill out paper forms.
How to Successfully Implement Technology
It’s clear that cookie-cutter, or ‘one-size fits all’ types of technology are not ideal for most healthcare organizations. The most successful software implementations are tailored to the unique needs of each organization and help to streamline workflow. Having a technology “champion” or someone who advocates and supports the use of new technology is also an important factor.