Healthcare has come a long way from traditional medical practices. Telehealth, healthcare analytics and remote monitoring to smart displays in the patient room – are examples of technological advancements in the healthcare industry that are contributing towards better patient care.
This new era of digital healthcare services is offering better quality healthcare, with shorter wait times and at a lower cost in many cases. Technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics are a part of several healthcare IT solutions that are making this happen.
Today’s consumer-driven healthcare industry is the result of digitally-empowered patients. Searching online for the best healthcare options and comparing reviews on various sites leads to an increasingly competitive marketplace for healthcare organizations. Hence, higher patient satisfaction is now a key metric for hospitals to stay on top of the competition.
Organizations prioritize IT solutions for the healthcare industry in their operational framework to deliver upon patients’ expectations.
This blog aims to look at how technology is being used to transform the healthcare industry and patient interaction.
Importance of Telehealth in Digital Healthcare Services
Telehealth is growing by leaps and bounds. It is making a huge impact on the healthcare industry by replacing physical visits with virtual visits. It allows patients to maintain their privacy and dignity, saves them time, and increases the convenience of receiving digital healthcare services.
Research about telehealth is rapidly evolving and looks extremely promising. For example, studies have shown that telephone-based support and telemonitoring of vital signs of people with heart failure reduces the risk of death and hospitalization caring and improves quality of life.
The major goals of telehealth are:
- make healthcare more accessible in rural areas, isolated communities
- provide easier access to medical specialists
- improve coordination and communication amongst care team members and a patient
- provide support for self-management for health care.
The following patient engagement solutions are just a few of the many ways that technology is revolutionizing the healthcare patient experience –
Online Patient Portals
Most private clinics have an online portal available for the convenience of their patients. Like any email portal, these patient portals allow doctors and patients to conveniently communicate their private healthcare details in one central place – preventing privacy over-exposure and breach.
A portal provides a more secure online tool to do the following:
- Communicate with your doctor or a nurse
- Request prescription refills
- Review test results and summaries of previous visits
- Schedule appointments or request appointment reminders
- If your doctor is in a large health care system, the portal also may provide a single point of communication for any other specialists you may see
Some clinics enable patients to receive virtual appointments with doctors and nurses. These appointments are helpful because they allow you to receive ongoing care from your regular doctor without needing an in-person visit.
Similarly, a nursing call center is staffed with nurses who advise patients on caring for themselves or those experiencing illness. The nursing call center doesn’t diagnose an illness or prescribe medications. The goal of a nursing call center is to provide patients with guidance and support as they deal with their illnesses.
Remote Patient Monitoring
Doctors or healthcare teams can remotely monitor their patient’s health by using various IT solutions for the healthcare industry, such as –
- Web-based or mobile apps for uploading information, such as blood glucose readings, to your doctor or health care team
- Devices that measure and wirelessly transmit information, such as blood pressure, blood glucose, or lung function
- Wearable devices that automatically record and transmit information, such as heart rate, blood glucose, gait, posture control, tremors, physical activity, or sleep patterns
- Home monitoring devices for older people or people with dementia that detect changes in normal activities such as falls
Personal health records and healthcare apps
An electronic personal health record system collects information about patients’ health to control and maintain. A PHR app is accessible anytime via a web-enabled device, such as a computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. In an emergency, a personal health record can quickly give emergency personnel vital information, such as current diagnoses, medications, drug allergies, and doctor’s contact information.
Many apps have been created to help consumers better organize their medical information in one secure place. These digital tools may help them –
- Store personal health information
- Record vital signs
- Calculate and track caloric intake
- Schedule reminders for taking medicine
- Record physical activity, such as their daily step count
Conclusion Patient satisfaction isn’t going away soon but will likely be more than just a metric for healthcare organizations. As concepts like family-centered care become more widely known, it opens up greater opportunities for hospitals to leverage healthcare IT solutions and serve more personalized human-centric needs better, as each person is unique, and there’s no one size fits all when it comes to what patients need.