If you were to solve the issue of time travel, transport an unsuspecting medical professional from the 19th century and drop them into the 21st century, they would find themselves in an unrecognizable place.
Though the hospital you’ve so kindly transported them to might have the same administrative hierarchies and positions as its 19th-century counterpart, the impact technology has had on health care would be truly astounding to your confused time traveler.
Technology extends its impact on the health care industry
Technology has changed just about everything. From the way we communicate with one another to how we exercise and even purchase groceries, technology has been a true game-changer for many industries.
It should come as no surprise we’re seeing technology extend its impact on the health care industry. Tech not only makes it easier for doctors to meet and communicate with patients, but it also helps protect important patient information and provide real-time communication between health care professionals.
Telemedicine allows health care professionals to meet patients virtually
Today, many patients want to schedule an appointment and meet with their doctors online. Fortunately, modern technology enables medical professionals to consult and meet with patients using HIPAA-compliant video-conferencing tools like TheraNest, SimplePractice and Zoom for health care.
By using telemedicine software, patients can see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment without waiting for an appointment and do so from the comfort of their own home. With telemedicine services, medical professionals and patients can also share information in real time, and health care professionals can see and capture readings from medical devices at separate locations.
“As technology advances, healthcare workers now have access to tools that not only help their patients but make their jobs easier and more efficient than ever before. Live streaming tools, for example, can allow them the ability to utilize HIPAA-compliant live and interactive video streaming which can be hugely impactful,” said G. Reggie Vativ, COO of Agora.io.
In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, telemedicine technology has made health care more accessible and has even helped keep things business as usual between health professionals and their patients. If a patient is symptomatic or needs other health care services, they may use telemedicine services rather than putting their health or the health of others at risk by venturing to an office.
“Telehealth has seen explosive growth for how it can help protect patients and health care providers from exposure to the coronavirus,” shared G. Cameron Deemer, president of DrFirst. “This public health crisis has obviously driven fast-track adoption by providers. We expect this will have a lasting impact after the crisis has abated. Patients will have a new expectation for telehealth and how it can protect them from other viruses, and hospitals and physicians will have a new appreciation for telehealth’s efficiency, as well as its role in infection control.”
Keeping patient information safe and secured
When it comes to protecting patient data, doing so is no easy feat. Health care providers must protect patient privacy while delivering quality patient care and meeting the rigid regulatory requirements HIPAA has set forth.
While regulations require medical professionals to ensure patient information is stored securely, HIPAA laws also allow only authorized individuals to have access to patient data. Though it is up to medical professionals and the organizations they work with to determine what security measures to employ to meet these regulations, there are many tools they can use.
“As more and more health care organizations go through the process of digital transformation, health care professionals must work diligently to protect patient information. Encryption is an important security tool that is designed to protect data. It’s especially useful in the health care setting, which involves sensitive data that is regulated by HIPAA.” Explained Marty Puranik, the founder, president, and CEO of Atlantic.Net.
Collaboration amongst medical professionals
Collaboration technologies have also had a major impact on the health care industry. As health care organizations begin to rely on telemedicine tools and other methods of secure patient communication, many have also developed collaboration suites to connect clinical teams across departments and organizations, effectively improving patient care.
“Recent technological developments are changing everything about clinical practice. It enables clinicians to not only recognize a change in patient status or the need for care but also notify the appropriate care team members about it in a timely matter, which is crucial in delivering the best care possible,” said Rikki Jennings, chief nursing informatics officer at Zebra Technologies. “Technology is also helping clinicians become better advocates for their patients, which in turn helps improve response time and patient care.”
When it comes down to it, the right telemedicine, data security and collaboration solutions can help meet clinical and patient needs within a health care organization. Not only do such tech-savvy tools help improve communication across the board, but they also have the potential to improve patient care as a whole.
Technology improves patient care
The new reality for health care organizations is they must begin using technologically driven solutions to improve their processes and patient care. The use of tech-savvy tools can not only help to ensure reliable and fast information exchanges between health care teams and providers, but it can also help optimize a patient’s overall health care experience.
Technology allows health care providers to go beyond just treating illnesses, as it also enables them to schedule appointments and diagnostics, coordinate follow-up visits and answer patient’s questions.
It’s no secret a positive patient experience is a top priority in the health care industry, and there’s no denying technology has been key in improving patient care.
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