Healthcare technology adoption is on the rise, but many providers have reached a critical juncture at which they must begin implementing healthcare IT or be left behind.
Healthcare technology gives care providers the ability to streamline processes and offer personalized care with more efficiency. The intersection of healthcare and IT is transforming the quality of the patient experience.
When you think about how many different healthcare facilities that any given patient might visit in a year — doctor’s office, pharmacy, hospital, etc. — anything a provider can do to modernize and improve patient care is a step in the right direction.
With that in mind, here are three trends you’re likely to see as IT continues to improve the quality of healthcare.
Health Records Will Become More Accessible
Electronic record management tools, digital data collection platforms, and other healthcare technology solutions are allowing healthcare providers to create and maintain easily accessible health records. Patients and care providers will have increasingly quick and easy access to health forms and personal medical information, which will vastly improve the care provided and the overall patient experience.
For example, the electronic collection and storage of health data gives patients the ability to update and submit their information from a mobile, tablet, or desktop device. It also allows patients to easily review their personal information, which keeps users engaged and ensures each individual is a key player in his or her own health plan.
Additionally, using an online system to collect patient registrations or medical history information will make it easier for healthcare providers to quickly review and evaluate a patient’s health status. If there is no wait for new data to be manually entered into an electronic system, doctors and other providers can make informed decisions about a patient’s health needs immediately—which means they will provide better care with fewer complications.
Critical Processes Will Be Streamlined
The ability to streamline processes is one of the most significant benefits of healthcare IT. Despite being a fast-paced industry, healthcare involves a lot of tedious data-gathering processes that can delay the delivery of care. Fortunately, IT solutions such as online forms can help healthcare providers automate administrative tasks and free up time to focus on delivering quality care.
Ultimately, the goal for everyone in healthcare should be to create positive, seamless patient experiences across every touchpoint. The simplest way to achieve that goal is through the use of healthcare technology. For instance, allowing patients to submit electronic updates to their medical history eliminates the need for a staff member to manually enter the updates from a paper form. This, in turn, uploads updated information into the system sooner, which helps providers deliver more personal and relevant care without delay.
According to the Accenture Digital Health Technology Vision 2016, using technology in the health arena is “…not about replacing people; it’s about allowing people to work more efficiently, and where they are needed most.”
Data Collection Will Become More Accurate
Obviously, healthcare providers must remain HIPAA compliant, which has made the idea of using technology to collect patient data a bit scary. However, the benefits far outweigh the risks when you use the right tools.The development of online platforms will make data collection more accurate and efficient.
One benefit of online platforms is that data gathered online is more trustworthy than information collected via paper forms. Handwritten information is typically entered manually into an online system, which opens the door for transcription errors. Additionally, handwritten information can be hard to decipher depending on a person’s penmanship. The possibility for human error is too great to ignore.
Many online data collection platforms have built-in verification features that won’t allow the submission of inaccurate or incomplete information. This will be a major perk for healthcare providers due to the extreme importance of maintaining accurate patient records. Inaccurate data can lead to costly errors, so technology that helps avoid these downfalls will become indispensable as healthcare providers look to continue improving the patient experience.