In this modern era, the wonders of technology are no surprise to anyone. From manufacturing, research and development, logistics to education – information technology is influencing every industry in some way or the other. But there is one sector where technology has the most significant impact – healthcare. With aging baby boomers and rising health concerns, the demand for health services is rapidly increasing. There is no way to keep up with exponential growth because human brains can only process limited information at a time.
Fortunately, technological advancements make room for systems that can manage health information and provide quality care to patients. It stores massive amounts of data – patient history, medical records, and retrieves information whenever necessary. At the same time, it analyzes patient data through electronic record systems. Thus, reducing the chances of clinical errors as technological systems give access to explicit guidelines.
In addition to improving health delivery, health ITrecords patients’ data to treat and prevent the outspread of deadly diseases. After all, the evolving IT infrastructure is changing the medical landscape. If you are unaware of these changes, help us figure out IT’s role in health management. Have a look below.
1. PROVIDES CLINICAL DECISION SUPPORT (CDS)
Unsurprisingly, health workers have to cater to multiple emergencies in a day, where they make tough decisions. Information technology supports clinical decisions that send automated alerts and reminders to practitioners, nurses, and surgeons. Similarly, it sends conditioned-focused order sets, patient data reports, and other tools to help them make correct decisions. All this becomes possible through electronic medical records. Instead of manually storing data, nurses leverage digital health tools to secure the patient’s information.
After this, a healthcare data analyst gathers, interprets, and compiles data into visual presentations. It promotes understandability, letting healthcare workers make informed decisions. It provides knowledge and person-specific information to tailor treatments. Besides this, CDS has the potential to increase adherence to health regulations and protocols. Hence, preventing medication errors and complications. For instance, – if a doctor knows a patient has diabetes, he will prescribe medicines accordingly.
2. TELEHEALTH & TELEMEDICINE
The primary goal of health experts is to promote accessibility. Governments are taking initiatives to provide healthcare to everyone, irrespective of income, age, ethnicity, and affordability. Thus, information technology is trying to deliver health-related services over distances. Technology provides a means to improve access to care while reducing transportation costs. Firstly, in rural areas, since they don’t have access to hospitals. With the help of telehealth, patients can virtually meet the doctor and communicate their concerns.
Similarly, patients suffering from fever or flu don’t have to head over to a hospital. They can have virtual consultations with the physician, discuss their symptoms, and get prescriptions. Moreover, there are substantial cost benefits associated with telehealth. According to Alliance Connected studies, telehealth can save up to $100 on every doctor visit.
3. FACILITATES REMOTE MONITORING
With limited resources, hospitals and clinics can’t ensure optimal quality care. Practitioners are juggling between patients with chronic and acute illnesses, trying to divide their time equally. Fortunately, technological advancements are easing the burden on health workers. Remote monitoring lets clinicians monitor patients virtually. It supports the electronic transmission of healthcare data from one device to another. In short, remote monitoring includes physiologic and diagnostic measurements.
Nurses and physicians can check a patient’s oxygen level, blood sugar, glucose, and blood pressure from anywhere at any time. Simultaneously, they can track medication intake, infusion devices, and capture chronic health problems remotely. Moreover, it keeps a check-in balance on daily life activities through biosensors, pedometers, and sleep detectors. These elements unfold health problems without human intervention. In addition to saving time, doctors can diagnose and devise treatment plans quickly.
4. ENSURES PRIVACY & SECURITY
In healthcare, there is a never-ending need for accurate and complete information to provide high-quality care. Since many hospitals handle these records manually, there are chances of mixing patient information. Likewise, files can also get lost, creating privacy and security concerns. Surprisingly, health IT eliminates all such problems, ensuring confidentiality, integrity by reassessing health security information policies.
Furthermore, it limits unauthorized access to the servers, meaning workers who are directly dealing with patients can access information only. If you want to wipe off risks and any chances of data breaches, implement the following practices.
I.Review software policies and devise new regulations to address risks that might arise in the future.
II.Use encrypted servers on every electronic device to limit third-party access.
III.Ensure other healthcare entities or patients don’t have access to this data.
5. FOSTERS COLLABORATION
During a hospital stay, patients meet different doctors and nurses. Some are responsible for prescribing medicines while others look after their treatment regime. In all this hustle-bustle, it is essential to ensure a smooth health information exchange. And this only becomes possible through information technology. Electronic health information exchange enables health providers to discuss patient details with each other through connected devices.
If an on-duty doctor notices a low blood pressure level, he will report it on the electronic device. Thus, all assisting nurses, clinicians, and surgeons would get an update that might have missed otherwise. Similarly, nurses can delve into their medical history before giving any medication to avoid any treatment complications. In addition to fostering collaboration, it increases efficiency in healthcare delivery.
6. REVOLUTIONIZES DRUG DEVELOPMENT
Previously, it took years and heaps of money to develop a new drug. Although epidemiologists still have to take medicine through clinical trials, information technology revolutionizes the drug development procedure. It leverages artificial intelligence while performing silico trails. These happen via computer simulation, which is far less time-consuming. It holds power to test thousands of new potential drugs in minutes.
There has been a significant development in this field – organs on a chip. Instead of involving humans, it uses human cells and their fluidic channels to produce blood. As a result, these chips can recreate breathing motions and muscle contractions, assisting with trials. However, the current biological understanding doesn’t rely on silico trails, as this area is still subject to interpretation. Believe it or not, but new technological approaches are dominating the pharmaceutical landscape within the healthcare industry.
Sooner or later, every healthcare institute will have to incorporate IT to keep up with the rising demand. It can transform healthcare, improve safety, and support effective health delivery. Similarly, it is exceptionally beneficial for inner-city and rural populations, improving access to health services. All frontline health workers should open themselves to this change and start adopting IT’s power to improve patient outcomes. After all, the healthcare IT market is one of the fastest-growing markets across the globe.