How health information technology is transforming patient care
In today’s patient care arena, technology has become the support system. While technology is no silver bullet to solve all the pains prevailing in the healthcare industry, it has always been part and parcel of every advancement the medical vertical has seen in the past three decades.
From robotic arms to stitch incision and wearable tattoos to mhealth apps, all these technical advancements have acted as the forefronts of the current technological shift in medicine.
So here are five ways information technology is transforming healthcare, giving rise to more informed doctors and more aware patients.
5 ways technology has changed healthcare
1. More accessible treatment and increased patient adherence
Thanks to information technology, healthcare has become more accessible, reliable and safer for patients. With the increase in clinician communication, e-prescriptions have taken place.
This health information technology allows physicians to write and send prescriptions to pharmacies electronically. This saves both the patient and physician time, decreasing prescription errors and even improving the end results. A Surescripts study has recently highlighted that “e-prescribing showed a 10% increase in patient adherence among e-prescribing physicians versus non-e-prescribing physicians.”
2. Better information, better care
The main objective of health IT is to provide healthcare and medical professionals with up-to-date patient data while meeting all the HIPAA and other regulatory guidelines.
When doctors have all the medical data and past health history of a patient right in front of them, it makes it easier for them to come upto conclusions about the patient’s health and will help them prescribe medication more effectively. Thus, technology is not only adding to a patient’s health but also a physician’s information resulting in better care and health outcomes.
3. More savings
It has been found that half of all medical expenditures are dissipated on repeat procedures. the cost of more methods of sharing health related information aren’t only causing delay in care, errors in delivery, but are also squandering away money.
But with the introduction of electronic and connected systems like EHRs and wearables, and mobile apps such as Medidex much of that waste can be curbed. From patients keeping a record of their entire health history in one app to EHr compatibility, mhealth apps and EHRs are helping medical reports and lab results reach their destination sooner.
This has shown improvement in better and more timely care delivery which has reduced expensive medical errors and malpractice claims, has increased communication and efficiency, resulting in major cost savings.
4. Less paperwork, fewer medical errors
Patient access has always been a problem in US healthcare system. Only 54% of all faxed patient referrals have ever resulted in scheduled appointments. All of this was due to the complexities and lack of communication between health systems as most of the physicians were still using papers to maintain records and patient schedules.
But the introduction of EHRs in the medical field has changed its landscape. Three times the number of doctors say that EHRs have helped them avoid a medication error. This isn’t just it! As per ONC, the 2013 National Ambulatory Medical Care Physician Workflow Survey saw that almost 70% of physicians say that the lab and medication reminders provided to them by EHRs have helped them prevent potential patient harm.
5. Patient Participation
Mhealth apps have emerged as a key player in increasing patient participation and adherence. Healthcare apps like Medidex are helping patients have electronic access to their own health history, medical records, lab results, bills and recommendations.Such apps are motivating the patients to take their role in their own healthcare more seriously. Patients who have access to their own health portals can effectively stay updated and more informed about their diagnoses while keeping a better track of their symptoms, medications and future appointments.These apps also help patients interact with doctors and nurses more easily, resulting in better care and health outcomes.