Whether you are discussing the business side of healthcare or the daily work of healthcare professionals, embracing technological solutions is a necessity to enable faster results, improve patient outcomes, and save time. But beyond that, technology has the potential to revolutionize the realm of patient-provider interactions, making it easier for providers and allowing for more personalized interactions with patients.
In a world increasingly driven by technology, it is imperative that the healthcare industry not just think about technology as a tool for diagnosis or care, but as a critical component in an ever-evolving, more holistic approach. Healthcare leaders must think broadly and holistically when it comes to how they integrate technology into their planning for the future. Leveraging the possibilities of technology use to save time, provide more accurate care, and personalize care delivery will inevitably be the future of care.
Technology has already shown its potential to aid in personalization through machines and devices that provide more accurate diagnoses and treatment plans. As technology continues to advance, the possibilities for further healthcare personalization grow greater.
In terms of administrative work and handling patient data, technology-aided data assessments can help providers better understand patient needs and tailor their care plans. New technological tools help to analyze patient data and draw connections between patient records that healthcare professionals could not on their own. These technological tools provide more context and detail for professionals to make specific plans that benefit their patients, while making sure all aspects of their patients’ histories are considered. While investment in the systems for this level of care may seem daunting in the immediate term, the long-term benefits produce ample potential for significant return on investment.
Automating processes to save time
Healthcare professionals spend an overwhelming amount of time on administrative tasks like updating patient data and records or managing appointment schedules. In 2021, doctors reported spending on average 15.6 hours per week on paperwork and other administrative tasks. This is time that can be used for active patient care through utilization of technology. Technological solutions save providers time by helping to make these administrative processes more accurate and efficient.
New apps and web-based solutions, like Iqvia, a healthcare information technology service, allow patients virtual access to their own medical records outside of appointments. These services also make it easier for patients to schedule appointments, make payments, and see test results. Giving patients the tools to engage in their own care not only increases patient agency, but also saves providers time by decreasing unnecessary administrative communication with patients.
In terms of appointments with providers, telehealth options have been on the rise since the pandemic has increased the risk of in-person appointments. But telehealth options have benefits beyond health and safety concerns. In general, these solutions help providers maximize the time they have reserved for patients and reduce transportation-related appointment cancellations through reducing the barriers preventing patients from attending appointments. As we enter an environment where patients are more willing to come into doctor’s offices or hospitals and are not turning to telehealth out of fear, healthcare leaders should not shake off telehealth options as a purely COVID-driven innovation, but rather continue to invest and think more broadly about what the real possibilities of telehealth look like in a stabilized public health environment.
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