From complex electronic health record systems to mobile health applications, technological novelty and adoption have proved especially challenging – even downright polarizing – for the healthcare industry. There is also grown pressure under the rising cost of health care while improving quality. Entrepreneurs and technology companies are focusing on providing tech tools that can satisfy regulations, under costs, and improve the effectiveness of both health administrators and health practitioners. But success or failure of these technologies often depends on effective leadership, financial resources and perhaps most of all, intent; specifically, if healthcare providers are using them as a means to enhance the quality of care – not just increase the speed at which it’s delivered.
Here are five technology-risen health care tools are changing the face of health administration in America – and how they’re doing it.
Electronic Health Records
(EHR) represent an on-going try to streamline care by digitizing patient data. An EHR is a digital version of a patient’s medical record that can be updated in real-time by permitted health professionals. That provides a broad view of a patient’s medical history by allowing medical diagnoses, conditions, treatment plans and test results to be accessed quickly and securely using Web-enabled devices. In addition to providing instantaneous access to health information, one of the chief favors of an EHR is that it improves care coordination by allowing patient information to be shared by multiple health care providers and organizations, with specialists, hospitals, emergency facilities, pharmacies and imaging centers.
Interactive Personal Health Records
Families with compounding health issues – or even just average primary care appointments – can easily accrue reams of paperwork, from bills and statements to complicated insurance correspondence. Interactive private health records (PHR) – an extent of the EHR that allows patients to manage many aspects of their own health care – aim to replace this kind of record-keeping and simultaneously make it easier for providers to understand their patient’s needs. The PHR is automatically people with EHR data from all of a patient’s providers and can be accessed by the patient with a Web browser at any time and from any place. Lab results, immunization records and nomination dates are all types of information you might find in a PHR. In addition, the interactive interface allows patients to enter information into their records; this data is then forwarded to the patient’s physician.
Telehealth is a term used to encompass methods, devices and technologies that are used to deliver medical education, treatment and information from a distance. This broad category of technologies covers many applications – new innovations are being developed and tested every day. Video conferencing, for instance, supports real-time interaction via audio and video links, distant patient monitoring and the transmission of digital images for remote diagnosis. Although distant care is not a new concept, today’s wireless networks, mobile devices and advanced data compression schemes are enhancing that’s the power to treat patients more effectively.
Computerized Physician Order Entry
(CPOE) has been identified by HHS as a core component for improving health care delivery, especially in hospital settings. CPOE allows physicians to permeate medical orders and instructions related to patient treatment directly into networked systems. Information is then shared with medical staff and with organizations liable for fulfilling orders, including laboratories, radiology departments and pharmacies.
Email, text and instant messages have replaced many forms of handwritten communication. E-prescriptions take handwriting out of the prescription procedure by allowing physicians and other health practitioners to send prescriptions in electronic form directly to pharmacies from the point of care. The most obvious favor include a reduction in prescription errors due to problems with handwriting interpretation.