Telehealth technologies and electronic health records give healthcare specialists and clinics a competitive edge. Discover the key benefits of using technology in healthcare.
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, is designed to accelerate technology adoption in healthcare and strengthen the compliance with HIPAA requirements. The HITECH Act’s key goals are to:
- make the healthcare system more secure, robust, and efficient
- urge patients to take part in decision-making regarding their health and treatment
- better coordinated patient care
- improve the population’s health
- ensure patient security and health data confidentiality
To reach these goals, the healthcare industry required HIPAA-compliant, all-in-one healthcare practice management software. Physicians across the globe began to adopt electronic health records to facilitate patient care and communication. The meaningful and secure use of patient information that the HITECH Act calls for means physicians should use only certified EHR software.
Read on to learn more about the advantages of technology in healthcare and how safe, affordable, and effective healthcare can be with the right tools in place.
How can technology improve healthcare?
Here are seven proven reasons why adopting healthcare technology is the smartest choice to take your medical practice to the next level.
Improved access to patient medical records
Medical practices are rapidly adopting technological inventions, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, wearables, and virtual therapy. Quality patient care requires full involvement of various medical specialists, including front desk support, nurses, and IT specialists.
Without systemic cooperation, a physician may lack sufficient patient data to make the correct diagnosis and create an effective treatment plan.
Electronic health record (EHR) software allows for better coordination among physicians involved in a patient’s health assessment and care.
Electronic health records are organized in a way that allows healthcare providers to effortlessly access patient data (lab tests, medical histories, prescriptions, personal details, etc.) in one shared database and view, use, and distribute this data. Using an EHR system prevents physicians from making errors in patient diagnoses and therapy.
Telehealth & telemedicine
Telehealth can benefit various patient populations by making care more accessible and cost-effective. People living in rural locations can receive professional medical support, get accurate diagnoses, and get medical prescriptions and a quality care plan using a computer or mobile device.
Look at how healthcare providers can benefit from implementing virtual treatment. With telehealth, physicians can:
- provide regular healthcare check-ups
- monitor patients in real time
- do quick follow-ups to discuss lab results
- change or adjust care plans
- perform pre- and post-operative appointments
- regularly monitor pregnant women
- monitor geriatric patients
- offer psychological consultations, etc.
We recommend choosing HIPAA-compliant healthcare practice management software that allows for secure video calls, messaging, and payments. For example, ExpertBox is HIPAA-compliant medical practice management software that covers all aspects of online healthcare delivery.
In addition to providing quality virtual treatment, many telehealth technology vendors offer continuing education, such as online training for medical staff, as part of a subscription plan.
Healthcare providers in remote areas can keep abreast of the most recent healthcare developments and approaches, increase their expertise, and maintain contact with healthcare professionals from various countries.
Improved health outcomes due to fewer human-related errors
Medical errors can impair not only patient health outcomes but also a physician’s mental state and reputation. As a result of errors, medical providers can lose self-confidence, experience anger and guilt, and, in the worst case scenario, lose their medical licenses.
Manually filling in patient data and maintaining medical records in paper format leaves room for human errors. Electronic health records reduce that issue. Physicians can keep, view, use, and transmit medical information through a centralized and secure database, preventing potential threats to patient data and increasing the accuracy of patient diagnoses.
In addition, in-depth data reports improve healthcare decision-making and help physicians choose the best treatment course.
Quality patient education
Physicians can increase patients’ healthcare knowledge with the help of comprehensive technologies. Well-educated patients are generally more engaged in their treatment and healthcare decision-making and reach better care outcomes.
Today’s technologies such as the Mayo Clinic app for iOS are highly customizable to help address each patient’s unique needs. This educational app gives patients constant access to their healthcare data, including appointment histories, lab tests, X-ray images, and healthcare providers’ notes.
Another practical use case is the Orthopedic Patient Education app. This animation-based app educates patients about orthopedic anatomy, orthopedic issues (knee pain, scoliosis, hip fractures, etc.), and the best therapy options. Healthcare providers can also create animated images describing specific conditions and send them to their patients.
Thanks to technologies, physicians can cut down their office-related costs and automate routine duties.
- By using telehealth, physicians can economize on office rent, equipment, furniture, office supplies, and maintenance. They can also save money and time by eliminating commuting costs.
- If your telemedicine software sends automatic notifications regarding planned appointments to patients and medical staff, you can prevent your practice from losing revenue from no-shows. The ExpertBox refund and payments feature allows you to create your refund and rescheduling policies and inform your patients when they book an appointment about possible fees if they arrive late or don’t show up.
- By practicing telemedicine, physicians can set flexible schedules outside of a standard 9-to-5 working week, reaching more patients.
Devices and wearables
Wearable devices allow for instant remote monitoring of patients and help doctors manage chronic conditions. Thanks to wearables, physicians can routinely check a patient’s vitals and lab results, including blood pressure, blood sugar level, temperature, pulse, and respiration.
Let’s look at some statistics. The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) conducted a study on 357 head and neck cancer patients. One group of patients used wearable diagnostic devices and mobile apps to regularly monitor their health. According to researchers, this patient group experienced fewer severe symptoms.
Many wireless devices can be implanted into a patient’s body to monitor or maintain a specific organ’s functioning. These devices include cardiac implants, pacemakers, artificial joints, electronic hearing and glucose monitoring devices, and intraocular lenses.
Also, physicians can use AI-based tools to generate in-depth data reports to track their practice’s efficiency.
Using technology on a daily basis allows physicians to automate routine tasks and align their work with other healthcare professionals. Technologies enable healthcare providers to:
- assist more patients in a day without working overtime
- reduce paperwork and administrative burden with automated scheduling and booking
- hire healthcare professionals and other clinic staff part-time or remotely to provide telehealth appointments, saving on full-time employment costs
Note: Patients can self-book appointments using healthcare practice management software. They can access a doctor’s schedule themselves and decide on a convenient time slot.
Technologies not only help cure chronic diseases, prevent health risks, and monitor patients in real time but also simplify every part of medical practice management, scale up healthcare specialists’ education, and help safeguard the confidentiality and integrity of sensitive data.