The application of information technology by several different industries has considerably altered our way of life. During the pandemic, digital purchases via mobile wallets and e-commerce orders became an opportunity to strengthen contactless transactions and promote safe social distancing. Going digital, which was formerly seen as a risky idea, is now becoming the norm.
Likewise, patients are getting more discerning when it comes to receiving the best healthcare delivery. As a result, the healthcare industry, which has traditionally lagged in adopting information technology, is now compelled to integrate technologies that improve patient care.
What are notable digital changes in health care today?
1. Health care delivery
Providers must work on building processes and technologies to improve and maximize the patient experience as technology advances, and patient understanding grows. Standardizing routine processes, segmenting work by complexity and urgency, cross-training teams on multiple systems or platforms to build a more flexible workforce and eliminating activities that don’t add value are some of the tested IT methodologies that can be applied to healthcare.
2. Patient-physician interaction
In addition to more effective diagnostic capabilities through better information flow management, implementing digital tools will allow healthcare institutions to expedite different communication needs over the ecosystem of patient care delivery. Patients and healthcare practitioners can efficiently interact, share information, and get advice on the best course of action for specific healthcare situations. Other digital services allow for meeting the demand of patients to access healthcare when, how, and where they want it. Mobile health applications and a better understanding of the facilitates wearable technologies individual patient profiles and effective therapies.
3. Payment services
With mobile banking, issues relating to the payment of services and products have progressed dramatically. As a result, providing methods for easy payment of medical services would be advantageous and enjoyable to all consumers, ensuring that healthcare providers are up to date with the new payment system.
Current healthcare institutions need to look beyond the traditional touchpoints of healthcare
delivery systems. Thus, these changes have forced trends towards digitization, improvement, and refinement of the infrastructure to better patient care.
What are notable digital trends in health care today?
1. Electronic health checks
Currently, healthcare facilities are employing mobile devices for pre-visit services with the use of QR codes, which allows patients to fill out forms without interacting with healthcare staff. Furthermore, the development of digital healthcare delivery systems has resulted in increased patient access to healthcare services, self-scheduling, pre-registration, and check-in with health declaration records or vaccination passports.
RELATED: The Use of QR Codes in the Healthcare Industry
2. Remote patient monitoring
Hospitals are increasingly relying on wireless technology to monitor the vital signs of intensive-care patients. Remote patient monitoring companies such as DrKumo employ synchronous real-time monitoring and artificial intelligence in supporting patients in managing their health, primarily through remote health monitoring and prescription reminders, which are critical components of patient care delivery. Furthermore, patients are looking for streamlined interfaces and digital landscapes in nearly every action they undertake.
RELATED: Role of Self-Measured Blood Pressure Monitoring during the Pandemic and Beyond
3. Symptom tracking
Today, one does not need to physically go to an ER or an outpatient clinic to be observed. In addition to health checks and remote patient monitoring to patient care outcome optimization, self-assessment questionnaires and daily symptom tracking can now be possible at home among high-risk patients with acute illness who need to be closely monitored by their providers.
RELATED: Value of Insights Produced by Patient Generated Health Data (PGHD)
Doctors, nurses, and technicians typically spend less time using computers than the general public. As a result, IT proficiency and readiness among healthcare providers may be more variable, necessitating more comprehensive coaching and change management. Because of the skill necessary to operate patient-care systems, cross-training system administrators or developers to handle different systems in healthcare is generally more difficult than in other industries.
Trusting technology and its implications for the digital healthcare industry might be pivotal; hence, these healthcare models require an important digital step forward for healthcare to evolve. Proper education and training can help expand health care to new heights and maintain a high degree of patient monitoring.
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Payne, S., Tanner, M., & Hughes, S. (2020). Digitization and the patient-professional relationship in palliative care.