Medical facilities have the foremost responsibility of providing safe and accurate assessments and treatments for all patients. But while these are key in providing good service, the patient experience goes beyond doctor’s consultations.
In their “2019 Healthcare Consumer Trends Report,” customer intelligence company NRC Health reports that 80% of patients are willing to shift to other healthcare providers for convenience reasons. In the same report, 51.3% say that the most important factor in choosing a provider is convenience and ease of access.
This has accelerated the speed at which the healthcare sector is adopting technology to address particularly tough areas in the patient experience. These are several ways in which innovations have been transforming how patients engage with providers.
Eliminating Errors in Services
A 2016 study from researchers in John Hopkins Medicine shows that approximately more than 250,000 Americans die annually due to medical errors. This alarming number emphasizes the necessity of accurate and efficient medical processes to prevent fatal mistakes.
The use of digital technology, namely healthcare asset management system software, significantly speeds up processes while minimizing the possibility of errors. This allows a facility to keep accurate and updated records of medications, samples, and other documents. A centralized database also simplifies inventory management for employees.
A good system avoids prescription errors and loss of assets and documents. These digital improvements also provide a safer service for patients by being a preventive measure: tracking regular maintenance schedules of medical equipment prevents equipment malfunctions.
Good service begins with an efficient management system. This reduces the possibility of mistakes, which in turn helps medical facilities better serve patients.
Digital Patient Portals
Patient portals can take different forms depending on the needs of specific providers. However, having a digital portal that is accessible on both computers and mobile devices is a necessity for the survival of any healthcare facility.
While phoning to schedule appointments is still widely done, an online portal has the advantage of handling appointments in a platform containing information patients may need to book their checkups. This usually includes doctor schedules, room numbers, and contact information.
A digital portal also usually has more uses aside from scheduling appointments. It stores a patient’s bills and receipts and digital versions of lab test results and other medical information. A patient portal may also allow patients to contact their doctors through the platform itself, should this be necessary during their treatment.
Remote Access to Healthcare
Telehealth uses digital technologies, such as mobile phones or computers, to supply healthcare services to patients. This allows patients to have consultations with doctors from the safety of their homes.
Ease of Communication
The adoption of telehealth is immensely beneficial to various individuals who may not normally have connections to healthcare services. For example, those in rural areas or who have minimal access to transportation can have regular checkups, thanks to it.
Doctors can also provide periodic reminders to patients who are under monitoring. On the other hand, patients are also able to send updates on their condition with the help of these services.
Importance During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the demand for and therefore the availability of telehealth services. No-contact checkups have become necessary to prevent virus exposure for both doctors and patients.
Telehealth has also played a vital role in identifying COVID-19-positive individuals. It has been used to screen those who require testing and immediate medical attention. Telehealth has also allowed quicker contact tracing through phone interviews that help determine exposure and potential transmission.
Especially during this time, telehealth has proven to be essential in preventing overcrowding in hospitals. Interviews with COVID-19-positive patients have allowed medical professionals to distinguish those who require confinement and safely manage their symptoms at home.
Technology Saves Lives
Global Market Insights, Inc. reports that the healthcare information technology market will grow to $25 billion by 2025. Efficient digitalization, paired with decreasing healthcare expenses, is bound to further revolutionize the healthcare industry in just a few years.
A notable example of these monumental innovations is machine learning. Advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) are allowing medical experts to more quickly and accurately diagnose illnesses. In fact, AI today is already being used to detect cancer in patients.
As the healthcare industry invests more time and finances into the continued advancement of existing technologies, patients’ medical experience will be transformed further and further. And as these processes grow simpler and faster, they could change—and possibly save—the lives of a great number of people.