The healthcare sector serves numerous patients in a day. Each of these patients has specific needs and requires a thorough evaluation, which requires a lot of time and care. As a result, hospitals got burdened with extensive paperwork, manual data entry, and many other challenges. But all this changed when technology entered the picture.
Technological advancements have reduced the workload significantly in the healthcare sector by automating mundane and time-consuming tasks like accurately charting patient information. These advancements allow medical practitioners to give their patients undivided focus and attention, which has led to better healthcare outcomes and improved patient experience drastically.
If you are wondering exactly what and how technology has improved patient experience in the healthcare sector, have a look at the ways stated below.
Massive reduction in medical errors
The healthcare sector has a misdiagnosis rate of about 15%. This means approximately 40,000 to 80,000 patients in the US die due to diagnostic errors. Losing a patient can be emotionally and mentally traumatizing for a doctor and make the hospital liable for a lawsuit. Misdiagnosis happens due to various reasons, including administering the wrong medication or dosage and accidentally performing the incorrect procedure.
This is why bringing healthcare barcode scanners into the healthcare model has reduced the number of mistakes doctors make. These machines scan each patient’s unique number against their name, allowing doctors to accurately match the patient’s information online. Scanning also provides pharmacists and other healthcare practitioners with details on the patient’s medication and corresponds them to the right prescription or electronic health chart. This digital scanning has made it easier for practitioners to look after patients and make fewer mistakes while caring for them, which reduces the number of messed up cases.
Opens up more lines of communication
Communication is a fundamental aspect of healthcare. Until doctors and patients can discuss the case at length, it’s hard for healthcare givers to construct an accurate diagnosis that can fast-track the patient’s recovery. At the same time, some patients may struggle to remember their appointment and may experience confusion while taking their medication. Hence, communication methods like emails, text messages, and SMS reminders have made it easier for patients and the hospital to stay in touch and converse long after the patient has gone home.
According to a survey by MedCityNews, more than 80% of patients prefer reminders from their doctors about checking their blood glucose levels, completing their rehab exercises, and reminding them about their follow-up appointments. The emergence of telehealth has also significantly facilitated healthcare; this virtual checkup model allows doctors to check on patients online without needing them to come to the hospital.
Consequently, patients who are bedridden, Immunocompromised, or disabled can get their necessary routine checkups in the comfort of their homes and save themselves a trip to the hospital. Likewise, communities far from hospitals and having trouble accessing healthcare services on time can use telehealth to get a rough evaluation of their well-being and prescriptions for the medication they need.
Decreases waiting time for tests and treatments
Hospitals are notorious for their long waiting time. This can aggravate patients as some may need to wait more than 2 hours before a doctor can see them. However, virtual appointments and automatic scheduling have made it easier for patients to access machines and get their tests done without the need to stay in the hospital for a long. For example, a cloud-based booking software called 10to8 allows the healthcare sector to manage all their appointments and schedule them appropriately.
Patients can access a customised booking website to schedule a test. If patients need to reschedule, this program allows them to change existing appointments. Once a booking is made, the software automatically integrates with the device’s built-in calendar and syncs itself to the patient’s email address. As a result, patients get notifications for their appointment, lab report collection, etc. The software also allows patients to track unpaid bills.
Enables healthcare analytics
Hospitals must keep a tab on how they provide care to their patients by providing effective clinical services and streamlining how a hospital functions. When it comes to the operational aspect of a hospital, this structure has the same problem as most industries. The administrative staff is tackling numerous issues at a time.
These professionals must ensure that they record all the patients coming and going from the hospital, provide the staff with a realistic schedule, inform patients if a particular doctor is absent, and match the right patient with their billing. Since the system is connected, a breakdown in the workflow can disrupt healthcare services and drastically impact patient outcomes. Therefore, by utilising predictive analysis, the administrative side of the healthcare sector can address many workflow challenges and minimize the mistakes they make along the way. For instance, predictive analysis allows the administration to automatically adjust the staff schedules, streamline the discharge process and use a forecasting model to analyze what the hospital needs regarding resources.
On the other hand, technology also enhances the clinical aspect of healthcare. Big data and AI can increase the speed and accuracy of a medical diagnosis. For example, the Mayo Clinic uses AI to diagnose a stroke in less than thirty minutes and immediately escort patients to the ER. Shorter time and better diagnosis keep the healthcare sector in good shape and a positive patient experience.
There is no denying that the healthcare sector is bustling. As a result, doctors and nurses work around the clock to cater to patients and provide optimal care. But this is not possible without the use of technology. Digitization has made it easier for the healthcare industry to improve healthcare outcomes. It does this by accurately matching patients to their prescriptions, establishing better and faster communication methods, and significantly reducing the wait time patients face while trying to get necessary healthcare scans. Furthermore, technology like predictive analysis and AI have improved how hospitals handle the operational aspect of maintaining a hospital and introduced clinical efficiency, making diagnosing and treatment faster. All these factors collectively impact patient experience, building their trust in healthcare services.
Ellen Diamond did her degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.
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