The healthcare industry is growing at a rapid pace, but it’s facing a lot of challenges at the same time. The digital transformation in healthcare is forcing organisations to adopt new ways of working and new technologies to deliver care and services to their patients.
Let’s look at IT solutions that can help the healthcare sector overcome challenges they are facing and keep up with the increasingly digital environment.
What is driving digital transformation in healthcare?
Healthcare practices are being disrupted and challenged by the digital transformation growing in healthcare. To modernise your practice and deliver optimal care, you need to adopt these digital transformations.
Governments are imposing new regulations and compliance requirements on healthcare providers to improve their services. The aim is to improve the safety and quality of healthcare services by improving the interoperability of healthcare organisations within the country.
There is also a huge demand for remote healthcare services. This is challenging healthcare organisations to find new ways of providing and delivering care that is accessible to patients at all times.
Healthcare providers need to upgrade their IT environments to meet the growing needs and demands. Optimising your practice will also be greatly beneficial to delivering healthcare faster, reducing errors, and monitoring patients remotely.
IT solutions in healthcare
Electronic Health Records
Eletronic health records (EHRs) are one of the most important IT solutions for the healthcare industry. These electronic systems help healthcare practices store, manage, and transfer patient data.
EHRs help improve operational and financial results by increasing the efficiency of healthcare organisations. They also help to reduce medical errors by providing access to a patient’s complete medical history, as well as reduce the time spent on charting and documentation, allowing doctors to spend more time with patients.
At the same time, they can also protect medical records by putting them on the blockchain. The blockchain is a distributed ledger that is highly secure and tamper-proof. It can be used to store sensitive data such as patient records and other healthcare data, while making it difficult for hackers to break into the system.
Wearable devices are next-generation devices that provide healthcare providers with actionable insights. These devices can help physicians track patient data related to blood pressure, heart rate, and other vital signs. This data is useful to predict an impending health crisis, or reduce the regularity of GP visits a patient may require, as their GP can monitor them remotely.
Wearables can be used to monitor a person’s blood pressure, heart rate, and other medical-related indicators. They help healthcare providers deliver a more personalised and tailored care to their patients. Around one in five Australians use wearable devices to monitor their physical health.
Some common wearables include:
- Heart rate sensors
- Exercise trackers, like FitBits
Big data can help physicians make informed decisions related to diagnosis and treatment options, as well as track patients’ progress and recommend treatment adjustments based on the patient data.
Healthcare practices can use big data to assess the overall revenue generated via online services, and understand their clients better to identify the right mix of services to meet their needs. For example, the data collected from wearable devices can be used to monitor patient progress and provide timely feedback; or data collected from patient records can be used to predict or detect diseases at an early stage.
A large number of health organisations are utilising cloud computing for its scalability, flexibility, and cost-effective services. It helps healthcare practices provide patients with more convenient ways to access their medical records, such as through mobile apps, and allows organisations to tap into large pools of computing power that can help them run complex analyses with greater speed and accuracy.
By using cloud-based systems, healthcare practices can improve security by encrypting data and restricting access within the organisation. It is a flexible and cost-effective healthcare technology that can be used by healthcare practices for a wide variety of tasks, including storing patient records and processing EHR data.
Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) has gained a lot of traction in the healthcare industry over the past few years as it helps to improve operational efficiency and patient care, as well as co-ordinating medical assistance for patients by tracking their progress and administer the right treatment.
IoT will give healthcare providers access to a wealth of data that they can use to improve their practices and make better decisions. It can also be used to keep track of medications and other supplies. By using IoT, healthcare providers can improve accuracy, reduce errors, and decrease costs by reducing wasted time and materials.
Healthcare professionals can use IoT to monitor their facilities and equip them with sensors to track their overall performance.
Telehealth is defined as the use of telecommunications technology to provide health care and healthcare services. The growing popularity of telehealth has been attributed to the increasing number of healthcare professionals working remotely, the ease of sending and receiving video and audio messages, and the convenience of being able to access medical information and support in an easier manner. In the last two years, Australian healthcare providers have delivered over 100 million telehealth services to patients across the country.
Telehealth can reduce barriers to accessing healthcare, including geographic distance, scheduling conflicts, lack of physical ability (such as an inability to visit a doctor or participate in a clinic), language barriers, and financial limitations.
Bring your healthcare practice to the digital age
To stay relevant in this highly competitive environment, healthcare practices need to take advantage of the latest digital technologies.
The IT experts at Itopia can advise you on the best digital technologies that will enhance your practice and help you deliver the best care to your patients. Talk to them today and discover what IT solutions you need.