Technological advancements have left undisputable fingerprints in the healthcare industry. Conventional medical recording and monitoring tools are now being replaced with automated systems, while patients can now receive care from the comfort of their homes. The results have been improved and more accessible healthcare, quicker medical billing services, disease control, increased productivity among medical staff, huge savings on time and cost, among other benefits.
To give you a glimpse of the future of healthcare, here are a few technologies that have significantly changed the provision of medical services.
Electronic Health Records
For the longest time, the healthcare industry has relied on pen and paper for record-keeping. A few hospitals still have vast libraries of patients’ medical records as proof of this.
However, in the last couple of years, more than 80% of US hospitals have adopted Electronic Health Records (EHRs). EHRs record patients’ data digitally, which has quickened the provision of healthcare. Medical staff no longer have to write everything down or waste time checking patients’ records from piles upon piles of files.
Others ways EHRs has improved the provision of medical services include:
- Improved productivity of medical staff as they now have time to care for patients
- EHRs has improved the accuracy of medical records which has seen improvement in the treatments offered
- EHRs are paired with health apps to provide remote treatment for patients on the go
- EHRs have helped in the identification of disease patterns and epidemics helping protect the public.
Health practitioners have widely adopted telemedicine in the last few years, resulting in the expansion of medical services delivery.
Telehealth or telemedicine refers to the provision of healthcare remotely with the help of telecommunication technologies. One of the reasons why telehealth has been so popular is because it has improved access to healthcare for people living in rural areas. Such areas have very few hospitals, and patients have to travel long distances to access health services.
Further, telehealth is cost-effective and a time saver as patients can comfortably connect with physicians virtually through the use of a computer or a smartphone. Telemedicine also allows the gathering of patient information anywhere anytime, which can lead to speedy treatment and the saving of lives.
In one study, patients that were admitted in ICU that had telehealth services were reported to have been discharged 20% more quickly compared to those in a regular ICU. The patients were also shown to have a 26% lower mortality rate compared to patients who were in a conventional ICU.
Medical Billing Software
Medical billing is a complex process. But the use of medical billing software by hospitals has made it easier for them to manage their billing process and improve the provision of medical billing services.
Medical billing software has features that allow hospitals to maximize their revenue collection. It also provides medical professionals with accurate and updated records. Other ways that such a system can improve the provision of healthcare include:
- Schedules appointments for patients
- Provides patients with digital and easily accessed bills
- Provides payment reminders to patients through mail allowing for faster reimbursement
- Reports on patient insurance eligibility saving on costly communication between the hospital and insurance companies.
The traditional patient-doctor relationship is changing due to the impact of medical wearables. Medical wearables are worn as accessories or as implants and can be in the form of smartwatches, smart clothing, or activity trackers.
Wearables use sensors that are connected to the internet of things allowing them to make a diagnosis and monitor the wearer’s health. Patients can now monitor their health without the need to leave their homes, reducing the stress and costs that come with traveling to hospitals. Medical wearables also alert hospitals in case of emergencies to ensure proactive measures are taken to save a life.
The above technological advances in healthcare have improved the provision of medical services and the saving of lives. Undoubtedly, technology is improving healthcare at a rapid rate, and things can only get better.