Advancements in the field of IT have an impact on almost all fields. Healthcare and medicine departments also enjoyed their benefits. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during the first quarter of 2020, the number of telehealth visits increased by 50%.
It has introduced new terms and methods to provide health services to people, especially in rural areas. Telehealth is a broader term and covers telecare and telemedicine also. Telehealth is providing medical and health services using telecommunication and IT services. It is pretty significant in rural areas where specialized services are hard to available. It enables people to take treatment from specialized medical officers.
The IT and telecommunication systems are very helpful in designing infrastructures for rural hospitals in providing the best telehealth services. It is also favorable to connect all the health care providers and patients through their mobiles and smartphones.
What is meant by IT Infrastructure?
It is the framework that includes telecommunication devices and software to connect them. It also requires some storage medium for managing patients’ history and their treatment details. This infrastructure also connects the rural hospitals to other modern and well-equipped hospitals. It extends the patient-doctor consultancy and treatment advice. It also has the capacity to integrate telemedicine products for better monitoring of patients. Developing an IT Infrastructure for rural hospitals is a challenging task. It will help in improving the health services in the countryside.
What are the benefits of IT infrastructure?
IT infrastructure plays a significant role in implementing the updated applications, skilled physicians, and nursing staff. Without robust IT infrastructure, achieving the goal of improved healthcare services becomes difficult or nearly impossible. Following are the main benefits that help in implementing high-quality services.
Lessens the functional expenses
Efficient IT infrastructures reduce functional costs because of the latest techniques and technologies. The latest hardware and software approaches make the IT set more efficient and optimal for connecting rural hospitals to the latest urban hospitals and physician-patient link or communication.
It improves the reliability of telemedicine products and also of the system. IT infrastructure connects multiple systems and enables parallel working with more skilled doctors and improved diagnostic facilities. Well-designed IT infrastructure helps to keep the system always up and available. It ensures data recovery in case of any disaster.
Provides Good Healthcare
It enables the use of more robust and complicated systems for sound sustenance to patients. It may include EHR (Electronic Health Records), which enables sharing patients’ information and case history through several interfaces. It helps in providing the best healthcare services in rural hospitals.
Storage / backup
In healthcare organizations, storage and backup issues are also significant. Keeping the record of patients is essential for providing good services. IT infrastructure offers several options for data storage and backups.
It ensures good communication and telephony systems to connect physicians and patients. In telehealth, hospitals need quicker and trustworthy devices and applications. It helps in the active support and treatment of remote patients.
Challenges in developing IT Infrastructure
Although, IT infrastructures have lots of benefits for rural as well as urban hospitals. Yet, it is not a simple task but a challenging one. The significant challenges it has face may include the following.
As IT infrastructures are digital ones, there may be a chance of system failure and data loss. In this situation, data and system recovery in the minimum time is a crucial element. Multiple options are available to avoid data loss threats, and health organizations can select according to their budget. When a new device or application is added to the system, it must not lose the patient data stored in the system.
Alongside updating the genuine frameworks that help the medical service association, you should likewise put resources into the office that will house your frameworks and foundation. Medical care associations need to extend server farms for the area, add productive cooling units, and introduce reinforcement power generators. Putting resources into these things can expand the existence of your frameworks and generally guarantee dependability and uptime.
For connecting the system efficiently and update the data for all affiliated hospitals and doctors, the system must have a good Internet connection. In rural areas providing high-speed Internet could be challenging.
The integrated systems and devices carry essential patient data. It helps in providing quick healthcare to rural patients in urban hospitals. The security of this data is also a vital issue. The IT infrastructure has to manage tight security for it.
Requirements of IT Infrastructure
For the best use of telemedicine products, a robust IT infrastructure is very beneficial. For setting up an efficient IT infrastructure, the following requirements play an essential role.
Admittance to broadband Internet:
You need adequate transmission capacity to communicate sound and video information. As a provincial medical care association, you may experience issues interfacing with or acquiring moderate and dependable broadband help. Get familiar with getting associated.
Imaging innovation or peripherals:
These gadgets are the foundation of telehealth. They permit country wellbeing associations to see and hear patients in any event when they are miles separated. Advanced stethoscopes, for example, can send heart and lung sounds too far off suppliers.
Admittance to specialized support staff
Specialized support staff individuals can help answer inquiries regarding telehealth programs. Specialized care staff may share across working together associations to assist with effectiveness. They also provide help in technical issues in keeping the system live.
Training of Staff
It would be best to prepare your staff to utilize telehealth innovation, which may require significant investment. You ought to consider whether work process changes might be necessary and train appropriately. Without staff training, the healthcare organization cannot reap the actual benefits of IT infrastructure for connecting them to other health units.
Telehealthcare is comparatively new in the medical field and still needs much more improvement. IT advancements have made it significantly advance. Through using computer applications and data centers, many of its challenges are resolved. However, many fields still require improvement in gadgets and applications to work up to the mark. In the future, telehealth is going to be more significant.