Business Goals That Drive the Usage of Technology in Hospitals
Advances in healthcare technology are giving this industry a complete makeover, ushering in a new era of medicine and patient care. The use of technology and digitisation of healthcare has led to the consumerisation of healthcare where information systems and information technology is being utilised to improve hospital efficiencies and patient outcomes. A report published by Markets and Markets shows that the healthcare IT market is expected to reach USD $280.25 Billion by 2021. Growing demand to manage regulatory compliance, a need to check escalating healthcare costs, improving patient care and outcomes, improving hospital and physician efficiencies, etc. are just some of the reasons driving this market.
In this blog, we take a look at some business goals that become the drivers of technology adoption in hospitals.
Improving Hospital Efficiencies
One of the primary drivers of technology adoption in hospitals is to improve hospital efficiencies. Simple activities such as tracking the status of hospital equipment, resource management, patient status management etc. can be labour intensive and also prone to error when done manually. A study conducted by GE showed that nurses spend an average of 20 minutes more per shift only searching for equipment!
Technology usage enables hospitals with better resource planning, inventory planning, patient and information registrations, finance and accounting management, asset management and management of the entire healthcare network and ancillary functions more efficiently. This helps in weeding out redundant processes, improves resource efficiencies and ultimately improves the hospital efficiency. Further, integrated healthcare systems that facilitate the easy flow of data ensure better communication between the healthcare stakeholders regarding the patients and ensure better time utilisation and minimal wastage all of which contribute to increase operational efficiencies.
Improving Patient Outcomes
Healthcare IT can be instrumental in improving patient outcomes by addressing the issues that plague clinical care. It helps in identifying key indicators that make for good patient care such as patient safety, the care process, protocol-based care etc. Electronic Health Records help physicians gain a comprehensive insight into the overall health of a patient and hence, aid the diagnosis process. EHR’s are also instrumental in providing clinical alerts, systematically identifying operational problems that impede good patient care, and help doctors and nurses to adopt a universal approach towards assessing and understanding the patient’s problems and then providing the appropriate treatment accordingly. Greater information accuracy and better information flow lead to more efficient documentation, improved communication between the invested stakeholders such as the nurses and doctors, which helps in improving overall patient outcomes by providing decision support. Additionally, the use of technology in hospitals helps in lowering readmission rates by taking a preventive and predictive approach towards patient care using big data.
Improving Patient Experience
The use of technology in healthcare can be instrumental in improving patient care and the overall healthcare experience. According to a healthcare technology report, 9 out of 10 of the surveyed people feel the need to use today’s technology such as a mobile app to improve their healthcare experience. As consumers of healthcare, these patients want access to their healthcare information anytime and anywhere and also want the flexibility to manage hospital appointments, prescriptions, reports, diagnostics etc. to make better healthcare decisions and manage chronic illnesses.
Technology in hospitals can help in improving the quality of systems by better defect identification, creating greater transparency in operations and providing greater accountability, helping in disease management and making clinical care more proactive than reactive by leveraging real-time patient data. Additionally, use of emerging technologies such as high-tech sensors and microchips can help improve patient care immensely by helping healthcare providers stay continuously connected with the patients even after discharge.
Research and Innovation
Technology has been instrumental in aiding research and innovation in healthcare. To improve the outcomes of clinical trials and clinical research large hospitals are leveraging technologies such as Big Data, mobile technology, cloud computing etc. to improve communication between the patients, the healthcare providers, and researchers. These technologies are being used heavily in medical research for life-threatening diseases and chronic degenerative diseases such as cancer. Whole-genome sequencing and high-resolution imaging technologies are completely changing the face of health research owing to the wide variety of data that is available disposal today. By investing in technologies such as EHR’s and gathering all forms of patient data, hospitals can also become active contributors to healthcare research by providing research companies with area specific, clean and unadulterated data.
A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine clearly states that the use of technology in hospitals can improve health quality and substantially reduce costs by reducing medical errors. When technology is used in areas such as simulated surgeries, it takes away the need of having a live environment to train surgeons while giving the aspirants a real-world view of surgeries. Technology also supports evidence-based decision making which helps in better patient care, reduces the odds of hospital deaths and also reduces readmission rates. It also helps in streamlining administrative expenses by helping in maximising the resource utilisation and eliminating time-consuming workforce management processes and ensuring that all the hospital resources are used optimally, time spent processing staffing requirements is reduced, resources are assigned accurately and that each department is staffed adequately, all of which directly contributes towards improving financial efficiencies of the hospital.
Technology in healthcare is clearly revolutionising the way healthcare professionals and patients interact. With greater tech adoption, hospitals can improve patient access and communication, simplify processes, streamline services and simplify healthcare administration making it smoother and faster for both the physicians and the patients. Would it, then, be off the mark to say that, technology will be the cure for all ills?<!– 1527922746775 –>