4 Trends Reshaping Healthcare IT
Major Changes in Healthcare IT
By Edward Keiper, President and CEO of Velocity
Medical practices of all stripes have seen major changes in their IT programs in the last few years. With the advent of Meaningful Use, electronic healthcare records (EHRs), and Medicare and Medicaid incentive deadlines, many organizations have had to deploy significantly more resources to ensure that they’re in compliance.
However, with these changes also comes the opportunity to improve patient care, reduce liability, and streamline operations.
Here are four trends practices will want to focus on to ensure that they’re getting the most out of the healthcare IT revolution.
1. Medical Care is Social
People are finding their “tribes” (that is, like-minded individuals) online, and that goes for medical issues as well. For example, doing a Twitter search for #leukemia, #diabetes, or #heartdisease can instantly connect patients with others who are suffering from the same condition. People discuss symptoms, diagnoses, and treatment plans publicly via social media, and often with new “connections” that they’ve never met in person.
In addition, many consumers have taken to writing reviews of doctors’ care the same way they would review a restaurant meal they just enjoyed (or didn’t). And it’s not just treatment that’s being reviewed; patients are including notes about wait times, office décor, and the friendliness of the staff.
2. Mobile is Taking Over
With today’s hyperconnectivity, people have access to a plethora of health and wellness information at all times. In fact, it’s not uncommon for individuals to do a Google search of their symptoms before they pick up a smartphone to call a medical professional.
It’s probably not going to be long before patients start expecting that same type of access regarding their own medical records. In the meantime, look for the mobile trend to start creeping in to practitioner’s offices by way of appointment scheduling and bill paying.
On the provider side, doctors can already use mobile devices to access patient records, collaborate with other providers, conduct research, and view test results. With ever-increasing connectivity, look for provider apps to become even more sophisticated.
3. Big Data is Doing Big Things
With EHRs, data that providers capture is becoming more clinically useful than simple notes on a page.
Information can now be connected, compared and accessed in new ways to aid in diagnosis and condition monitoring. On a larger scale, practices can harness data to gain a holistic view of patient care to guide service improvements.
4. The Cloud is King
Moving data to the cloud allows practices to scale up and take advantage of new technology quickly – and often at a reduced cost compared to in-house systems. In addition, cloud storage may increase data security, as many in-house IT departments are unable to keep pace with the latest cyber threats.
Medical providers should ensure that their IT vendor is nimble enough to respond to technological advances in the industry, as well as secure enough to protect their confidential data.
This article was originally published in the Velocity blog and is republished here with permission.