When you hear that technology is a great disruptor, it sounds as if the digital tools we use have a negative impact. While doctors and other clinical providers may complain about their electronic health records (EHR) platforms, the opposite is true. Technology has improved our lives in countless ways. We’ve seen this impact in healthcare, where tools from remote sensors to monitor chronic diseases to telemedicine, have had a positive reception from patients who interact with these tools. How is technology impacting your patient experience in your health center?
Patient and Technology Healthcare Evolution
Technology has changed our patient’s demands. Today, a consumerist version of healthcare, shaped by the immediacy of the Internet, is the standard. Your patients are now customers and market competition, along with our code of ethics, requires that you serve them efficiently and well. These standards are no different from any other business. Still, it may be a hard transition for some healthcare organizations to recognize that our patients research their illness and their doctor well before they arrive in your waiting room. Today’s patients have choices and the Internet is what informs their decision-making
The impact of technology on this new level of consumerism in our field can’t be discounted; in fact, it is the driver of new behaviors. Patients now look to the Internet to find customer reviews of your practice before they arrive. Scheduling is now online, faster, and more convenient than at any other time in history. Say what you want about EHRs, but they have reduced the reams of paperwork and improved the speed of how healthcare professionals collaborate on care. Digital lab results have changed the patient experience tremendously and positively impacted healthcare outcomes by improving the speed in which we respond with treatment modalities.
With the onset of COVID-19, telemedicine has skyrocketed. Telemedicine is the use of digital technologies to provide care to a remote patient in a virtual setting. Telehealth technology was invented decades ago as a way to extend our reach to patients in remote rural settings, which has always been the mission of FQHCs. But today, a doctor visit is as close as your smartphone, and adoption during this time of social distancing has skyrocketed. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the use of telehealth videoconferencing to serve patients in a way that protects them from exposure to COVID-19 in our waiting rooms. Likewise, telemedicine can also protect our providers from unnecessary exposure to the virus. With new enhanced reimbursement formulas, telemedicine will continue its march towards being an accepted method of delivering patient care.
One subset of telehealth technology is remote patient monitoring. Remote patient monitoring places a sensor on a patient at home then transmits clinical data to a remote health center or healthcare facility. These tools are used every day to reduce health center readmissions and provide care to chronically ill patients from the comfort of their own home.
Technology has also had an important and positive impact on our recruiting efforts. Online applicant tracking systems and social media allow companies like UHC Solutions to reach more highly qualified clinical candidates faster and more efficiently. With the perfect blend of technology and staffing expertise, we improve your recruiting efforts. Talk to our team today.