Information technology is influencing practically every industry today and healthcare is no exception. The healthcare industry has seen a substantial transition as a result of technological advancements, explaining the current $167.7 billion global healthcare IT market size as reported by Grand View research. Information technology is revolutionizing the healthcare landscape by leaps and bounds, from digitally checking in patients and updating their health records to emailing blood test results to patients. Let's dive deeper into the ways information technology continues to improve healthcare practices.
Defining Health Information Technology
While information technology refers to the use of computers, telecommunications, and other technologies to collect, analyze, and distribute information, HIT refers to the secure use of technologies to handle health-related information.
The fundamental purpose of healthcare information technology is to ensure patient confidentiality while simultaneously improving services. Medical practitioners can use HIT not just to enhance care for their patients but also to strengthen their communication with them
The following are the main features of health information technology:
- Electronic health records (EHRs)
- Personal health records (PHRs)
- Electronic prescribing (E-prescribing)
- Confidentiality and safety
As an integral part of IT solutions, all of the above-mentioned can be supported through efficient IT services, making both patients' and healthcare professionals' lives easier.
What Impact Has Technology Had on Healthcare?
The following are just a few of the many advantages that electronic health records have provided to healthcare.
Information Accessibility and Large Data
In healthcare, "big data" enables thorough research studies to help the overall field. Healthcare professionals may now reach a bigger and more diversified audience than ever before. They can also conduct thorough meta-analyses based on previous studies.
Medical personnel may keep on top of healthcare trends, practices, and technology thanks to this invention. Analyzing patient data with data from hundreds of other patients can be used to quickly identify risk factors and propose the best preventive care, all while lowering expenses and improving the overall quality of life.
Medical practitioners are increasingly using online business intelligence solutions to assist them in making better data-driven decisions. These systems keep track of a patient's medical history and use predictive analytics to offer recommendations, including who is in danger of a particular illness and what consideration should be given.
Patients and healthcare workers benefit a lot from mobile software applications (also known as mobile apps). People can use mobile apps to manage their own health and well-being in a variety of ways, including reminding them to get health checks, finding overall health information, and securely obtaining their test results online 24 hours a day, seven days a week, without having to schedule an appointment with their doctor and wait days for results.
Healthcare workers, on the other hand, use their mobile device or a shared tablet to browse the intranet to guarantee that they may immediately access disease and drug information, photos for clinical problems, continuing education activities, and other resources available to help with their everyday job.
Improved Patient Care
Potential flaws in the EHR can be automatically alerted to the treating physician (such as allergies or intolerances to certain medicines). EHRs may be accessible from almost any medical facility, making them incredibly valuable for professionals evaluating patients who are not local (and crucial if the patient is unresponsive).
Virtual Reality (VR) in Healthcare
Virtual reality can allow memory care patients to virtually explore vacation spots, childhood neighborhoods, and parks. Before performing major surgeries, virtual reality is already assisting surgeons in visualizing potential issues. Furthermore, virtual reality is being used in hospitals to distract patients who are having treatment or who are in pain. Virtual reality can also be used to teach or explain a patient's treatment.
Availability of Healthcare Advice
Video-conferencing and other telemedicine and telehealth services are becoming much more cost-effective ways to supplement local health care services. Telehealth usage increased dramatically during COVID-19 as a strategy for limiting virus transmission.
It's especially useful for people who live in rural, regional, or remote areas who need frequent access to medical experts who live several kilometers away.
A Centralized Knowledge Base
In the healthcare industry, having the correct resources is vital, whether it's patient data, supporting documents for procedures, or other personnel. Staff members frequently work on time-sensitive tasks and require easy access to information in order to return to their front-line responsibilities.
Staff won't have to dig around filing cabinets and drawers to get what they need, thanks to an online file storing and retrieving. A resource's most recent iteration can be published and easily searched.
Intranets have grown in popularity as a handy and central site for storing supporting resources and organization-wide updates, sometimes known as a single source of truth.
Important or crucial information is frequently highlighted on homepages, with links to extra content.
Other parts can hold administrative policy and protocols, as well as up-to-date material and downloadable content on often discussed themes and medical difficulties for patients and their families to refer to. Customization can also be used so that employees only see information relevant to their needs, minimizing information overload.
In the coming years, health information technology will continue to expand and improve. Healthcare providers and patients will likely discover new and beneficial methods to analyze health data as they grow more familiar with various platforms. For medical professionals and patients alike, the development of health information technology holds a tremendous amount of promise with the ultimate purpose improving health outcomes.
About the Author: Tereza Peterson is a creator who is always happy to share useful content related to IT. She likes to share her experience with people who may need high-quality content or trustworthy information.