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Transforming Hospitals: 5 Ways Technology Is Driving Change

GettyImages-611989294Recent developments in digital health technologies have significantly impacted the healthcare sector. These technologies have enabled medical organizations and facilities to provide long-overdue solutions to barriers such as inaccessible healthcare, poor patient experiences, staffing issues, and operational inefficiencies. By adopting the latest innovative tech, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT), the medical industry can significantly improve healthcare workers' lives and provide a higher standard of care for patients. 


How Advanced Technologies Are Transforming Hospitals

Since the advent of advanced technologies like AI and IoT, the healthcare IT market has experienced significant and rapid growth, ushering in a new era of patient care. Everything from wearable devices to advanced decision-making digital support systems is improving the performance and satisfaction of healthcare workers and their patients. 

Hospitals, which have faced many issues in recent years with the pandemic and increasing rates of chronic health conditions, can significantly benefit from adopting the latest tech and leveraging digital transformation to improve outcomes. 


1. Better Care Delivery 

One of the greatest things to come out of the latest iteration of the digital revolution is improved care delivery. In the not-so-distant future, many hospitals will be high-tech, digital hubs for healthcare decision-making and clinical monitoring. 

Already, we are seeing significant improvement in access to care and quality of care with technologies like telemedicine, robot-assisted surgeries, 3D printing, and healthcare IoT wearables

With IoT devices, for example, healthcare workers can more easily monitor patient vitals as these devices use sensors and a connected network to share data in real-time. This data can also improve diagnostic outcomes and help with disease predictions and management. 


2. Improved Patient Experiences

Online patient portals - now more advanced with the latest record-keeping and communication technologies - give patients greater control over their care. Patients can now conveniently access lab results, schedule appointments, and have their questions answered without delay through messaging applications.


3. Optimized Scheduling and Staffing

As healthcare workers contend with escalating demands, burnout-induced staffing shortages continue to rise. Yet, automation technologies offer a solution, alleviating the burdens on nurses and staff by efficiently managing time-consuming, repetitive tasks.

AI-powered algorithms can predict things like absenteeism, for example, which can help hospitals jump on things by enabling them to call in float nurses before a staffing shortage becomes a problem. As a whole, these technologies can significantly improve predictability and consistency in work schedules. 


4. More Efficient Medical Supply Chain Management

Hospitals encounter yet another obstacle in the form of supply shortages, including surgical, medical, and pharmaceutical supplies. Since these supplies are crucial for providing quality care, supply shortages will certainly affect patient outcomes for the worse.

Fortunately, healthcare organizations can enhance the supply chain using digital technologies to automate processes. By improving efficiency in areas like inventory management, hospitals can ultimately strengthen the overall resilience and agility of the supply chain, helping to overcome medical supply shortages.


5. Greater Contamination Control

If the latest COVID pandemic taught us anything, it's that we could benefit from finding a better way to stop the spread of infectious diseases. Thankfully, the pandemic acted as a catalyst that forced the healthcare industry to adopt advanced technologies to maximize efficiency.

We already mentioned IoT wearables concerning better patient care, but these devices can also be a powerful new tool in contamination control. As more people start wearing devices like smartwatches for fitness trackers, it can enable medical professionals to detect patterns that could indicate when the disease is spreading and where it is spreading. 

Leveraging this information allows for the implementation of protocols to proactively curb the spread of infectious diseases. IoT wearables also facilitate remote patient monitoring, easing the burden on hospital space and prioritizing direct and critical care for those in need.


Final Thoughts

Though adopting advanced technologies is vital for hospitals, it's also important to be mindful of roadblocks that can arise from digital transformation. For example, hospital management should create an onramp program that allows staff to learn and adjust to new technologies without overwhelming them. If there is no open communication about these things or sufficient support and training provided, it can create resistance that can hinder progress, further impacting patient care. 


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About the Author: Miles is an independent writer with a background in business and passion for tech, psychology, news, and simply helping people live happy and fulfilled lives. He has lived and traveled all over the United States and continues to expand his awareness and experiences. When he is not writing, he is most likely mountain biking or kicking back with a cup of tea.

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