Technology’s Role in Healthcare Facilities Improvement

Technology’s Role in Healthcare Facilities Improvement

Since the original Industrial Revolution, technology has been advancing at ever-accelerating rates. Programs, tools, and equipment that would have sounded like they could only exist in science fiction novels a few decades ago are now a reality, and highly visible changes like the development of robotically assisted surgical procedures are just the beginning. Modern technology has also changed healthcare facilities in much less visible ways.

The Human Element

Before diving into the swiftly changing world of healthcare technology, it’s worth mentioning that the human element will endure no matter what. While emergency medical carts will likely continue to improve and automatic defibrillators certainly save more lives, healthcare workers, patients, and other stakeholders must be willing to accept new technologies and learn how to use them. 

No matter how advanced society becomes, a human element will always be at the center of healthcare systems because patient outcomes must remain the priority. However, advanced technologies can improve the efficiency of doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers by automating repetitive tasks. Technology can also help to eliminate costly human errors.

The Role of Big Data

These days, it can feel like everyone is talking about the role of big data in changing their unique fields. The use of advanced data analysis to interpret massive data sets has changed the way healthcare providers think about everything from diagnostic medicine to patient satisfaction, and the trend looks unlikely to change. Administrators use data analysis to identify areas for improvement regarding work performance and workflow efficiency, allowing them to make informed decisions.

Healthcare Accessibility

The popularization of telemedicine was one of the few good things to come from the COVID-19 pandemic, as it increased access to healthcare for Americans across the country. Telemedicine benefits vulnerable patients the most. Modern hospitals and clinics are now almost expected to have the equipment on hand to conduct effective virtual visits, which benefits everyone.

Rural patients who do not have medical specialists living within a reasonable drive and people who are home-bound as a result of illness, injury, or surgery can often access the care they need to prevent unnecessary hospitalizations without having to disrupt their entire lives to do it. Many doctors now conduct virtual appointments as a routine part of their clinic hours.

Integrated Medical Records

Integrating medical records so that every doctor caring for a patient can access the person’s medical history, diagnoses, test results, and other relevant data has improved patient care across all specialties. It’s not just the patients that benefit, either. As with virtual visits preventing unnecessary hospital visits and freeing up emergency room staff for patients in direst need of care, integrated medical records help hospitals, as well. 

Integrated systems allow both hospitals and outpatient clinics to run more smoothly. Maintaining patient data in a well-protected virtual setting instead of in person in filing cabinets also helps to prevent the fines and reputational damage that come along with HIPAA non-compliance by making it easier to restrict access.

Small Changes Make a Big Difference

It’s obvious how things like robotic surgery are pushing the medical field forward into the future, but not all technological changes get the same amount of attention. When it comes to the more mundane issues of healthcare accessibility, daily patient care, and hospital administration, the ways that technology is changing the field may not be as obvious. It should be clear by now that they’re just as important to those responsible for keeping facilities up-to-date and patients satisfied with the level of care that they receive.

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