Importance of Technology in Healthcare
- January 05, 2021
There is a lot of discussion going on right now regarding healthcare as the health care system continues to age. Many people are concerned that as the system ages, so will the medical knowledge it holds. However, I believe the importance of technology in healthcare is underestimated; particularly, the impact it has had on the treatment of cancer.
Technology in healthcare has enabled many procedures to be more accurate and easier and to achieve greater results. Another important benefit of technology in healthcare practices, and probably one of the more relevant, is researchers’ and clinicians’ ability to explore and study in greater depth how various diseases and conditions affect patients. For example, studies have shown that the predictive analytics provided by new technologies enable doctors to understand more about a disease and, more precisely, target treatments. In the past, when a doctor had a vague diagnosis of a disease, he or she would make an assumption, usually a wrong one, about what ailment they might have. But with predictive analytics, which takes a step beyond general knowledge to provide information about a specific individual’s medical history and presenting symptoms, a doctor can better assess risk and prescribe treatment.
The introduction of medical technology has allowed healthcare practitioners and hospitals to deliver more effective care to more people at less cost. There are two sides to the argument when discussing technology and healthcare. There is nothing new in medical technology, that as it has been around for so long, has become almost a habit, like brushing your teeth, reading this article, etc. Some argue that with so many advancements in technology, there is truly something new and improved in the healthcare arena.
This is where healthcare managers play a key role in the success of healthcare organizations. To build a successful healthcare team, healthcare leaders must be skilled at communicating technology’s value to patients and their doctors. A key part of that communication is demonstrating the value of technology to the patient and their doctors. The challenge is to educate healthcare managers about how technology can actually enhance the healthcare experience.
One example is the implementation of electronic patient records (EPRS). EPRS is actually a combination of hardware and software that enables healthcare professionals to capture patient records electronically, which is much easier than hand-writing patient records. It also allows for the easy accessibility of that information to anyone who needs it in a timely fashion. The benefits of this technology are well known. Less time and energy are consumed by healthcare professionals when capturing patient records electronically instead of manual processes that often lead to errors.
The second example is the integration of technology into clinical and administrative processes. EMR’s and other electronic medical devices allow for improved patient care through accuracy and faster recovery times. The importance of these advances in technology for improving healthcare is fairly self-explanatory. However, the implementation of these technologies is a process that requires careful consideration by the leaders of healthcare organizations. For example, making a switch from paper to digital records is not always an easy decision for healthcare leaders.
The third example of an emerging trend for improving the healthcare experience involves the use of cloud services. Cloud computing, also known as “the cloud” or “big data,” is a technology model that utilizes shared infrastructure to store data and provide applications to multiple users on the network without requiring advanced technological know-how for implementation. This is an example of a technology that can benefit healthcare professionals and hospitals by providing them with access to potentially billions of patient data and application programs that can be accessed in real-time from anywhere in the world. The cloud provides healthcare organizations with a way to eliminate storage space requirements and manage patient data security. Also, it can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of care delivery.
As medical professionals become more aware of the need for technological developments in the healthcare industry, they will continue to push for such advancements. Organizations that provide healthcare services are already experiencing an influx of new clients who want updated and innovative ways to keep up with changes to laws and regulations concerning patient privacy. Medical professionals and healthcare managers need to consider the impact that technological developments have on their operations will be key in ensuring that medical field leaders can adapt to these changes. There will likely continue to be many changes to how medical professionals communicate with patients over the next few years.