Patients today expect more from their healthcare providers.
They want access to quality care, lower costs, and a better overall experience. To achieve this, healthcare providers have had to adopt digital technology that creates more efficient processes and more meaningful patient experiences. Let’s discuss how digitally-enabled healthcare can give patients the experiences they expect while helping organizations cut costs.
Digitally enabled healthcare provides an opportunity to save costs by streamlining processes such as medical records or billing and cutting administrative overhead. Chicago-based MIMIT Health saw productivity increase 30% with the help of technology. In addition to lowering administrative costs, healthcare technology can also help reduce wait times for appointments and services since all necessary information is readily available in one place.
Healthcare platforms are also helping organizations personalize each patient’s experience by capturing inputs like communication preferences and non-clinical data like social determinants of health. Personalizing services in response to an individual’s unique circumstances can help improve communication, increase retention, and streamline care delivery, resulting in increased trust, which can ultimately lead to better health outcomes. By understanding the needs of their consumers, healthcare providers can provide tailored care that is both cost-effective and meaningful.
Taking Advantage of Wearable Technology and Mobile Health Apps
Another way that providers can better understand a patient’s needs and habits is through the use of wearables and health apps. One of the biggest benefits of these technologies is that they are incredibly easy to use. Health consumers don't need any special training or expertise to get started with these devices. This ease of use has made it possible for people of all ages and backgrounds to take control of their health journey, monitor their progress, and share that information with providers so that they may make more informed decisions about their health.
As technology continues to evolve, we will likely see even more ways in which it can be used to help improve healthcare outcomes for everyone. Ultimately, these advancements in healthcare technology have the potential to revolutionize how healthcare providers access and manage our health data.
Most healthcare organizations still rely on EHR (electronic health records) to manage clinical data. But when the pandemic forced them to deliver care in new virtual ways, EHR systems showed their limitations.
Providers needed a better way to integrate their clinical and non-clinical information to understand their patients’ needs and preferences. Without it, clinicians risk losing patients whose expectations around access and communication have risen dramatically. According to NCR Health, 80% of patients would switch providers for convenience factors alone.
What is cloud-based healthcare?
A cloud solution for healthcare solves many common challenges and helps providers focus on what matters most: the patient.
The cloud acts as a place where you can securely store your data and access it from anywhere. Non-cloud storage solutions keep information on a physical hard drive or internal server. The cloud, however, allows data to live on a global network of secure data centers.
The cloud can easily connect to the EHR or any other system of record through an API, allowing organizations to centralize data and take advantage of app libraries.
Healthcare organizations use the cloud for connecting, storing, and maintaining traditional personal health information such as blood test results, as well as other consumer data like contact preferences. All information is accessed securely from a single console across the organization. EHRs aren’t replaced; they become an integral part of the cloud system.
The cloud can easily connect to the EHR or any other system of record through an API (application programming interface), allowing organizations to centralize data and take advantage of app libraries like AppExchange. App libraries provide tailored solutions to help solve different healthcare business needs, like verifying patient medical insurance. An API can take data from a contact center, marketing database, or any other system and bring all the information together in one place.
On the back end, the cloud provider maintains the software and develops enhancements, so healthcare IT professionals don’t have to worry about facilitating updates. This frees them to customize the platform to meet the unique needs of their business.
How can a cloud solution improve the work of healthcare organizations?
Providers have many sources of information that create data silos. The time wasted searching multiple systems and the lost opportunity to draw insights from data frustrates both employees and patients. Here’s how cloud-based healthcare alleviates the burden for everyone:
Teams can access all the data they need from a single program or app, instead of switching between systems, and they can see everything at an aggregate level. This makes it easier to quickly answer patient questions, manage preferences, and turn insights into actions.
Organizations can also use automation to handle time-consuming tasks. Consider a patient who needs to schedule a knee replacement. Instead of the appointment desk scanning their calendar manually for an available slot, the cloud can automatically suggest possible times via the channel of their choice. The system can also deliver a series of emails with important information – from pre-visit instruction to post-visit health tips.
Personalize patient care
With a single source of truth for data, care coordinators can access a complete view of a patient’s health. The coordinator can easily view the treatment history, social determinants of health, recent tests and procedures, and the extended care team. They can also access questions the patient may have submitted through a portal.
At the same time, intelligence can analyze data to help providers stratify risk, ensuring those most in need are not overlooked. This frees clinicians to focus on interacting with the patient instead of devoting time to record-keeping in the EHR.
The cloud enables clinicians and other care providers to access patient information even outside the office.
For example, a physician who is at home, at another facility, or away at a conference can still access patient information from a single dashboard. Or, when patients need to see a provider but time constraints, weather conditions, or lack of transportation make it challenging, they can opt for a virtual appointment instead. Ultimately, patients have more options to engage with their providers, and providers have more access to their patients. This connectivity helps reduce time to care and improve patient outcomes.
Click here to learn more about Cloud-Based Healthcare.