Technology is an integral part of the modern world, and healthcare uses it to improve professionals’ work and the quality of patient care. The main advantages of technology are that they allow organizations to systemize data, accelerate their acquisition and use, and access healthcare professionals and patients. Ultimately, these improvements result in fewer medical errors, increased patient safety, and education, and lower health care costs (Alotaibi & Federico, 2017; Tsai et al., 2020). This presentation will demonstrate how to achieve such results by reviewing some of the approaches and tools of modern technologies.
Electronic Health Records (EHR)
The benefits or harms of EHR platforms depend on their function and quality since some of them are intended only as a patient data registry, while others have options of advising, user-friendly interface, and chats. Consequently, a well-designed and user-friendly EHR platform can bring such benefits as reducing the time to search and enter data and providing complete information on all patient conditions, allowing professionals to offer optimal treatment based on the data. In addition, systems can alert employees of data entry mistakes or provide advice for decision-making, which helps avoid medical errors (Tsai et al., 2020). Patients also have more power to influence their treatment as they have access to their records and can point out errors.
EHRs also improve big data collection because electronic records can be transferred anonymously for national research. Big data, in turn, benefit the quality of care through multiple manifestations. First, big data analytics can track and target national trends, such as opioid addiction prevention. Second, the data is used for highly specialized research and helps improve approaches to diagnosis and treatment (Palanisamy &Thirunavukarasu, 2019). Third, the data is also used to enhance the quality of pharmaceuticals and healthcare facilities’ organizations (Palanisamy &Thirunavukarasu, 2019). In addition, the ease of data collection and analysis creates resources for patients to improve their healthcare education. Thus, the quality of care improves simultaneously in several health care areas.
Technologies for Communication
Communication between interprofessional team members and the patient is essential to providing quality care. Research demonstrates that EHR platforms facilitate communication between nurses and doctors, which inspires them to interprofessional care and improves its quality (Tsai et al., 2020). The ability to chat and call also allows employees to respond if colleagues need help or advice quickly. In addition, according to Alotaibi and Federico (2017), communication between healthcare professionals and patients reduces the incidence of readmission and hospitalization. This statement is related to the fact that patients can use technology to contact a specialist in case of minor questions that do not worth an appointment or urgency.
The availability of convenient technologies for communication has opened opportunities for Telemedicine as one of the ways to serve patients. Telemedicine has improved access to health services for people in rural areas, as they can receive online counseling. This aspect is also essential for patients who are physically unable to visit the hospital, and online consultations help nurses and doctors save time getting to the patient’s home. In addition, the possibility to avoid hospital visits also improves patient safety, especially during a pandemic. Simultaneously, both medical professionals and patients can use two-way video communication to exchange knowledge from anywhere in the world (Alotaibi & Federico, 2017). Thus, Telemedicine has improved patient care by making it more accessible.
Health Applications and Wearable Technologies
The availability of telemedicine is also driven by the variety of health device apps that connect patients and providers. However, applications have other uses as well, such as self-monitoring, receiving information, or reminders. For example, women often use cycle tracking apps, people with diabetes can track glucose and carbohydrate intake, and signals can remind them to take medication. In addition, wearable technologies, from smartwatches to specialty medical devices, also make significant contributions. These technologies can be used to monitor and record vital signs or support body functions. According to research, both technologies improve health outcomes and patient safety (Alotaibi & Federico, 2017). Diversity and constant improvement of these technologies also confirm this fact.
Example of Health Applications
Consequently, there are many examples of wearable technologies and health applications. The best-known technologies are insulin pumps and automatic devices that measure pulse, heart rate, blood pressure, or blood glucose. Less specialized are fitness bracelets and smartwatches that track a person’s activity and can send a signal in case of a health deterioration or thread. Such technologies allow healthcare providers to monitor a patient’s condition remotely, offer treatment based on them, and react when the condition worsens, which improves patient safety (Alotaibi & Federico, 2017). Health applications also have many functions and types and are intended for self-monitoring, communication with health providers, or obtaining information, and some of them are presented in the video by The List Show TV (2018). These examples show how simple online applications can improve the quality of care.
Thus, this review demonstrates that technology and informatics have various implications in healthcare that can improve the quality of patient care. Among the most famous implications of informatics are EHR, telemedicine, big data, health applications, and devices, which are often intertwined and dependent on each other. At the same time, providers and patients should apply this approach simultaneously, which involves all parties in the process of service improvement. Consequently, such a versatile and comprehensive approach demonstrates significant development prospects. However, since only high-quality technologies can be beneficial, they need to be perfected and verified.
Alotaibi, Y. K., & Federico, F. (2017). The impact of health information technology on patient safety. Saudi medical journal, 38(12), 1173–1180. Web.
Palanisamy, V., & Thirunavukarasu, R. (2019). Implications of big data analytics in developing healthcare frameworks – A review. Journal of King Saud University – Computer and Information Sciences, 31(4), 415–425. Web.
The List Show TV. (2018). 3 Apps that will change the way you think about healthcare [Video]. YouTube. Web.
Tsai, C. H., Eghdam, A., Davoody, N., Wright, G., Flowerday, S., & Koch, S. (2020). Effects of Electronic Health Record implementation and barriers to adoption and use: A scoping review and qualitative analysis of the content. Life, 10(12), 1-27.