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Healthcare Technology Improving Patient Care

Healthcare Technology

As the demand for healthcare continues to surge, so does the need to improve and streamline patient care. Without evolving processes and treatments, the need could easily outpace the ability to provide thorough care. Thankfully, innovations in healthcare technology make it possible for providers to not just keep pace with demand, but constantly improve patients’ quality of care.

One issue with treating patients in managing their information. Just as a patient’s needs and concerns will constantly change, so will their medical records. Any medical provider, therefore, needs constant access to the most updated information as well as in-depth medical history. Before technology, this meant storing information in paper charts that not only took up considerable amounts of space and manpower to maintain, it too easily resulted in inaccurate or lost information. Information and treatment could not be easily coordinated and shared between a patient’s various physicians, which resulted in anything from inefficient medical care to dangerous conflicts in prescription medications. With the use of medical data networks, software, and even hand-held devices, however, many of these problems have been eliminated.

Today, a patient being monitored for things like fetal health or cardiac rhythm can have their information checked remotely by a doctor or nurse sitting in their office or even on vacation using mobile applications on phones or tablets. A diabetic with problems stabilizing his blood glucose would previously have had to consistently write down their glucose meter readings to share with the doctor at a later date.

Today, some meters offer the ability to download glucose measurements to a computer for better charting, and a few even allow you to transmit your information instantly through wireless transmission to your doctor’s patient records server. For patients under the care of multiple medical providers, any updates or changes in their health can be automatically sent to each provider with alerts to note them of any critical issues. Many doctor’s offices today are even making it possible for a patient to check his or her own medical history and make appointments online. Using a combination of software, patient databases, and secured servers, this service allows you to check things like the results of your last blood test, or a record of your past visits, from the privacy of your home.

Healthcare technology is also reducing the likelihood of medical mistakes. For instance, many patients in hospitals now receive a bar-coded identification bracelet that attaches electronically to their medical records. Such a process means even an unconscious patient can be assured health providers have their correct medical information. Also, one major problem in medical care is prescription medication mistakes. Matching barcodes to electronic charts, however, will not only alert a provider of any potential conflicts with the medication to be given but will also automatically update the chart with the latest dose given. Using a similar system, patients who receive blood transfusions can be assured that they receive the correct blood type.

Treating patients means not just understanding their medical needs, but managing the flood of information generated by their care. Despite increasing demand, healthcare technology is making it possible for medical providers to consistently improve not just the speed, but the accuracy and quality of patient care.

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