Technology and Healthcare

Technology was a hot topic at the AHIMA national conference this year.  New advancements such as social media, mobile devices, iPads, iPhones, online networking, and mobile apps are changing the expectations of healthcare.  The use of technology helps health information departments and healthcare providers shorten delays, reduce cycle claims, reduce costs, and improve patient outcomes.

Having access to all records and all data all of the time brings about these improvements.  Here are a few examples of how this connectivity through technology is improving healthcare.

Mobile Apps – Many patients can now use mobile apps to keep track of their conditions, making it easier to track patients’ health on a day-to-day basis and make the appropriate adjustments to manage their conditions. 

Immediate Access to Health Information – A physician can see lab results more instantaneously rather than waiting for the health record department to upload or file the documents.  Having immediate access to lab results can make the difference in treating a patient in a timely manner. 

Video Conferencing – Video conferencing and the real time stream of data are new methods that may also become more widely available to healthcare providers in the future.  This would allow a healthcare provider could video conference with a patient in a remote location or an EMT could video-conference with a doctor and administer preventative care instead of transporting the patient to the hospital, avoiding unnecessary medical expenses.

Remote monitoring – Remotely monitoring patients’ vitals via telehealth monitoring has reduced the length of hospital stays, decreased the number of hospital admissions and re-admissions, and reduced medical fees.  Patients with chronic conditions can now be monitored with alerts set to trigger when measurements reach critical levels.  This method allows for a more proactive approach at treating and managing patients with chronic conditions.

It’s exciting to see new programs and devices being created and implemented to make healthcare better, faster, cheaper, and more effective.

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