Today's healthcare environment allows patients the opportunity to play a more active role in their own healthcare experience. Continual innovation in healthcare technology means that patients can be more informed and engaged, and providers can simultaneously gain greater insights into individual’s PHI with the data tech provides. Adopting technology can offer solutions and overcome the barriers to patients getting the care they need.
Benefits of Adopting Technology
The technology that is used on a daily basis by consumers helps improve and simplify life, and the same can be said for healthcare tech and patients. Technology in healthcare aims to improve and aid patient centered care initiatives, giving individuals more power in managing their conditions, treatments and overall healthcare.
By improving the quality of patient-physician interactions through technology, patients have the resources they need to become more involved in their own personal care. Patients can further educate themselves about their own health through open and more consistent communication with physicians, that helps to strengthens patient trust. The relationship between patients and their physicians is crucial in truly achieving engagement in ways that will benefit patients most, and enhance clinical workflows.
Along with strengthening patient-physician relationships, technology use by patients can have many other benefits. Technology drives efficiency. The healthcare industry can leverage technology that is already a part of everyday life in the form of smartphones, mobile devices, and secure apps. Services such as online patient portals and compliant messaging are both time saving and provide a convenient means of communication, for patients and doctors alike. Having such systems in place cuts the number of patients physically coming into a physician’s office, allowing doctors more time to be present with patients in office. Patients can also conveniently receive answers to administrative or medical questions through compliant communication platforms as opposed to traveling back into their provider's office.
New innovations in mobile health (mhealth) and telehealth, having webcam appointments with providers, allow doctors more ease when treating patients in rural locations and can reduce the time and travel associated with visits. By taking advantage of IT solutions, telehealth, the cloud and mhealth applications, healthcare providers can achieve greater patient outcomes, improving the continuum of care.
Healthcare providers need to be aware of the reservations some patients may have in order to increase acceptance. Although it is understood by many generations that technology offers unparalleled convenience, with the number of ransomware and cyberattacks in healthcare rising, patients are cautious of providing health and personal information for fears it may not be secure.
The links between patient engagement, safety, experience and outcomes need to be highlighted to patients. For example, if patients do not trust the information provided to them through telemedicine, they may ignore advice or seek additional in-person consultations. Patient distrust in the accuracy and safety of telemedicine and other forms of tech are significant barriers to patient use. These concerns need to be addressed by physicians for successful patient adoption.
In order for patients to be comfortable and open to using technology in their healthcare and engaging more, the leaders in the industry must prioritize it as fundamental part of policy. Providers must show patients the immediate potential benefits of adopting technology in their care, just as many do in their daily lives. Patient engagement through the adoption of technology is key in developing a healthier, more informed population.