As the fight against COVID-19 continues, so are the disruptions in healthcare. Several challenges like ensuring contactless medical facilities, remote monitoring, and hassle-free patient care to improve recovery rates are still on the priority for healthcare professionals. Add to it the need to create a faster yet efficient healthcare infrastructure to counter the rapid spread of the virus, as the numbers are still increasing.
In this situation, implementing digital solutions has helped healthcare and medical staff greatly to perform their duties with improved accuracy, efficiency, and abiding by the new social distancing norms. The positive impact of digital transformation in healthcare has enabled several healthcare services to embrace new technologies. Here are 4 key areas where digital transformation has helped play a significant role in promoting better healthcare and may continue in a post-COVID-19 world:1. Telehealth continues to provide improved healthcare services
Telehealth services have emerged to play a crucial role in enabling healthcare services to reach a wider audience. Telehealth has enabled doctors to reach a broader range of patients by virtually connecting them to the patient and offering real-time advice. This allows healthcare workers to cater to more patients, reach a wider footprint, and do it all while they maintain all social distancing and quarantine procedures.
What's more, patients have embraced telehealth services too. According to research,
- 60% of millennials expect telehealth to replace in-office visits
- 74% of people believe virtual health visits are the new norm
- 83% of patients reported having received proper care and quality care after a telehealth visit
2. Data analytics is allowing patient information to be readily available
Healthcare workers capture, store, and use medical data on a day-to-day basis and often do this manually, with the data being in various formats. Digitizing this process can create seamless availability of patient data. Digital transformation has enabled creating better workflows; smart analytics and a centralized data storage facility, ensuring role-based access to the staff who can retrieve information as needed. Additionally, these records can be provided to doctors faster, enabling the doctors to use it for giving the right treatment, especially during critical times.
3. Combining Wellness with EHRs
Electronic Healthcare Records (EHR) is not just a benefitting medical staff to easily manage and monitor patient information, but individuals can also access their EHRs to manage, view, and understand their health records to take appropriate actions. With health sensors, apps, and other data points that can be collected for each individual, wellness apps can create a support system that leverages intelligent decision making to improve healthcare protocols. In the future, emphasis will be given on designing applications where the patient is in control of their data, while medical practitioners get added touchpoints to understand their patient's health records better.
4. Mobile apps & IoT Devices are enabling remote monitoring for staff and patients
Several smart devices & mobile apps have enabled healthcare technology to capture data from multiple touchpoints. This allows for the creation of a patient-centric service model, as patients can perform simple actions like making appointments, getting their healthcare records, reports, and information quickly. Apps are effectively leveraged in times of quarantine and self-isolation of patients, as doctors can easily checkup on each patient virtually. Patients, in return, benefit from the app as they can easily get their questions and requests resolved, especially in rural areas and parts where medical facilities are limited.
With the healthcare industry increasingly using technology in every process, the trend is only going to continue even post the COVID-19 pandemic. With systems and technology in place, the opportunities and avenues for improvement are plentiful. And digital transformation is not just creating efficient healthcare, but also enabling affordable and accessible healthcare. This makes it the opportune time for the healthcare industry to embrace technology and improve services.
As we advance into a world where the pandemic will be behind us, it is time to consider how technology can continue to play a vital role in improving healthcare processes. Having worked with healthcare organizations since the last few years, we at e-Zest Healthcare feel digital transformation can empower and facilitate healthcare to gain the benefits of emerging technology and digital services.