Last year, healthcare workers proved themselves superheroes fighting for a sustainable healthcare system despite the global crisis. They managed to deal with an enormous number of patients and delivered results measured in saved human lives. But just like Batman needed his Batsuite and Batcar to perform his great deeds, medical employees turned out to do better with technological backup. Last year, PRA technologies helped them improve data processing quality and speed at various workflow stages. This year, organizations should focus on providing accessible healthcare solutions for the wider population.
Accessibility is one of the WHO’s key principles of a human-rights-based approach to healthcare. It’s also on the list of Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations General Assembly. That’s why it’s our noble mission to help our customers in the industry. We’re proud to be Robins or Alfreds Pennyworth for them. Let’s see how we can build accessible healthcare through technology and check if it can be compared with the one from Batcave.
Leverage electronic health record technology
The first thing that comes to mind when we think about accessibility is cloud computing. As people strive for digital experiences with single-point access, the cloud literally makes their dreams come true. In sustainable healthcare, it gave birth to electronic health record technology (EHR), which is all about interoperability.
Government, clinics, patients, and medical providers are now in the same boat. EHR platforms incorporate legal regulations, medical records, prescriptions, and plan coverage information. They lower the risk of diagnostic errors and improper treatment by providing more comprehensive data about a patient, including allergies and immunization status. Accessible healthcare platforms help both doctors and patients find the most suitable approach to each particular case.
There are three key players who share the EHR software market: Epic Systems Corporation, Allscripts, and eClinicalWorks, LLC. Although, smaller vendors are actively entering the game, which means you can find a more niche and cost-efficient electronic health record system that fits your needs best.
Implement mHealth activities
In 2020, the market of health and wellness apps reached $40 billion. By the end of 2025, it is expected to exceed $300 billion, with an annual growth rate of about 17.7 percent. And the part of medical apps is going to grow and with it the potential of sustainable healthcare solutions.
Two essential factors gave a boost to mHealth. First, the necessity of remote health supervision for patients who need continuous monitoring of their condition. Visiting a clinic several times a week during the pandemic was obviously not a great idea because of the high risks. Such accessible healthcare solutions as smart apps and wearable devices helped them stay on track of their key health metrics and provided 24/7 connection with their physicians.
The second factor is the massive shift in patients’ mentality. The ability to monitor their health metrics through the apps and recognize various symptoms made people more conscious of their physical well-being. Today’s patients don’t blindly follow recommendations, as they seek to understand body processes, stay involved in their treatment, and communicate with practitioners as equals. Such patient-centricity leads to building a more sustainable healthcare system.
Regarding apps, there’s one aspect that can’t be neglected. Whether you integrate an already existing app into your workflow or address an experienced team to develop one specifically for your clinic, make sure it is easy to use. Accessible healthcare apps should improve patient experience, not overcomplicate it. Also, pay attention if the app you choose provides customer support that deals with technical issues, as this might be out of your employees’ responsibilities.
Integrate wearable devices into your services
The Internet of Medical Things is among the top trends for sustainable healthcare that will change its very nature. Connecting wearable devices to health apps gives practitioners access to more complete data and helps in diagnostics. Sensors and wearables enable instant response to the tiniest health issues; therefore, they switch the focus from curing diseases to their prevention.
Incorporate virtual reality into your services
Accessible healthcare presupposes giving opportunities regardless of circumstances. And VR helps break the rules and expand the limits of the possible.
Initially, VR technologies are used in diagnostics and training. Analyzing virtual models instead of regular scans gives physicians more data, therefore, takes diagnostics to a very new level. Virtual models are also used to pre-train doctors for complex surgeries till they are ready to perform them on real people. Without VR, these surgeries could never have happened because of enormously high risks.
The other use case of VR in sustainable healthcare is going to turn doctor’s appointments from a nightmare into a beautiful dream. Researches prove that patients who wear a virtual headset during medical procedures experience less anxiety and pain. The University of Washington had successful tests on burn victims – they admitted feeling 50 percent less pain during wounds treatment.
That’s why VR technology has immense potential in pediatrics. Just imagine a child begging to visit a dentist because this is where they can explore a fairy world and meet magic creatures via a headset.
However, VR technologies are not only a great distraction. For senior patients, they work as a stimulator for memory that prevents and even reduces the symptoms of dementia and improves their quality of life.
Provide education for patients and employees
Not all patients and employees are tech-savvy enough to enjoy all the benefits of today’s technologies. Isn’t it exciting to open the world of sustainable healthcare for them? As a progressive player on the market, you can organize live training series to share the best practices of the following:
1. How to use health apps
Even though about 60 percent of the world’s population owns smartphones, not all of them are advanced users. It will be good to share some tips on registering in the app your clinic provides, attaching the required documents, personalizing the app, and staying on track of all its functions and updates.
2. How to protect personal data
Besides contributing to sustainable healthcare, your patients put themselves at risk of cyberattacks by connecting personal data to mHealth apps. Ensure your users are aware of the threat and help them protect their personal data by setting up an advanced identification and verification framework.
3. How telehealth is used in healthcare
Since the pandemic started, telehealth has turned from a nice-to-have customer service addition into one-and-only safe healthcare practice. And this is not going to change soon. Telehealth has become the key to sustainable healthcare.
Therefore, the etiquette of virtual visits is to be propagated. Explain to your patients how telehealth is used in healthcare, help them prepare for a visit: set boundaries at home to feel safe during the video call, write a list of questions, describe their symptoms, and follow the doctor’s requirements.
Building a sustainable healthcare system is the focus of the medical superheroes in 2021. This includes not only implementing new technologies but also cultivating a new mentality. With this in mind, we’ll be proud to join forces with your organization and deliver more accessible healthcare solutions to your patients.