Technology has been bringing about a massive change in many industries over the last few years. And in 99% of these cases, these changes have brought about much innovation and success.  But what about industries that involve the human element? Healthcare tops the list, where a machine can perform a given task, sometimes even more efficiently than if administered by a person, but what it lacks is the uniquely human ability to cater to the needs of a patient. An algorithm may suggest one approach, but a person who excels in their position understands when to take a different approach. Below we will talk about how to add the human touch in healthcare technology.

What is quality healthcare?

While a skilled healthcare professional remains necessary, using technology can make the process much more efficient. The Institute of Medicine defines healthcare quality by the following aspects:

Safety: Avoiding harm to patients from the care that is intended to help them

Thankfully, there are many technologies that can achieve this goal. Clinical decision support software can alert staff to potential adverse drug interactions or possible alternate diagnoses. Even a basic technology, such as a document management system like OnBase by Hyland, can alert staff to patient record deficiencies that can adversely impact the overall quality of care.

Effective: Providing services based on scientific knowledge to all who could benefit and refraining from providing services to those not likely to benefit

Patient care that stems from scientific evidence helps ensure optimal outcomes. Data analytics and technologies for population health management can help healthcare professionals use the most effective treatments for patients, as these technologies compare the information contained in medical records and compare it to past cases with similar profiles.

Patient-centered: Providing care that is respectful of and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs, and values, ensuring that patient values guide all clinical decisions.

Patient-centered care is where the human touch comes in. To deliver true patient-centered care, it is essential that all clinical stakeholders have a comprehensive view of each patient’s entire medical history, including discrete data, documentation and medical images. OnBase by Hyland includes a vendor-neutral archive (VNA) and enterprise viewing components that can help make all patient information easily accessible from core clinical platforms, such as an HER or PACS, providing an informational foundation for patient-centered care.

Timely: Reducing waits and sometimes harmful delays for both those who receive and those who give care

To ensure timely delivery of care, technologies with tracking systems and automated workflows can be utilized. Using these tools easily streamline patient traffic and clinical processes by automation of tasks, reducing wait times.

Efficient: Avoiding waste, including waste of equipment, supplies, ideas, and energy

Many technologies currently exist that focus on reducing waste in all areas of a hospital. Paper tops the charts in this category. Intelligent data capture, automated workflows, and content services can minimize the costly management of paper – from human resources to accounting to health information management departments.

Equitable: Providing care that does not vary in quality because of personal characteristics such as gender, ethnicity, geographic location and socioeconomic status

Technology today, such as telemedicine, remote patient monitoring, bring the highest level of care to even the most remote areas. These technologies are changing the way care is provided that often prevented true equality in the past.

Technology fills the gaps

As shown above, it’s easy to see how technology is making changes to enhance the human element in healthcare. If you are a healthcare organization looking to optimize their business, contact us today for more information.