Emerging Healthcare Technology includes new technology in the healthcare space that could help make giving and receiving treatments a lot better and more efficient. Technology is rapidly emerging in various industries as its applications continue to spread due to new innovations and advanced applications. In healthcare especially, emerging technology has been known to make a great breakthrough in curing diseases, reducing the length of stays, and even preventing certain dire diseases and symptoms.
One area that continues to get a lot of buzz in the area of Artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence has been able to advance so many areas of healthcare and treatment such as in oncology for example. Artificial intelligence technology has been applied to help interpret data that helps in the treatment of cancer patients. Artificial intelligence and machine learning can also be used to make advancements in minimally invasive technology, healthcare data storage, and analytics, and even in improving physician and patient engagement.
Emerging Healthcare Technology for Social Engagement
If the advancement in population and public health has learned one thing, it’s that improved and advanced social engagement helps to increase the quality of healthcare in a society and with individuals. Research has shown that social determinants such as a person’s zip code, social status, and location are all determinants the state of a person’s’ health. These social drivers of health play a huge role in determining if the state of a country’s population health. The areas that are more susceptible to these challenges should receive more attention, more health resources, and more focus. That way the total average of healthy citizens goes up. Measures and tools should be deployed to solve social problems that adversely affect population health.
Hospitals operate like any other business organization (even when they are not-for-profit) this means that, big hospitals from time to tie acquire other smaller hospitals or merge with other healthcare organizations. As hospitals continue to expand their reach with consolidations, mergers, and acquisitions, there are bound to be challenging. When these consolidations are properly monitored and fall within the confines of the law, then they can be beneficial and could lead to significant growth in the healthcare industry and breakthrough in healthcare research and advancements.
How to Improve Healthcare Customer and Patient Experience
A healthcare organization needs to be concerned with having good customer service and good patient management. Patients and their family are at best vulnerable customers who already have something weighing on their mind. As such, navigating their customer care experience could be delicate and tricky if the customer service personnel is not properly trained. Below we discuss ways that hospitals and healthcare organizations can make the customer service experience of patients top-notch.
Hospitals and healthcare organizations should make their patient portals user-friendly and easy to navigate with a well-designed interface. Hospitals and healthcare organization should invest in good technology hardware (such as desktops, portals, iPads, etc) and software. Having a good patient portal is not enough, hospitals must also inform and educate patients and their families on how to use it and they should also concisely get feedback on how they can improve the interface. Some hospital website and portals can be quite cumbersome and too complicated to navigate properly with loads of links, slow loading pages and hard to find portals. In this era of advanced technology, most apps and websites are advanced and very easy to use. This has made customers savvier and less tolerant of outdated platforms and bad user experiences.
Healthcare organizations need to simplify call centers and make them easy to navigate, friendly and actually effective in solving the problems of callers. Some patients and their families prefer to make phone calls as opposed to maybe navigating a patient portal or a hospital website. Phone operators should be properly trained and should be able to provide solutions on the spot to patient queries, questions, or complaints. Hospital call center operators should have access to a database of information. This can require a substantial investment in software and systems to automate workflows and access databases that were assembled through multiple acquisitions of healthcare software and Electronic Health Records. Phone representatives should have access to this internal database and interface so they can access it while on a call with a patient and help them find the information they need, book an appointment, reschedule an appointment, find out the prices of certain services or hospital products etc. A phone rep should not have to search long and hard to find basic information that a patient or their family calls in for.
Providing Useful Information
It’s one thing to have a good user interface and design and to have well-equipped phone centers but a hospital should be able to provide useful information to its patients, their families, and also to the hospitals’ stakeholders. The healthcare industry is one that can and is already benefiting big data. Having massive amounts of data means that they can be analyzed to identify trends, areas of improvements and areas of great strength. When patients are more engaged, they are more willing to share information on their health, give good feedback and this accumulates to good quality data. This good quality data makes it easier for providers, payers, doctors, nurses, clinicians and plan administrators to deliver healthcare more efficiently. Even the pharmaceutical department benefits from good quality and timely hospital data. One of the advantages of investing in good quality platforms is that it encourages and increases the sharing of data between patients and their physicians and it enhances the flow of data ultimately in both directions.