Technology has had a profound impact on the world over the past few decades. How we work, communicate, learn—tech has completely changed the way we live. Naturally, it's also changed the healthcare industry. Technology has led to the creation of dozens of game-changing medical devices that have advanced a provider's ability to deliver care. Detection devices, surgical aids, testing, diagnosing—the impact of advanced medical technology is endless.
But how has technology improved the patient experience?
Here are some of the ways that technology has dramatically improved the patient experience.
Electronic Health Records (EHR)
Electronic health records have dramatically improved how healthcare facilities access and utilize data. There's a tremendous amount of information that providers rely on to make accurate diagnoses. Without updated and complete medical data, a provider cannot make an informed treatment recommendation.
Most healthcare providers have successfully transitioned from paper records to digitized EHRs. EHRs have made accessing, sharing, retrieving, and managing medical data infinitely easier than the days of paper records. When a patient visits their medical provider they have complete confidence that their records are on hand. Additionally, when they see a new provider, their medical records can be quickly and confidentially sent from their old provider.
EHRs have both improved the way that healthcare facilities work, as well as enabling an enhanced patient experience.
Virtual Reality for Medical Training
The future of healthcare requires a constant supply of highly trained and experienced providers entering the workforce. Patients expect that when they seek care, their provider will have the specialized experience to treat them. Of course, training in the healthcare industry is a bit more complicated than in other lines of work—and the stakes are much higher. One way that technology is improving the industry's ability to educate and enhance the next generation of providers is through virtual reality.
Through the groundbreaking application of virtual reality, healthcare providers can participate in hands-on training simulations to prepare them for the real thing. Complex surgeries, time-sensitive treatment, rare and life-threatening medical emergencies—through virtual reality a provider can learn how to act in a wide range of medical scenarios.
Virtual reality has already made an imprint on the healthcare industry but is expected to be implemented much more dramatically in the near future. The market value for VR services in 2017 was $8.9M. By 2022, the market value is forecasted to leap to $285M.
How does medical training impact patient experience? If more medical providers are trained economically via virtual reality, the cost that patients receive will decrease in cost yet improve in effectiveness.
Advancements in software and portal technology have permitted healthcare providers to create patient-friendly portals that drastically improve patient satisfaction. Patients have long desired easy and direct access to their medical information and medical portals allow just that.
Patients can now view their personal information remotely, which enables them to take greater control of the process. They no longer have to try and translate their physician's scribbled handwriting or recall everything they were told during their appointment. Instead, they can log on and take a peek at their appointment notes from the comfort of their home.
Medical portals also allow for fewer visits, which is something many patients have long desired. Instead of making an office visit to refill a prescription or follow up on an appointment, medical portals can be utilized.
Healthcare Executive Search from QLK
Technology has enabled providers to save lives, improve their business practice, and enhance the patient experience. As technology continues to evolve, no doubt so too will the care that healthcare systems provide to their patients.