For many, the thought of technology as part of their health care seems foreign. How can computers help doctors make them better? The technology behind the diagnostic machines isn’t so unusual to most; after all, the ability to diagnose via X-ray was discovered in 1895. It’s more how medical practitioners now use technology for patient management, which has changed the way they treat and monitor those under their care.
Paperless Medical Records
One of the primary ways health care technology has disrupted the status quo is through paperless medical records. A patient’s chart is no longer hanging from the foot of a hospital bed. Rather, everything about the patient is kept on an internal network that all health care professionals can access. Medical facilities haven’t made this transition with the sole purpose of going green, although this is a benefit. They have transitioned to electronic recordkeeping because it makes patient care more efficient.
From check-in to official release, how a patient has progressed through the stages of care is documented via computers. As USC Online explains, data shared this way is in real time, which improves patient care. When a medical professional desires to enlist the guidance of a specialist, he or she can receive the consultation immediately by sharing the electronic records over the network and discussing the appropriate care with the colleague, rather than waiting for an in-person meeting.
This holds true for all medical personnel. Nurses log patient vital statistics and when they’ve administered prescribed medications; doctors review the updated information and change the prescription dosages from their offices. Everything is at everyone’s fingertips, which saves time – something critical in the health care field. For serious cases, experts throughout the world can be contacted electronically for innovative treatments not used normally in the States.
Viewing Patients as Customers
It might seem strange to view someone who is ill as a customer, but with the changes in medical insurance and billing practices, many facilities must find ways to streamline their customer service and financial processes. Online MHA resources give medical office staff greater efficiency in transcribing medical records into billing data, which is then entered into the system for collection either from the patient’s insurance company, the patient him or herself, or both.
Considering medical bills are one of the most defaulted expenses from people who are uninsured or inadequately insured, a collection system through advanced information technology makes it easier for office staff to follow through to receive payments for services rendered. A medical care facility requires cash flow for its operations just as any other business does, so taking medical billing and customer service to the 21st century helps ensure the professionals are paid for their services.
This is what health care information technology is all about really: bringing all aspects of medical care into the 21st century. When the operations are streamlined across the board, the facility and its staff are able to work for the patients, not against them, and patients who feel they have been helped truly are more inclined to pay their bills. Facilities can use the operating cash flow to improve the equipment and services they offer, which is why they got into health care in the first place.