Definition of Digital Transformation
It is the utilization of new, fast, and often changing digital technology to solve critical problems. It is all about transforming processes that are non-digital or manual to digital processes. Digital transformation in healthcare can be the next big step.
Challenges in Healthcare Domain
There are a few of the main challenges for healthcare organizations worldwide; one is to improve the quality of healthcare. Another one is providing better access to healthcare while at the same time, control costs as populations age and grow. And, life expectancy increases and public spending on healthcare is under pressure.
The current systems used in many hospitals and healthcare provider settings are paper-based health records. Few challenges that lead to high costs in maintaining paper-based health records are,
- Limited Security and Lack of Backups – Permanent loss of records due to theft, fire, and no virtual back-ups.
- Error-Prone & Time Consuming – Illegible records and prescriptions may increase clinical errors and, in turn, financial liabilities to any given organization.
- Inconsistent Formats and Layouts
- Unclear Version History and Audit Trails – Poor accountability trails and paper records can be destroyed and replaced with ease.
- Enough paper and stationary
- Needs manual filing and folder systems
- Poor access for the patients to their health or medical records
- Secure vaults/record keeping rooms that increase costs – Storage isn’t scalable easily.
- Costs of printing and scanning
- Records without automated decision making aids and algorithms or alerts
- Needs manual data mining while doing clinical audits, quality improvement as well as Research & Development
- Lack of portability
- Lastly, overheads for managing all of the above including salaries of staff in the records department
Digital transformation focuses on the application of IT services to facilitate the management and delivery of health services. It mainly involves in storage and exchange of clinical data like electronic medical records & electronic health records, computer-based support like clinical decision support systems & computerized physician order entry, inter-professional communication says secure e-mail and direct messaging, provider-patient interaction and service delivery say patient referral & handover systems, and education. Most studies report from primary care like family doctors & medical specialists, secondary care like hospitals & clinics) or facilities involved in medical research
Also, digital transformation in healthcare takes place in areas other than research facilities and clinics like community-based health advancement and outpatient care services.
Digital transformation in healthcare is about leveraging digital technologies in novel ways to improve health. It is about leveraging digital technologies to make healthcare more affordable and cost-effective. Further, it is about finding new revenue sources as healthcare does need to be funded. It is the digital transformation of an entire industry in countries where healthcare is an essential revenue source.
What have Healthcare providers done?
Healthcare providers have adopted EHR systems for everyday digital transformation purposes in healthcare – enhancing patient care, improving efficiency, saving on time, minimizing the occurrence of errors, and improving staff productivity.
Digital transformation eventually is a significant investment area in the digital health space and is all about the digitization of patient healthcare records Electronic Health Record (EHR) and Electronic Medical Records (EMR)
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Key Terminologies to Know
EHR – Electronic Health Record: Doctors call it Patient Chart and it is a digital version of patient medical history. Over time, each provider maintains an electronic version of a patient’s medical history and includes all of the critical administrative, clinical data relevant to that person’s care under a specific provider, including progress notes, demographics, issues, and medications. Further, EHRs make health-related information instantly handy to authorized providers across health organizations and practices, informing critical clinical decisions followed by organized care. You can share an EHR record with all parties involved in a patient’s care, such as specialists, imaging facilities, labs, pharmacies, schools, and emergency facilities.
EMR: Electronic Medical Record: Similar to EHR but tied to a particular practice and less detailed. The EMR or electronic medical record refers to information found in a paper chart, such as medications, diagnoses, laboratory reports, immunization dates, medical history, allergies. We expect them to work very well within a practice. The patient’s medical record is printed out and mailed to a different provider for them to analyze.
Telehealth or Telemedicine: Doctors or nurses can communicate detailed Information about health data via email – A patient can get convenient healthcare from the easement of their own home with telemedicine. It allows several patients to access practices or specialists whom they wouldn’t usually approach their treatment. Telemedicine offers a less expensive alternative to in-clinic visits for both providers and patients. Telemedicine also allows physicians to connect with patients outside of their geographic boundaries.
Mobile health: mHealth
Detailed Information about health data is communicated via mobile devices like a smartphone. It’s a term used for the practice of medicine and public health supported by mobiles. Patients get faster access to their care and providers. Unlike conventional and less efficient telephone access to healthcare organizations and physicians, mobile health technologies enable patients to send extremely secured messages, schedule their appointments and connect to their healthcare providers round the clock for telemedicine visits.
Technology meant for medicine. Wireless Health integrates wireless technology into traditional medicine, such as monitoring, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases. It involves monitoring patients’ vitals typically far away utilizing devices that transfer patient data to distant locations wirelessly. Telecommunication devices in healthcare help lessen the difficulty experienced by the medical staff in monitoring several patients concurrently. It enables them to monitor patients without being physically present beside their bed, neither at their home nor in the hospital. Various sensors are used to monitor the patient vitals ranging from heart rate, body temperature, blood pressure, respiration, oxygen saturation, etc. Such deployments of wireless health monitoring altogether remove the critical challenge of sending specialist care being geographically isolated.
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Look at your existing patient folder library and the number of stored documents in each of those folders. The task of converting patient records and other historical documents to an Electronic Medical Records system can be formidable and thus calls for EHR/EMR Digital Transformation
Texas Software has significant experience in providing IT solutions in the healthcare domain, ease the transformation to an EMR/EHR system, and optimize your current Patient or Clinical Information Technology installations.
At Texas Software, we assist healthcare providers and practices in selecting, implementing, integrating, and using Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems. We have extensive experience and resources in building a custom EMR software solution per your needs. We can also ensure your practice is compliant with HIPAA guidelines.
If you are one of the healthcare providers owning a clinic/practice or working in a hospital (Doctors, Nurses, Pharmacists, Administrative Staff at a doctor’s office or a hospital, Technologists, and Technicians who work in the lab, Therapists or belonging to a Healthcare Team), facing the challenges of maintaining paper-based medical or health records, can reach out to us to get you onto to EMR/EHR Digital Transformation and be ahead of your competitors in the same domain