Thursday, March 17, 2016

Necessary Hospital Technology that is Often Overlooked

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ePharma | Health tech blog post
As technology has made its way more into healthcare, there are many parts of it that while being extremely important are often overlooked. While many people automatically assume that hospitals seemingly run themselves, the truth is that the best hospitals rely on more and more technological systems in order to run efficiently. Whether it's the latest system for electronic health records or for imaging technology, various factors such as patient safety, competition from other healthcare systems, and cost effectiveness all play a part in determining whether or not hospitals stay competitive in the ever-changing world of healthcare.

EHR Systems

EHR systems, also known as Electronic Health Records systems, play a pivotal role in today's hospitals. Considered more important than ever by most hospital administrators, EHR systems perform a number of functions that are often overlooked. For starters, as hospitals place a bigger emphasis on population health and preventive care, these systems allow hospitals to be competitive by acting as platforms of communication. With patients now using more doctors and facilities than ever for their care, EHR systems allow hospitals to easily track patient care like never before. As an added bonus, hospitals having certified EHR systems have also discovered these systems allow for easier recruitment of physicians, enabling them to maintain the highest levels of care.

Imaging Systems

Next to EHR systems, imaging systems have made hospitals better at providing patient care as well as staying abreast of the latest changes in healthcare technology. PACS system, which stands for Picture Archiving and Communication System, provides an extremely economical and efficient way for hospitals to store and retrieve images from multiple types of imaging sources, such as X-rays and MRI. In addition, ultrasound imaging devices are being used more and more in Emergency Rooms to let doctors get much more detailed images of patient injuries. Having become much more prevalent within the last decade, these systems not only lead to better patient care, but also let hospitals attract and retain the best medical personnel.

Infection Detection Technology

Considered more important than ever by hospitals everywhere, infection detection technologies are important in many ways. Not only do they keep hospitals compliant with the ever-growing number of regulatory issues they face, but they also allow facilities to have data to show patients they will be safe while staying there. Considered to be very cost-effective due to their ability to make hospitals less reliant on paying for expensive antibiotics, IDT systems such as the PCT test for sepsis have become commonplace in U.S. hospitals within the past five years. Rapidly becoming adapted by forward-thinking hospitals, they are expected to become even more common in the decade to come.

Staffing Management Technology

With staffing and labor costs accounting for more than 50 percent of a hospital's expenses, many facilities have in recent years started to implement staffing management technology systems as a way to decrease costs without sacrificing patient care. Helping hospitals walk the fine line between over or understaffing, an SMT system reduces unnecessary overtime while also keeping hospitals from relying on outside staff from healthcare staffing firms. While discussed little in the media, staffing management technology is looked upon as one of the most important advances in healthcare within the past decade by administrators.

Mobile Devices

To provide staff with the latest information, hospitals now provide mobile devices to doctors, nurses, and others to make the patient care experience more efficient and safe. Allowing doctors to translate into other languages such as Spanish, perform medical calculations, and access patient records, the use of these devices represents a cultural shift in healthcare that will become more important as the years progress.

While patients may think little about the various technologies being used during their care, hospital staff and administrators realize there are numerous technologies that are overlooked every day despite their effectiveness. However, as more becomes known about these technologies, attitudes are expected to change.

About the author: 

Greg Dastrup is a world traveler and professional writer with a passion for learning new languages. He’s spent most of his career consulting for businesses in North America.
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