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How Technology Can Make Healthcare Processes Easier Electronic health record needs to provide reliable access to patient's complete healthcare information that will help healthcare providers diagnose patient's problem at an early stage

By Prateek Ahuja

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India has a huge population and providing sanitary amenities in such a nation is an uphill task. However, with the advent of technology and change in popular perception, India's healthcare is getting a facelift. Sanitation, comprehensive patient data and automated medical services are being developed with a focus on time and accessibility.

Indian Healthcare sector is considered to be one of the largest sectors in terms of income and workforce. A burgeoning population, boom in economy is speeding the process to match the swiftness in urbanization. An increased awareness level alongside the emerging mass health campaigns has enabled the growth of this sector at a much higher rate.

Yet, it comes with an intrinsic set of woes as financial resources are being divided between providing basic needs and forging private-public partnerships, in lieu of establishing point-of-care facilities. It has been noted that there is a distinct divide between companies that are solution centric for Indians. This is due to customized response to the specific ailments and those developing products for the global markets. The segment requires the automation strength and speed of digitization to put things into perspective. Digital health record empowers consumers to remain updated on their health, and have a more productive lifestyle. It also helps in reducing inefficiencies, making consultations more personalized and precise.

Increased Accessibility

One of the biggest trends in the healthcare technology nowadays is telemedicine. The availability of internet makes it easier than ever for care providers to stay in touch with patients at their home. This not only limits unnecessary travel time but also provides more comfort, convenience and privacy to patients. Not to mention, the peace of mind that comes with having direct access to a care provider.

More Control in the Hands of Patients

Not only does technology give patients better access to knowledge and advice, it also puts more power in their own hands. As one of the most frustrating feelings for a human is lack of control, especially when it comes to one's own health and personal safety, the importance of this cannot be stressed enough. There is a growing trend of different IT applications that pull patients further into the medical process. Through computer technology, patients can be armed with resources to learn more about their condition, while being provided with opportunities to take more involvement in the treatment decisions.

Minimal Errors

The right technology planning can further reduce instances of medical error, keeping patients safe and protect organizations from lawsuits. Electronic medical records, for instance, consolidate all patients' medical information at one place, whereas, earlier they had to carry different files with a range of different providers throughout the city or even country. With EMRs, they have one living file that is constantly updated; making it less likely that something will get overlooked. Besides this, technologies which are expected to reduce error include computerized discharge prescriptions, existing devices, automated pharmacies and barcodes.

A More Productive Team

Technology is often looked upon to create a more efficient and productive workforce and the healthcare technology doesn't disappoint. For example, mobile devices are becoming powerful tools in the hands of hospital staff these days, being perfect for constantly communicating with the medical fraternity as well as with the patients while on the run. There are some great healthcare applications that can be used to easily fill out forms, double-check information or carry out other admin tasks. Many doctors also tap into online resources like videos and professional articles to learn more about their field, medical decisions or educate clients and patients on their treatments. Nearly every team leverages these technologies to a degree, but with an expert plan put in place based on the best practices and the latest IT tech solutions, the services delivered would be sharper and accurate.

Improved Security

Electronic health record needs to provide reliable access to patient's complete healthcare information that will help healthcare providers diagnose patient's problem at an early stage. Many electronic health records not only transmit information but also manipulate the information in many ways, for instance, a health record not only keeps a record of a patient's medications, it also checks for a new medication and alerts the healthcare providers. It also alerts them of any life-threatening disease or problem and the staff can make changes in the treatment as per the disease appropriately, even if the patient is unconscious. Electronic health record detects any potential problems whenever there is any and helps the providers to avoid serious consequences. This, in turn, helps providers to quickly access and look into the problem and identify as well as correct operational problems. In the absence of these electronic health records, identifying a problem is difficult and may take time to detect any life-threatening ailments.

These emerging trends will not only empower the patients but also provide unbiased decisions when it comes to health. These tools are also helpful for patients to share their experiences on a public platform in the form of discussions and forums. With the advent of new technologies in the healthcare industry, the time and money required in making medicines and diagnostic devices have reduced and at the same time solved many health-related problems for our betterment. In India, we expect to see better healthcare facilities in 2018.

Prateek Ahuja

Independent Healthcare Consultant

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