Technologies have changed everything about medical care delivery. IT revolution makes healthcare more personalized, precise, and predictive. However, there are still some challenges on the way to holistic digital disruption in medicine. In our today’s article, we’ll explore what impedes healthcare tech sector to accommodate technologies around medical care in the best possible way.
Healthcare data breaches continue to strike the medical sector as its digital transformation expands. From August 2020 to July 2021 only, the U.S. HIPAA-related agencies have reported 706 data breaches with the medical data of more than 44 million individuals exposed or compromised. Speaking more broadly, medical data totals up to 30 % of global data and meeting cybersecurity needs of healthcare providers will be an even bigger asset than anything else. Among tools to combat healthcare data breaches, there are multi-factor authentication, keeping medical facilities’ software up-to-date, medical staff training with a focus on the compliance with regulatory software safeguards in force.
Another data-related challenge of today’s healthcare tech sector is a big data issue. Here, we talk about data that is rapidly generated on a large scale and difficult to effectively leverage. There’s no doubt data-driven physicians proactively diagnose patients and predict risks, and generally deliver better care. On the other hand, when a person changes their insurance scheme or medical services provider, transfer of patient’s data does not often take place accordingly. In other words, it’s quite a challenge for a physician to take advantage of the power of data in each particular case. Efforts are needed to streamline data entry practices across clinicians, storage and retrieval of patients’ data. Regulations and polices on patient privacy should also allow medical professionals to use patients’ data as an asset and transform it into knowledge.
Payment collection in healthcare primarily includes both medical care costs and staff charges. Food and other stay-related expenses may be also added to an invoice. All this sometimes involves wrong costs estimates due to the complexity of the invoicing process and results in non-timely payments and frustrating experience for patients. The experience is even more confusing in case of few payment options. To tackle this issue, medical providers may leverage patient financial engagement platforms like U.S. AdventHealth does. The platform allows patients to be aware of pre-service collections and what they will owe for an upcoming surgery or diagnostic study. “We’ve been able to increase collections by as much as 30-40 % in the pre-service collections specifically”, the company’s representative says. This is largely due to the transparent and personalized estimates of medical care costs.
With the pandemic moving medical services providers and patients forward to broader telehealth adoption, it’s absolutely legitimate to ask why the majority of the healthcare service providers are not involved into it. The reasons tend to lie in regulatory requirements that are often too complex to comply with. Thus, in the U.S., licensing of telehealth services still assumes obtaining a license separately for every state where patients may be physically located.
Strategizing user interfaces in healthcare software has never been a priority. Meanwhile, an intuitive user interface, including highly contrasted buttons, images, colors, especially for medical devices, may be a guarantee of an immediate and correct action.
Many healthcare providers deliver their services from different locations and different medical devices. Good patient experience is definitely not about telling a medical professional one’s medical story each time from the very beginning. A medical portal with a full access to patients’ data and exam history is a sustainable solution to support patients across their medical experience. The website has built-in storage and a high-resolution image viewer to cover all usability needs of clinicians and patients.
Digital advancements in healthcare can be effective only if medical staff is able to leverage them. In other words, medical professionals should know how to turn data generated by applications into insightful information. Without an understanding of how an app runs, it’s impossible to generate proper return on investments. That’s why medical staff should have proper skills to utilize technologies.
Technologies enable smarter medicine. However, efforts made to digitalize healthcare should also abide by challenges resulting from technologies adoption. It’s important for healthcare IT sector to stay ahead and ensure the wellness of patients, which is the ultimate goal.