Technology in Healthcare Today
Technology is at the heart of the workflow in most healthcare practices these days. For a field that is contingent on utmost data security – so much so that it still uses dinosaur fax machines – changes have always been slow. For years following the HITECH Act of 2009, which required healthcare facilities to implement EMRs, data sharing flatlined.
A flood of connected devices and apps are remaking medicine, though, and smartphones are becoming the primary tool for doctor/patient communications. In fact, nine out of ten healthcare systems plan significant investments in smartphones and secure unified communications over the next 12-18 months, per a survey from Spyglass Consulting Group.
The same survey found that 73% of hospitals had developed or were developing mobile strategies to address the communications, collaboration and computing requirements of clinical professionals and other mobile workers across medical departments, stand-alone hospitals and ambulatory environments. Are you mobile ready?
Securing patient information
Security has long been an issue with cellphones in healthcare, but these days hospitals and practices are making hefty investments to enable communications with secure mobile platforms. The uptick in mobile adoption can also be attributed to new standards put into play by the U.S. Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services or CMS, too, moving from meaningful use of electronic health records to a value-based care model that reimburses hospitals based on the level of quality patient care, cost effectiveness of care, and patient engagement.
What are the recent integrations for mobile technology in healthcare?
The software and services available these days are making consumer-grade devices more apt for clinical settings. “Smartphones being provided to hospital workers for communications are a 50/50 mix of purpose-built devices for the healthcare industry and consumer models, such as the Apple iPhone or Android phones,” according to Gregg Malkary, managing director of the Spyglass Consulting Group.
New open standards to exchange health information electronically are helping, too, including new technology from Apple, aimed at giving patients better access to their own information. Using Apple’s iPhone Health app, patients will be able to download and view health record on their own phones.
After touting an EMR-sharing feature for its iOS 11.3 release, 12 hospitals signed on to beta test the software that would allow patients and healthcare providers to interact on iPhones and iPads. According to Dr. Peter Greene, Chief Medical Information Officer at Johns Hopkins, more than 400,000 patients who use the Johns Hopkins Medicine web portal powered by EPIC’s MyChart app now have access to their EMRs via Apple’s Health Record. Says Greene, “I love the privacy disclosures and clarity...with regard to the patient. I think they're [Apple] absolutely exemplar in this regard and way ahead of others.”
Smartphones are even being used for testing more and more. In an article from TechCrunch, "Technology in healthcare is moving from mainframes to iPhones," Justin Butler writes “the industry can now benefit from the cost reductions enabled by manufacturing of consumer electronics.”
Technology means empowerment in most industries and healthcare is not immune. Physicians are eager to use technology in their next role. Does your hospital or practice have a smart phone policy? New doctors are excited about incorporating modern technology into their practice, so make sure to use this as a selling point if you are.
We didn't get into all of the technology breakthroughs that Doximity is driving in the industry here, though. If you'd like to learn more about Doximity’s tech-based recruiting software or any of our other solutions, click the blue button for a free demo.