Technology can make managing any business infinitely easier, including businesses in industries such as healthcare. From private practices to larger hospitals, medical facilities can benefit from using advanced software. Learn everything you need to know about healthcare IT consulting and how this technology can provide better care for patients.
Why Quality Healthcare IT Consulting Means Better Care for Your Patients
Healthcare IT is software and other technology that is designed to make it easier to provide prompt care for more patients. Many hospitals and doctor’s offices are integrating healthcare IT into everyday management for patients, moving beyond the standard scheduling applications used by receptionists.
A healthcare IT consulting firm will be able to design technology that will allow medical facilities to provide better care for patients from start to finish. Here are a few of the most important features of healthcare IT.
Managing Electronic Health Record Software
The most fundamental role of healthcare IT is managing electronic health record software. Healthcare IT consulting services will install electronic health record software that can make it easier to organize patient files and physician schedules. Over the last few years, electronic healthcare records have been crucial for both physician offices and insurance billing.
Electronic health records put all information about patients in one place, including health history, medications, family health history, labs and exams, diagnoses, and upcoming appointments. By having all information about patients in a single application, it makes it much easier for physicians to access relevant information to provide patients with more accurate care.
Providing On-Demand Technical Assistance
Engaging with a healthcare IT consulting firm can also provide on-demand technical assistance. Although many electronic health records are designed to store information online and offline, the software may eventually run into a problem. For example, the server could go offline and make it difficult to access patient information.
On-demand technical assistance can provide IT troubleshooting, either in person or over the phone. Whether it’s a problem with the server or the software needs to be updated, on-demand technical assistance is essential so that physicians can get back to treating patients quickly
Integrating Health Informatics
It’s much easier to use electronic health records when health informatics and analytics have been integrated into the software. For example, the best applications for managing patient health records include medical terminology that is synced to insurance and billing codes. The software used by a medical facility can also include clinical guidelines to make it easier to form an accurate diagnosis.
Streamlining Health Communication Systems
Because of the structure of most health-care systems, referrals are needed to see specialists. This is one reason why it’s important for health communication systems to be streamlined to provide patients with quicker care. For example, private healthcare facilities can do electronic consultations with a specialist to more quickly diagnose a patient.
With physicians able to talk directly with each other and share lab results, the patient can receive a faster, more accurate treatment or be referred to a specialist more quickly for urgent medical needs. Streamlining the communication system in a healthcare facility can be the difference between life and death.
Healthcare IT consulting services can also develop turn-key technology for healthcare facilities. With an agile methodology and a model-driven approach, developing software for healthcare settings can be customized to the needs of each medical facility or physician. By having turn-key software development, physician and patient needs can be met at the push of a button.
Protecting Patient Information
Finally, healthcare IT is also charged with protecting patient information. Electronic health information is a matter of privacy, and all medical facilities must comply with HIPAA standards to protect patient information. However, any time information is stored on an electronic database, the risk of data breaches is much greater. For this reason, healthcare IT must also provide protection against cyber threats.
Why Medical Facilities Need Electronic Health Records
In the last several years, more and more medical facilities have shifted to electronic health records. There are a few reasons why electronic health records are preferred among physicians and medical facilities. For example, using electronic health records is more sustainable for the environment since it cuts down on paper waste. Other reasons why medical facilities should integrate electronic health records include:
Increased Admin Efficiency
Using electronic health records can increase the efficiency of administrative workers, such as receptionists and schedulers. This is because the administrative staff will be able to see the patient’s upcoming schedule with physicians to allow for more prompt care. Increasing efficiency also occurs because receptionists are no longer overwhelmed with paperwork.
Additionally, administrative staff that works with insurance billing and coding can also increase productivity. This is because electronic health records are often integrated with international coding data, which can be used to directly bill insurance companies to pay for patient care. Some software systems may also have online payment portals for patients to pay bills, which also reduces the work of administrative staff.
Improving diagnostics is essential for physicians and patients. Electronic health records give physicians access to complete health information about the patient, which can make the difference in identifying conditions when it’s time to form a diagnosis. Improving diagnostic ability means that the patient will benefit from better medical care, including the use of better interventions and medications to improve patient health.
Electronic health records can also prevent errors that can endanger the patient. For example, some electronic health records have a built-in warning system, medication interaction alerts, or other programs to ensure the patient is receiving safe care. Not only is preventing errors important for the health of patients, but it’s also important for physicians to reduce the risk of malpractice claims.
Enhanced Patient Safety
Electronic health records are a crucial component of emergency room services. When a patient is received in a hospital emergency room, information about their condition is recorded in the electronic health record that is synced to the hospital’s main patient information system. This provides emergency room doctors with information about medications patients and current health conditions.
Furthermore, the treatments a patient receives in an emergency room can also be synchronized with the patient’s overall medical record. Their primary care physician can review this information to provide better continued care after emergency room situations, including refilling medications or ordering follow-up labs.
Increased Risk Management
Electronic health records can also increase risk management and liability prevention. By improving health analytics, communication of patient information, and evidence-based decisions for patient care, the overall risk for both patient and physician is significantly reduced. For medical facilities, increasing risk management is important so that physicians can continue to provide care for more patients.
Decreased Healthcare Costs
When electronic records are used, medical facilities can benefit by decreasing healthcare costs. With the reduction of manpower for managing physical patient records, healthcare facilities can divert funds from patient records to other patient needs. For some facilities, this can reduce healthcare costs for patients by allowing the medical facility to provide more services pro bono.
Many medical facilities that use electronic health records can also expand access to patients on different insurance plans. When patient information is streamlined and accessible by physicians, it makes it easier for physicians to accurately treat more patients. This means that the medical facility can expand affordable healthcare access to patients who are on state or government insurance plans.
Improved Medication Management
Using electronic health records and other technology can also improve medication management for patients and providers. For example, patients who need a refill on a prescription can directly request refills through secure electronic messages. On the other side, physicians can electronically request refills with pharmacies, which can help the patient receive medications quickly.
Furthermore, electronic prescribing can reduce medication errors, check for dangerous drug interactions, and ultimately make medication management more efficient. This method can also reduce costs for patients since physicians will be able to quickly prescribe generic medications if brand-name medications are not covered by the patient’s insurance.
Finally, electronic health records can involve patients in their own care. Patient education is essential since patients who have knowledge about their health conditions can make healthier choices. For example, when patients can access lab results and accurate, science-based health information about their specific condition, they will be able to actively monitor their own health.
This is crucial for preventive care. Integrating preventative care can be instrumental in preventing serious lifelong illnesses, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and more. Involving patients is also another way to improve patient care because patients can advocate for themselves and bring concerns to the attention of their physicians.
Healthcare IT consulting is an important resource for medical facilities to use. Not only can healthcare IT provide medical facilities with turn-key software applications, but these applications can also make it easier to manage electronic healthcare records, integrate health informatics, streamline health communication, and protect patient privacy. Contact RiverAxe to discuss designing software to manage electronic health records for your patients today.