The COVID-19 pandemic has presented more challenges in hospital and clinic safety and convenience. But thankfully, technology continues to advance rapidly. There are plenty of tools and devices that the healthcare industry can utilize to make operations run smoother and more manageable for healthcare workers and patients. Here are some healthcare tech advancements that hospitals and clinics need to use in 2021.
Patient communication software
There are reputable and reliable companies that offer patient engagement services, which gives patients a better experience in consultation, tests, receiving their results, and many others. Here are some examples of what these comprehensive services offer:
- Telemedicine is a way to provide doctors with an opportunity to expand their reach and add another stream of revenue without leaving their desks’ safety.
- The patient portal is an intuitive and incredibly convenient online portal that helps patients book their appointments, request their medications and prescription renewals, and even pay their bills and chat with their primary caregivers in real-time.
- The online patient kiosk allows for a safe, hassle-free, and paperless way to check in to the clinic or hotel.
- Electronic health record (EHR) integration is another paperless way for patients to provide information to the facility. Data and conference notes are automatically recorded and immediately accessible and available in the patients’ AdvancedEHR patient records.
- Reputation management is key for doctors and clinics to keep finding patients that they can help. This feature can help primary caregivers identify how they can improve and enhance their online ratings, create a positive reputation in the online world, and attract potential patients.
- Patient messaging is an easy and convenient way for patients to do their check-up tasks like changing schedules, new healthcare providers, new payment methods, recent locations, etc. This software can also help quickly find patients due to their active or inactive status, geographic location, birthday and age, health insurance, and diagnosis code.
- Paperless patient consent forms are what patients can fill out online even before they step foot in your office. It’s a secure and faster way to check in and type in their data.
This comprehensive software can help make doctors’ and healthcare providers’ daily operations so much easier and faster, saves time for everyone involved, and will make patients feel less inconvenienced and much safer about stepping into your facility.
Enhanced and democratized COVID-19 testing
While vaccines are already being rolled out across the globe, many countries are a bit slow on the roll-out due to various factors like new strains and slow economic recovery. As long as the number of infections remains high and vaccines are still not widely distributed, the healthcare industry will continue to improve COVID-19 testing capacities.
Multiple manufacturers are racing towards building their own at-home COVID-19 testing kits to democratize the testing process and provide the masses with a cheaper and safer alternative to having themselves tested in a facility. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given the green light to three companies to continue their development.
Hospitals and clinics need to be quick to utilize this advancement to provide patients with a swift result and help them find the best tools and medications for supportive care.
Permanent adjustments to clinic design and cleaning technologies
In the same way that residential and commercial properties are adjusting their designs to help curb the spread of the virus, hospitals and clinics also need to rethink how they are designed and how the layout and furniture can help stop COVID-19. One design idea is to incorporate more convertible spaces. Doing so can help accommodate intermittent surges in critical-care patients, plastic walls or transparent glass to be able to have a view of patients who are in isolation wards, retrofitted spaces for providing inpatient telehealth, and other tools like handheld alert buzzers and touch-screen kiosks to prevent people from crowding one waiting area during a visit.
Autonomous cleaning robots are already deployed in multiple airports worldwide, and there’s no reason why hospitals and clinics also can’t employ this technology to keep their facilities clean and sanitized. These robots can emit ultraviolet light that kills germs and decontaminates rooms in all 15 minutes. The RFID technology can also monitor how long and how often employees wash their hands between tasks and patients. At the same time, many hospitals also use thermal cameras to help ensure that everyone who enters the facility has the right temperature since fever is one of the most common symptoms of COVID-19.
Healthcare facilities need to be the cleanest and safest places in the world, and perhaps even more so in the time of COVID-19. Thankfully, there are plenty of technological advancements that make this an achievable endeavor. Well-informed decisions can be made to assure everyone’s health and safety.