Until recently, healthcare organizations could get by with a one-size-fits-all model of care delivery. Just a few years ago, physicians and hospitals were the primary decision-makers, and patients had little control over how they received medical services. Today, many healthcare organizations are shifting to a modern model, placing patients in the driver’s seat.
Over the past few years, patients have become empowered healthcare consumers. They can demand a type of care delivery that is more convenient, accessible, and tailored to their individual needs. Healthcare consumers are the driving force behind the extraordinary technological innovations paving the way to a patient-centered healthcare model.
What is Patient-Centered Healthcare?
In this new patient-centered healthcare era, patient needs are behind most healthcare decisions. In this framework, patients are active participants in their care, and providers are encouraged to establish customized care plans. This model is much more collaborative than it used to be. However, for patient-centered healthcare to be authentic, it’s not enough for clinicians to keep patient needs at the forefront of their decisions. The entire healthcare system’s mission and values must be aligned.
Technology’s Role in Patient-Centered Healthcare
Information technology undoubtedly played an essential role in transforming healthcare, and it continues to do so today. As the amount of data increased, so did the need to collect, track, and access the information efficiently and securely. Doctors no longer have to store patient records and rely on paper charts. Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and Electronic Health Records (EHR) are two examples of how technology has facilitated the transition to a more patient-centered care model.
Electronic Medical Records
Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) are digital versions of the paper charts that doctors keep in their offices, clinics, and hospitals to document patients’ diagnoses and treatments. While today EMRs do not sound highly sophisticated, they represent a step above paper charts. They allow providers to track and filter the collected data and use the information to improve the quality of care. For instance, physicians can rely on EMRs to identify high-risk patients and encourage them to come back for preventive screenings.
Electronic Health Records
Electronic Health Records (EHRs) go beyond clinical data collection at a single clinician’s office, providing a more comprehensive view of a patient’s healthcare journey. With the help of EHRs, chart notes can be accessed by all physicians involved in a patient’s care, providing them with up-to-date information when needed most.
EHRs make information sharing possible between physicians and between labs, clinics, hospitals, and specialists. Patients diagnosed with a condition often go from doctor to doctor, specialist to a lab, and maybe even to the hospital. Thanks to electronic health records, clinicians can access patient charts remotely, make sound decisions quickly, receive alerts about important lab results, and even medication errors.
Telehealth Solutions & Remote Patient Monitoring
Besides health record digitization, telehealth, and telemedicine solutions have entirely revolutionized the healthcare experience. Receiving care has become more convenient and readily available; patients can consult with physicians anywhere, at any time, without leaving their homes.
Telemedicine solutions also facilitate Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM). Hospitals use RPM technology to reduce the cost of managing chronic diseases and improve outcomes. With these smart RPM solutions, physicians can now receive continuous, real-time health data from their patients, which was unimaginable until recently.
Although most of the healthcare industry embraces technology, some organizations remain reluctant to adopt new solutions. Concerns over cost and data security are usually the biggest reasons for the pushback. The benefits of technological innovations, however, have been proven time and time again. Organizations that decide to invest in streamlining their processes with technology advances realize remarkable gains by lowering costs, increasing workflow, and improving patient outcomes. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated telehealth and remote work. As these practices become our new normal, secure mobile solutions are indispensable.
A virtual mobility solution like Hypori simplifies the transition into patient-centered care, providing healthcare professionals convenient and confidential access to patient records. Click here to learn more about how Hypori can help streamline healthcare.