Healthcare information technology presents numerous opportunities for improving and transforming healthcare which include: reducing human errors, improving clinical outcomes, facilitating care coordination, improving practice efficiencies, and tracking data over time.
In this post, we glance at two major transformative shifts in healthcare IT: the adoption of electronic health records or electronic medical records (EHR/EMR) and therefore the rise of the cloud.
The basic function of EHR/EMR is to retrieve, update, and share a patient’s official health data seamlessly. The clinician should be ready to immediately open an EHR file and see the patient’s past treatments, medications, lab results, and other information.
The intended objective of EHR is to scale back medical errors, improve clinician efficiency, and help hospitals reduce their operating costs by decreasing paperwork and manual processes.
However, for the intended benefits of EHR to materialize, interoperability between different EHR platforms is completely vital. Today, there are as many as 16 different EHR platforms in use by a 571,045 hospitals and clinics. On average, most hospital systems utilize 10 different EHRs (within an equivalent system). This is a transparent sign that the shortage of interoperability may be a challenge.
Fortunately, efforts are underway by the industry — e.g., the CommonWell Health Alliance — to facilitate EHR interoperability. The goal is to enable 80% of healthcare professionals within the US to share their patients’ data between respective EHR systems.
In tandem with EHR/EMR, the healthcare information technology (IT) space has also become a serious user of the cloud — by 2025, the cloud computing market is slated to succeed in $55 billion.
Be it public cloud service providers — e.g., Google, Microsoft or Amazon — or hybrid and personal cloud configurations, healthcare providers are using the cloud for the subsequent purposes.
1. EHR/EMR Hosting
The by-product of EHR/EMR is that institutional healthcare providers became hosts to vast amounts of patient data, with most of it sensitive and liable under data privacy laws.
Be it the escalating cost of expanding on-premise server infrastructure to the danger and complexity of securing data, many hospitals are off-loading their EHR/EMR hosting to firms like GCP, Azure, or Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Thanks to the cloud, hospitals are ready to avoid escalating capital expenditures (CAPEX) and convert their data hosting costs to predictable flat-rate operational expenditures (OPEX). In addition, they don’t need to affect the value of securing their data, which needs specialized (and difficult-to-acquire) expertise and infrastructure.
2. Patient Portals
In addition to hosting data, the cloud has also enabled healthcare providers to raised interact with and support their patients. For example, with patient portals, patients can schedule their appointments, message their physicians, and make their payments online.
Not only has this made it easier for the patient to interact with their provider, but hospitals are ready to now automate many manual processes, like billing.
3. Patient Scheduling
Through a component of patient portals, the power to schedule online has enabled hospitals to chop the time-consuming process of fixing appointments by phone. Instead, hospitals now utilize their staff for more critical tasks.
4. Remote Patient Monitoring
The ability to securely collect, store, and process data through the cloud has also freed healthcare providers to remotely monitor the health of their patients.
This works by assigning various medical devices to patients. In turn, these devices will monitor the patient (e.g., for blood pressure) and return data about their findings to the provider. With a dashboard, clinicians can review the knowledge and, in turn, engage with the patient.
Instead of taking the danger of miswriting a prescription (or having the pharmacist misread it), the provider can send the prescription order online to the pharmacy. The patient would just got to pick it up.This also helps pharmacies prepare their orders beforehand, thus reducing the time a patient has got to wait also as use any idle time at the pharmacy for servicing orders in advance.
6. Medical Billing
On the patient’s side, there’s a portal to look at and send payments. But there also are automated billing systems on the provider’s side to process and record payments, saving hospitals/clinics a substantial amount of your time . In addition, the system saves hospital on papers (that could easily stray or misplaced) and enables them to archive without losing physical space.
7. Disaster Recovery
Finally, with the cloud, healthcare providers can get over the worst-case scenario of losing their data. Simply put, they will back it up to the cloud and, should a breach or fatal error occur, restore it in prompt order. This applies to portals, billing systems, EHR, and other assets, too.
Overall, the healthcare IT space offers many opportunities for efficiency gains for providers, but gathering the proper expertise and infrastructure may be a challenge.
We are one of the leading US healthcare IT service providers offering the latest and comprehensive solutions. We offer EHR/EMR development services tailored to the unique requirement of your healthcare practice. EHR or Electronic health records are the new way of organizing and keeping track of data for easy retrieval.
Our healthcare developers offers you the best quality cloud development for EHR. We at KPi-Tech strive hard to develop Healthcare IT applications that provide large storage space. Our cloud integration services perform over various platforms such as Amazon Cloud, Google Cloud, etc. We develop and deploy the required data to the cloud over these platforms for easier access.
Kishore Pendyala is a co-founder at KPi-Tech Services Pvt Ltd. He has 18+ years of experience working in the US Healthcare IT domain and has worked with leading healthcare organizations like Medhost, Fortified, Pelitas, CareCloud, etc.