Patients used telemedicine to consult with their doctors at the height of the coronavirus outbreak. They used online scheduling tools to set these virtual meetings. Then, they logged into video conferencing platforms Zoom or Skype for communication. This wasn’t always the way patients set appointments to see their doctors. They usually go through the process of calling the doctor’s secretary to set an appointment. They then consult with their doctors face-to-face.
If there’s one thing that the Covid-19 showed to people, it needs to adapt to the changing times. No longer should face-to-face consultations be the norm. In fact, it should be an exception. Doctors should consult with their patients for minor medical conditions via teleconferencing. This protects them and their patients from contracting viruses and bacteria.
Many sectors are still not open to the idea of integrating technology into the health care experience. This, even if technology presents a lot of benefits for the health care industry. In fact, some patients are adamant that they don’t want their medical information on the cloud. The problem is that the cloud is the only way for this information to pass to and from medical practitioners securely.
The main concern of patients is that of security. They cannot entrust their medical history and information to these systems. However, this cautiousness defeats the purpose of customizing the treatment and medication that patients will get, especially during emergencies. Emergency calls are usually rerouted to EMS service, but these responders do not have access to critical medical information. They are perpetually blindsided by what awaits them when they arrive at the scene.
That’s why MIH software is essential. It collects the information and data needed by EMS personnel. The information will help respondents come up with the right response and treatment. These user-friendly programs can share the data they collected with others in the community serving the same patients. Hospital workers, mental health providers, and law enforcement have access to the information as long as they have the consent of the patients.
Understandably, the biggest blow to adopting technology in the health care sector is the possible security risk. Sensitive patient data has to be protected against all kinds of infiltration. Technology has gone a long way, though. It uses data encryption, security keys, and blockchain to secure sensitive patient data.
Cloud-based patient data and related apps need to comply with rules and regulations. The three major laws that cover health care technology are the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). These laws ensure that critical information will not fall into the wrong hands.
Health care providers must make sure that their systems comply with these regulations. For example, the HIPAA requires the security of the processes at the administrative, physical, and technical levels. The HITECH expanded on the rules set by HIPAA. It enforces tougher fines and accountability. Most importantly, the law allows patients to have electronic copies of their medical records as long as the medical practitioners or facilities allow it. That’s something they have long fought for.
Technology is reliable most of the time. This means that health care workers can pull medical information from the cloud. They then use it to process claims and provide better services. System downtimes, however, are a reality, too. Health care workers will have to rely on the traditional method of interviewing patients when the system is down.
However, their dependence on technology can affect the efficiency of these interview methods. The solution is for health care facilities to have contingency plans in place. Preparing for any eventuality is the best way to serve your patients. Designing for failure seems to be the best practice in health care technology. This is also essential during the transition phase of health facilities to technologically advanced systems.
Technology in health care has too many benefits for it to be denied the chance to prove its worth. In the last few months, the world has already seen how far technology can bring medical innovativeness. Right now, the world waits for the vaccine, which would have usually taken years to do. Technology made possible the discovery of a vaccine that will stop the coronavirus from spreading. In health care, technology is at the cusp of something greater—that it is going to be more than an accessory of the health care industry in the new normal. It is, in fact, the new normal.