It seems as though everyone is keeping a close eye on the new breakthroughs in information gathering, especially when it comes to research, medical treatments, and new forms of communication. All of these areas have given medical providers new tools to utilize along with completely fresh ways to practice medicine. Some of the biggest impacts technology has had on healthcare have also ushered in challenges. These challenges also have solutions that serve to forward the needs of those either working within or using our national health care system.The Most Current Challenges within Health Care IT Today
The Pew Internet and American Life Project, conducted a survey in 2004 of eight million seniors who use the internet. Of this eight million - only 66% conducted an online search for health care information, yet by 2009 this survey showed that 24 million older Americans reported conducting online health searches. Naturally this has continued to increase. The conclusion lends us to the idea that people are postponing visits to the doctor until they have more information - and that patients are going in to their doctor appointments better informed than ever before.
With these advantages, there are also challenges such as;
- How do you dispel misinformation?
- How do you safely store larger and larger amounts of confidential data?
- How do you disseminate information to a broad audience quickly and easily?
At the same time patients are becoming better informed - public clinics, research facilities and even doctor offices are now taking advantage of social media tools for reaching much broader populations. Many of these healthcare facilities, especially hospitals, are now using social media to establish contact with patients, and to provide easy access to answering questions about practices. Social media is also being used to launch public awareness campaigns, and even perform community outreach.
Some of the more sophisticated sites offer instant chats with nurses or doctors to actively discuss medical issues and to even issue reminders for people to get regularly needed tests and vaccines. These projects may currently be more focused on college campuses, yet they are rapidly spreading to more mainstream institutions. In todays online climate you can now find those same seniors who only a few short years ago weren't online - on facebook in conversations with their grandkids.IT Integration Leads to Better Treatment and Less Suffering
Although the most obvious way technology has changed health care has been by providing new machines, treatments, tools and medicines that save lives and improve the chance of recovery for billions - the more sophisticated medical practices help many patients heal directly and more quickly. New technology continues to improve research and make healthcare more effective.
Information technology has made patient care safer and more reliable than ever before. Nurses and doctors have the ability to use hand-held computers to record a patent's medical histories or to check that they are administering the correct treatment. Results of lab tests, records of vital signs, and medicine orders are all electronically maintained in a cloud or other databases for storage that can be referred to at any time. As more institutions adopt electronic health records, patients gain much easier access to information for a deeper understanding of medical processes.
Electronic databases also consolidate large amounts of information for medical research. With vast patient histories available, scientists can better study trends and causes of ailments that often lead to new treatment. With the touch of a smartphone doctors can access;
- Thousands of pages of medical textbooks
- Online medical databases to easily look up case studies
- Detailed patient histories
Doctors use telemedicine to access e-mail, texts, videos, and conference facilities to consult with colleagues from all over the world. This practice is especially useful for doctors and patients in rural and under-developed areas. Without moving patients, doctors now consult with specialists to diagnose, treat, and research conditions without needing access to a sophisticated hospital. By analyzing health information that users search for online, search engines like Google are now able to accurately predict critical health trends like a global viral outbreak.
One of the leading integration platforms is Microsoft BizTalk, take a look at how BizTalk benefits health care, and further, why you need to properly monitor your BizTalk.