Today’s healthcare providers are becoming increasingly digitized, thanks to the emergence of smart technologies that expedite the delivery of quality care and improve patient outcomes. From telemedicine to artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, these disruptive innovations are helping hospitals evolve into digital centers of care.
With patients now more informed than ever before about their healthcare options, providers must make a concerted effort to meet their customers where they are. These 5 ways will give you an insider’s perspective on how smart hospitals are changing healthcare from the ground up.
Telemedicine is the delivery of healthcare services and education through electronic communication channels, such as videoconferencing, e-visits, and health apps. It has quickly become a significant part of the healthcare landscape, with more than half of U.S. states approving its use.
Beyond remote patient care, telemedicine is now being used to treat patients in hospital settings as well. In fact, some hospitals have begun to employ artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics to facilitate their telemedicine practices.
AI-enabled tools can help medical practitioners view and assess images, such as scans and x-rays, in real time. Meanwhile, robotics are being used to assist with procedures like endoscopy, allowing providers to remotely guide devices through a patient’s body, controlling their movements from afar.
AI in Healthcare
As the artificial intelligence industry continues to grow, healthcare providers are beginning to capitalize on the technology’s potential for improving patient outcomes. While AI-based tools are still in their infancy, there’s evidence to suggest that AI-powered decision support tools can decrease readmission rates.
What’s more, they can help providers deliver better care to larger populations by expanding access to high-quality information. AI tools have already been implemented in a number of areas in hospitals, including predictive maintenance, supply chain management, and revenue cycle management. Additionally, AI is now being used to identify patterns in patient data in order to accelerate diagnoses and provide better care.
For example, AI algorithms can help providers identify the bacterial strains causing infection in patients who have undergone heart surgery. In this scenario, the algorithm analyzes patient data to select the appropriate antibiotics for the infection.
On the other hand, services such as Smartpoint also have a lot to say in this area, greatly facilitating the day-to-day work of healthcare personnel and achieving a better quality of working life in hospitals.
Digital Patient Channels
To best serve patients, hospitals must create digital pathways where customers can interact with them via the channels they prefer. With near-instantaneous communication, these channels enable caregivers to respond to inquiries and provide patients with self-guided guidance when needed.
For example, digital kiosks allow patients to check lab results, request appointments, and communicate with their providers from the convenience of their local facilities. Beyond facilitating communication between patients and hospitals, these digital channels enable providers to coordinate medical team communication.
This is essential for ensuring that medical records are accessible by all members of a patient’s care team, such as their doctor, nurse, and specialists. Additionally, providers are now able to digitally access lab results, patient medical records, and other clinical data from anywhere in the world. This is especially important for clinicians with remote patient populations, enabling them to remain apprised of health statuses and care plans while away from the office.
Robotics in Healthcare
Robotic devices are often used in surgery, but they can also be used for all sorts of other tasks in hospitals, such as inventory management, patient monitoring, and dispensing medication.
Many robotic devices are controlled by humans, but some hospitals have begun to introduce autonomous robots, otherwise known as “autonomous intelligent medical robots,” to perform certain tasks.
In addition to performing routine operations, autonomous robots can also be used to help transport patients, deliver medications, and chart data. With more and more hospitals embracing this technology, it’s likely that autonomous robots will become more commonplace in future.
Automated medication dispensing
Healthcare organizations have long relied on electronic medical records (EMR) to help improve the quality of patient care and administration. In recent years, many providers have turned to automated medication dispensing (AMED) systems, which allow hospitals to track and administer medications to patients remotely.
These systems can be used to provide patients with text message alerts when it’s time to take their medications. AMED systems can be used to track all types of medications, including antibiotics, pain relievers, and intravenous fluids. Beyond improving medication administration, these systems can help providers identify unnecessary antibiotic use, which allows them to prevent the spread of antibiotic resistance.
In conclusion, as the healthcare landscape continues to shift from a focus on treating illness to promoting wellness, providers will need to evolve. To meet these new expectations, hospitals must adopt a new strategy for delivering care by prioritizing digital tools, investing in smart technologies, and implementing a culture of continuous improvement. From digital patient channels to automated medication dispensing, these innovations are helping hospitals transform into digital centers of care.
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