Technology has affected nearly every industry in some impactful way. From changing the way that people communicate and travel to shaping how populations receive health care treatment, technological advances have paved the way for a more productive and effective world. Within the health care sector, technology consistently makes its way into hospitals, doctor’s offices and during medical research.
As processes are progressively changing and adjusting, the implementation of new systems and treatment devices are reestablished. Not only is patient care becoming streamlined by new technologies, but record keeping and storing information has become easier than ever. In a digital age, the health care world is continuing to evolve in many ways, all of which have a great impact on the methods used for treating patients and managing their care.
Technology in Health Care
From transforming the way that records are kept to revolutionizing procedures with bio-medical engineering and research, health care is changing. On the surface, the industry is changing to become a more personalized process for patients as many medical facilities have turned to electronic, self-service check-in and many are beginning to utilize social media and mobile devices to their advantage; this makes their information and services consistently accessible to patients. Implementing these technologies in the health care sector has enabled doctors and patients to have open communication and make better decisions regarding care. With a variety of different methods of treatment, medical advice and information is more available than it has ever been through the Internet and many reputable medical sites that offer advice and quality information to individuals researching their own health related conditions.
Electronic Medical Records
Once upon a time doctor’s offices were full of hanging charts and paperwork. Today, walking into any health care facility, files and documents may be hard to find as nearly all patient records are kept electronically. These advances also come with the upside of cutting costs and time spent filing paper versions of documents. Most documents today are held within secure databases and referred to as electronic medical records. These systems maintain a digital copy of all patient records including their medical history, previous treatment information and any diagnoses that may have been made in the past. As this information typically pertains to the history a patient has had with one doctor’s office, the use of electronic health records has also seen an increase as these are easily transferred and shared between health care providers.
Electronic health records maintain the same types of information and more. These are used to report not only medical history, but patient demographics and complete notes on any issues that have been treated, the progress of patients and medications that were administered. Through these systems, health care becomes a better process overall. As they can be accessed more conveniently, save time and ultimately are easier to manage and coordinate, this technology is one of many positive changes within the industry.
Future of Health Care
Surgeries that were once thought to be complex, invasive procedures have progressively become non-invasive, outpatient operations and new devices are being implemented to ensure accuracy during procedures. Doctors and health care professionals are looking to the future and continuing to find new ways to better the health care industry through innovations and new technologies including:
- Video Game Training: Through the use of simulation labs and computer programs, medical school has been modernized, allowing students to participate in life-like situations but within a safe, controlled environment. This new method of training gives students a hands-on approach to practicing and learning best practices of patient care.
- Robots: Technology is being developed that would allow robots to find a place in health care. From assisting in the care of elderly patients to helping during surgeries, progress is being made to implement these devices into health care facilities. Not all devices are intended to be involved in the actual care of patients, as there are some that serve the purpose of moving equipment, medications, or supplies from one location to another automatically.
- Medical Advances: In terms of technologies that are being developed to prevent disease and effectively treat them, there are a variety of innovations in the works that will do just that. Some innovations include printing new skin, contacts that have the ability to better detect glaucoma in patients and even prescription pills that can provide specific dosages to specified areas.
These advances and many more are the future of the health care industry. From how medical records are kept and treatment is provided to the way that future health care professionals are trained, the industry is undergoing a vast amount of exciting changes that will forever change the way patients receive care.
To become part of the changing health care world, individuals must be well versed in the processes in which medical care is administered to patients. Through the use of electronic medical record systems, innovative surgeries and advanced technology, health care professionals have the ability to enhance the overall health of populations.
The demand for professionals with experience implementing and managing such systems will continue to increase as new advances are made. Those interested in being a part of an exciting time in the health care industry should consider pursuing an advanced degree in health care. Saint Joseph’s University offers an online master’s in health administration for individuals interested in learning methods of superior patient care. Experienced professors will prepare individuals for the role of effectively managing emerging health care technologies.