How Technology Has Improved Communication And Patient Safety In Healthcare
In the hustle and bustle of today’s fast moving world, technology is constantly being upgraded. It’s no surprise that it’s constantly changing every aspect of our lives. In the healthcare field, technology continues to play an important role.
Technology has allowed cures to be found for many illnesses and allowed changes to be made in treatment and care. It has also greatly improved communication in the healthcare industry and in first responder communications.
Here are several ways technology has improved communication in healthcare:
Easily Accessible Medical Records
When someone is sick at home, one of the first things they’re likely to do is go to the Internet and look up their symptoms. While this can be beneficial for common, easily treated illnesses, in some cases it can cause some people to think they’re sicker than they actually are. Nonetheless, technology has allowed everyday people to have access to medical information via the Internet so they can at least get some idea of what might be wrong with them or a family member.
These days, many clinics and hospitals have social media profiles to expand their audience and allow people an easy way to contact them. Through social media, clinics and physicians can educate people on treatments for common illnesses, they can offer advice and they can offer information that’s specific to their clinic or their practice. As an added bonus, patients can leave feedback on a doctor or a facility, which can help others as they make decisions about their health.
In older times, patients were often left waiting weeks or even months for medical test results. Nowadays, many clinics and hospitals around the United States offer web portals to patients, which allows them to access test results or other personal information in a matter of hours of days. This helps put patients at ease and allows them to contact their doctors if they need to follow up.
Better Treatments and Equipment
As technology continues to evolve, the benefits of upgrades in technology continue to grow. While improved healthcare is perhaps the biggest benefit to come from technology, there have been other benefits as well.
One benefit is better equipment. Upgrades in technology have allowed doctors to provide better care with the newest in equipment and therefore communicate better with patients. Better equipment has led to better treatments, which has in turn, increased the quality of life among many patients who are battling long term illnesses.
With longer life expectancy and better communication between doctors and patients has helped to decrease the fear that some have felt about particular illnesses in the past. Better treatments have also allowed for research to be sped up and allowed the focus of research to be narrowed so that scientists can better hone in on solving previously unsolvable medical mysteries. Better treatments have also led to improvements in the way procedures are performed. Procedures that used to take days or weeks to recover from can now be performed in a matter of hours with faster recovery times.
Ultimately, all of it has resulted in better medical treatments, better communication, and happier patients.
Thanks to electronic prescribing, prescription errors are greatly reduced and clinicians can send prescriptions directly to a pharmacy. In this way patients can get the correct prescriptions they need from just about any pharmacy in their local area. It’s yet another way that improved communication and evolving technology has helped improve patient safety.
Better Doctor-Patient Relationships
With faster access to patient records, doctors can provide better knowledge about a patient’s care. With a more complete picture of their health, patients can feel more comfortable with their doctor and have better communication and a better relationship with them.
Another way technology has improved communication between patients and doctors is through the use of telehealth or telemedicine. It’s allowed a doctor visit to be reimagined as a house call without travel and provides numerous benefits:
- It reaches more patients, especially those living in rural areas.
- It cuts costs for patients, especially those who may have to spend money on travel, parking and even childcare for a hospital visit.
- It improves the quality of health care because it offers improvements in treatment and service delivery. Since they can get a diagnosis from the comfort of home, telehealth also helps divert unnecessary ER visits.
- Patients are ultimately more satisfied with the service they receive because they get one-on-one time with their doctor and feel like they’re really being listened to.
Improved Communication For First Responders
First responders deal with a lot on the job and it’s important that they’re able to communicate effectively and in a timely manner. On the flip side, patients in need, need to be able to reach first responders in times of emergency. In fact, an estimated 240 million calls are made to 911 in the U.S. annually and at least 80% of those are made from wireless devices.
One of the biggest ways that first responder communications have been improved is through the use of commercial Distributed Antenna Systems or commercial DAS. A DAS system is a network of antennas connected to a transport medium that provides wireless services within a home or within a business.
DAS improves first responder communications in many ways:
- Bandwidth can be greatly improved, especially by adding antennas in cell towers, which allows first responders to have service over a greater area.
- It improves customer satisfaction because there are fewer dropped calls, so when someone calls 911 for help, they know they’re going to get through.
- It improves the overall speed of communication, whether it’s between patients and first responders or between first responders and a hospital.
- It offers better first responder wireless services because they have internet connectivity in a single area through multiple service carriers.
First responder communications are greatly improved by DAS, but in many areas a public safety DAS is a requirement from the National Fire Protection Association.
Imagine for example that a business has a devastating fire break out and calls 911. Once first responders are on the scene, they rely on radio communication to talk to other responders in the building and those outside the building too. In emergency situations like fires and accidents, effective first responder communications are paramount, especially when time is of the essence.
Responding to emergency situations highlights the importance of first responder wireless solutions. If there’s an injury during emergency response or a team needs backup, responders need to be able to reach out for help and know that their equipment is going to work. Thankfully, many wireless companies offer commercial wireless solutions that allow first responders to do their jobs, become more effective, and have more success at keeping people safe.
Rely on RFeCommunications
There’s little doubt that effective communication in healthcare is important. It’s up to the first responders to help keep people safe. When a person is sick, they automatically want to know what’s wrong with them and what they need to do to feel better. With improved technology and communication, patients can get the answers they need and quickly. Whether it’s in first responder communications, telehealth appointments, or even faster access to medical records or both doctors and patients, technology has greater improved communication in healthcare and will continue to do so well into the future.