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The Patient Care Revolution: How Tech is Reshaping the Healthcare Experience


It’s no secret that today’s healthcare organizations are plagued with challenges – patient data complexities, cyberthreats lurking around every corner, and high staff burnout and turnover, to name a few. On top of that, patients demand a better, more seamless experience. They want more ownership over their healthcare, better options, and better outcomes.

The numbers paint a clearer picture – patients aren’t satisfied with their current level of care. 60% of American patients report having had a negative healthcare experience in the past three months. This should alarm healthcare providers – one-third of the same group of patients reported that they’d switch providers as a result of a bad experience. 

So, what can providers do to tackle today’s challenges and increase patient satisfaction? Technology can help providers put their patients first while addressing key issues like cybersecurity, data interoperability and analysis, and operational efficiency. This blog addresses four ways technology is shaping the future of patient care.

1.   Consumer-Focused Digital Health

Perhaps any monumental shift in any industry begins with the consumer. Patients’ growing need for convenient, on-demand access and care drives providers to look into and adopt new technologies. Today’s digital healthcare tools can help reduce friction, create better outcomes, and increase patient access and ownership. These positive transformations lend to greater patient satisfaction overall.

Creating a Frictionless Customer Experience 

For one, digital patient engagement tools aim to revamp the customer experience. These tools enable patients to schedule appointments, access healthcare information, and complete surveys more easily. The ideal patient engagement tools eliminate friction by allowing patients to do everything from their devices. For healthcare professionals, these tools can minimize no-shows, encourage greater compliance, and help bring in new patients and revenue streams. For patients, these tools reduce the amount of time they have to spend at the doctor and improve diagnoses. 

In fact, one study found that adding a robust patient engagement strategy including same-day text reminders and the ability to check in and pay online lowers no-shows from 33% to 4%.  

A Wealth of Patient Health Data From Wearables

Wearable health devices like smartwatches are making it easier for patients to take ownership of their health with data while giving doctors insight into their patients’ health – even from afar. These devices give doctors a wealth of vital patient health data to analyze and take action on. Metrics related to sleep, movement, and heartbeat are captured by the typical consumer smartwatch. 

It’s not just healthtech startups taking notice of the promise of wearable health technology – big tech companies are throwing their hats in the ring, as well. Apple, Google, and Amazon all offer wearables that enable patients to take control of their health, encourage healthy behaviors, and keep track of key health metrics.

The Power of Remote Patient Monitoring

Remote patient monitoring (RPM) technology is also improving the patient experience. RPM includes wearable devices like blood pressure monitors, blood glucose monitors, and weight scales. Patients can use or wear RPM devices regularly and providers can monitor their vital signs 24/7. Patients enjoy greater ownership over their health and reduced in-person visits with RPM. Providers can monitor for changes, optimize treatment plans, and step in in the case of an emergency. RPM, so far, has generated positive health outcomes for patients with acute and chronic conditions. One study from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center found that RPM reduced patients’ risk of hospital readmissions by 76%

2. Improved Security

Security and patient privacy is of the utmost importance in healthcare, but protecting patient data in the digital age presents new security challenges. 

The move from paper records to electronic health records (EHRs) has been both a blessing and a curse for healthcare providers. On one hand, it enables data to be more centralized and accessible to patients and providers. On the other hand, it provides a new attack surface for bad actors. Because of the sensitive nature of patient information, cyberattackers target healthcare organizations frequently. In 2022 alone, 51.9 million patient records were stolen in data breaches.

The increased reliance on EHRs has also made healthcare providers, their data, and their networks more susceptible to DDoS attacks DDoS attacks on healthcare organizations have risen 253% in the past year with ransom attacks being particularly popular for this industry. 

There are a number of security solutions healthcare organizations can and should look into, but to protect against the growing threat of DDoS attacks, DDoS protection has become a must-have. Network-based DDoS protection stops bad traffic from reaching the network and disrupting critical services. 

To protect classified patient data and comply with industry data regulations, healthcare organizations must also implement strict access controls. Staff members should only have access to information that’s pertinent to their role. Encrypting patient and other confidential data should be next on the list – even if this data is stolen, it’s unreadable to hackers without encryption keys. 

Finally, employee training must be top-of-mind for any security-focused healthcare provider. Employees should be well-versed in cybersecurity best practices and understand what’s at stake if they don’t adhere to them. At a base level, they need to be able to recognize phishing attempts and use strong passwords and two-factor authentication. 

3. Big Data-Driven Decisions

Healthcare systems host a wealth of valuable and sensitive data. Digital tools allow organizations to use health data to glean valuable insights, leading to better patient outcomes and larger-scale improvements. However, today, this data is not being used to its full potential.

Big Data Means Big Obstacles… 

One key obstacle standing in the way of healthcare data reaching its full potential is the lack of data standardization and interoperability in the industry. For one, healthcare professionals enter data in their system in different formats, making it difficult for systems to properly exchange this critical information. Sometimes they enter information incorrectly or not at all.

What’s more, even if data is entered correctly, the lack of data interoperability between systems, portals, and databases adds another layer of complexity. These systems don’t always speak to each other, making the process of sharing critical patient information frustrating for both patients and providers. 

…And Even Bigger Opportunities 

Luckily, there’s been a growing push for data interoperability in the healthcare industry. This refers to the seamless exchange of data and information between two or more systems. The Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) specification, for instance, provides a standardized framework for inputting and organizing healthcare information. 

Only then can healthcare organizations unlock the potential of this data. Once data is standardized, artificial intelligence can help make further sense of all the noise in EHRs and other healthcare databases. AI algorithms can structure data, manage it, and organize it in an effective way. Once managed effectively, this data can be analyzed to interpret patient information and improve outcomes. 

When applied to patient data, predictive analytics shows life-changing promise. Using predictive machine learning models applied to patient data, healthcare organizations can detect patterns, forecast future patient needs, and improve results. 

One example of predictive analytics in action: A healthcare system in the Midwest used predictive analytics to reduce hospital readmissions. Doctors used a predictive analytics tool to identify patients at high risk of hospital readmission to intervene at the first onset of symptoms. The hospital system succeeded in cutting down readmissions by 40% in 18 months using the tool. 

Another example: predictive ambulance placement. Seconds matter to survival, and when AI can predict where the next emergency call will come from, an ambulance (specifically equipped) will be waiting.

4. Increased Operational and Staff Effectiveness

Technology can be put to immediate use to promote overall operational and staff effectiveness. By improving patient access via telehealth visits, providing new and engaging ways for staff to train, and giving caregivers the relief they need, technology can adequately address some of the biggest challenges facing the industry. 

Improving Outcomes with Virtual Visits 

Propelled into popularity by the pandemic, telehealth adoption has only continued to rise. Telehealth technologies make it possible for patients to visit the doctor without leaving home. Functions like monitoring, diagnosis, and therapy can all be done without the patient or provider being physically present. Remote appointments can also decrease no-shows since patients do not need to commute to their appointments.

The Value of Hands-Off Learning 

Healthcare organizations are discovering the potential of virtual reality (VR) for remote training. VR enables healthcare professionals to participate in situational awareness training for handling rare emergencies, like disease outbreaks or mass casualties, preparing them for real-life situations. VR is also used for simulating surgeries, offering risk-free training for future surgeons. Additionally, online platforms are suitable for onboarding and equipment training, making training more accessible.

Offering Relief for Burnout 

Since the pandemic, nurses have been leaving their profession at alarming rates – the turnover rate for the profession stands at 22.5% in 2023. Many cite burnout as a reason they feel dissatisfied in their role or leave the profession altogether. According to a survey of over 2,000 nurses, 91% believe the nursing shortage is getting worse, and 79% report that their units are already understaffed. 

Physicians, too, have been reporting higher levels of burnout than in previous years. With the demand for physicians set to outpace the supply in about a decade, there is reason for concern.

Luckily, technology can help relieve some of the burden on burnt-out nurses and physicians. For one, automation can help take some time-consuming administrative tasks off nurses’ and doctors’ plates. Anything from appointment scheduling to inventory management to lab and test result reporting can be automated.

Some EHR systems are incorporating AI solutions to reduce the amount of time physicians and nurses spend using them. AI-based tools can help streamline workflows, in particular aiding with creating care plans, scheduling, providing data-driven insights, and documentation. 

Bringing Billing Into the Digital Age 

Digital billing, too, should be top-of-mind for healthcare organizations. A recent study found that 62% of patients choose patient portals as their favorite avenue for paying medical bills. Most customers are now used to receiving digital invoices for most purchases and prefer the convenience of paying online. Moreover, digital invoicing tools can automatically notify and remind patients that an invoice is ready to be paid. 51% of patients who took the same survey said that a text reminder encourages them to pay their bills faster.

Technology is the Cornerstone of a Better Patient Experience

In today’s dynamic healthcare landscape, where healthcare providers must balance patient satisfaction, security, data utilization, and operational efficiency, technology is the foundation of progress. Providers can address security challenges, make data-driven decisions, and solve inefficiencies in their business and operations all while making patients happier and healthier with the help of new and emerging tech solutions.  

As healthcare continues to evolve, investing in the right technologies becomes not just a strategic choice but a fundamental necessity, ensuring the delivery of better care and a brighter future for both patients and providers.

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