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March 24, 2017

3 Technology Tools that Increase Efficiency in Healthcare

The use of technology has revolutionized virtually every facet of our lives and the healthcare world isn’t an exception. Many health facilities in the US have widely adopted the use of technology to increase efficiency.

Like many other industries, efficiency in healthcare facilities requires better tools for collecting information, carrying out research and adopting best practices to ensure patient satisfaction. There has been an influx of innovative technologies that are at the core of the logistical and practical operations in healthcare.

Let’s take a closer look at some of these new technologies and how they’re improving the efficiency of healthcare services.

Health Information Systems

Information Technology is one of the technologies that have had a profound impact on most healthcare facilities. Although you may not notice it whenever you visit hospitals, there is a lot of logistical operations that take place behind the scenes to ensure that nurses and doctors are able to take care of patients.

Information Systems are being used in hospitals to automate functions. The advantages of automation are overwhelming in the healthcare industry. Health Information Systems (HIS) ensure that operations such as billing, diagnosis, treatment and inventory are managed effectively and for a much cheaper cost.

Unlike humans who are prone to errors, computers rarely make mistakes, unless the system isn’t working correctly of course, which can often be attributed to human error, ironically. More streamlined medical records have been found to reduce the number of deaths initially attributed to human error.

Automation of operations in healthcare provides a wealth of real-time information. Information can be analyzed to provide better insight for decision making. For this reason, a larger number of administrators are asked to undergo at least an online master of healthcare administration in strategy and innovation as only an accredited MHAdegree will allow them to fully integrate IT into medical practice.

Use of Technology to Improve Practice

There are many innovative pieces of equipment that are being used every day to save lives in hospitals.

Take the example of laser technology, for instance. Laser technology has been featured in manufacturing, electronics, and now, it is increasingly being used in surgery as well. The use of laser in surgery has greatly improved accuracy in procedures, an important aspect in surgery especially in neurosurgery and plastic surgery.

Automated Guided Vehicles

Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) are small carts that are guided electronically to transport supplies from storage facilities to where they are needed. Initially, these services were done manually by hospital staff moving supplies along hospital corridors. AVGs are slowly replacing hospital staff for this purpose. They are faster, safer and more cost effective. Furthermore, these AVGs use underground pathways and leave hospital corridors clear for easier movement, especially during emergencies.

Although many hospitals and other healthcare facilities were hesitant at first to embrace new technologies, especially IT, they are now fully on board and the face of healthcare is rapidly changing as a result. Through monitoring technologies, medical practitioners are now able to monitor patients more precisely. AGV allow healthcare facilities to use their staff more efficiently and laser technology is transforming surgery as we know it. 

The views and opinions expressed herein are the author's own, and do not necessarily reflect those of EconMatters.

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