There’s an important healthcare trend that we would like to bring to your attention: Those on the front lines of senior care don’t typically get the recognition they most certainly deserve. We’re not talking about nurses or doctors, who unquestionably do great work for their patients.
Instead, we are referencing those who work in the back office, managing critical roles such as billing, scheduling, and administrative services. Senior care is a sector of healthcare that’s become notorious for its razor-thin margins for error, and the dedicated efforts of these professionals can help turn good care facilities into industry-leading healthcare providers.
In the past, faulty software and legacy information technology systems have made the work of back-office employees difficult. Through no fault of their own, they’ve had to deal with the burdensome nature of this inferior technology all too often.
Thankfully, there are several innovative advances in the world of healthcare technology that looks to be ushering in a new paradigm for senior care facilities. With this in mind, we’d like to highlight a few of the most noteworthy healthcare technology trends.
Electronic Health Records Enter “The Cloud”
Over the past decade, electronic personal health records (EHR) have become increasingly common throughout the healthcare industry. Traditional EHR systems, which rely on traditional servers (think of large computers that store tons of data for healthcare providers) have proven effective at increasing communication, reducing errors, and more importantly, making records more accessible.
In 2019, it looks like EHR will finally join the cloud computing revolution. Cloud computing (which allows any organization to rent computer space instead of paying for equipment upfront) has already revolutionized countless industries. However, due to regulations like HIPPA, healthcare has been slow to catch up.
Now, EHR industry-leaders like Cerner are finally allowing healthcare IT to join the cloud computing revolution. We expect cloud computing services from Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, and others to make the work of back-office employees easier in 2019 and beyond.
Blockchain: The Next Generation of Data Management
Senior care facilities are known to create reams of data in the forms of patient information, health records, and insurance documentation. This is a big problem - a problem that blockchain (which provides a method of creating digital, permanent, and unchangeable records) is well poised to solve.
The best aspect of blockchain is its versatility. Since this technology can be customized for many use cases, documents ranging from Medicare filings to regulatory documentation can become permanently stored on the blockchain.
This means that an indestructible and agreed upon record of critical information and events could be tracked throughout a patient’s stay. In theory, blockchain could make common errors like lost records or accidentally deleted data a thing of the past. In fact, there are already some firms (such as IBM) pursuing uses for blockchain in today’s healthcare industry.
Artificial Intelligence & Senior Care Facilities
The growth of artificial intelligence (which unlocks the power of modern computers to achieve insights never before possible) is helping healthcare professionals better analyze information. In fact, this innovative technology field is already increasing the effectiveness of clinical decision making throughout the healthcare industry.
Contrary to popular believe, back-office professionals can have just as much to do with admissions decisions for senior care facilities as doctors and nurses. After all, if the information at hand shows that a patient’s care isn’t sustainable, it is in the best interests of patients to seek an alternative care option.
Through the power of artificial intelligence, these critical decisions can be approached with a better understanding of likely outcomes. In turn, the ability to make better sense of patient data can boost opportunities for profitability in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
Impressive software offerings that leverage artificial intelligence include Qventus, an AI-based software platform to help solve challenges in healthcare operations, and CloudMedX, a product seeking to improve the patient experience throughout their healthcare journey. These are a few of the dozens of applications seeking to better the way that healthcare operates for patients and professionals alike.
As we have seen, there are a number of exciting ways in which ground-breaking technology is being applied to healthcare. In particular, many of these developments will have profound positive impacts on how senior care facilities operate - both in 2019 and in the years ahead. This is an encouraging prospect, as innovative software and technology have the potential to significantly improve the quality of care provided by numerous healthcare facilities throughout the country.