How Technology is Affecting the Way the Healthcare System Works
The medical field has changed tremendously as a result of technology. In many cases, it's beneficial to the care patients receive. For some individuals, the changes seem a bit unnecessary, but overall, technology is improving healthcare services for patients in terms of time and accuracy.
Electronic Medical Records
Instead of a nurse or doctor filling out a tremendous amount of paperwork every time you visit the office, you probably noticed how much of the record keeping is performed on the computer. However, today, doctors, dentists, and other medical professionals store all records in one convenient location. Everything from your medical history to recent test results to your diagnosis is available online.
Because doctors and other medical professionals can access all of your information quickly and conveniently. Electronic medical records decrease the risk of medical errors as well, especially since medical errors can occur because of misinterpreted handwriting. Overall, electronic medical records help a medical office run more efficiently, and it optimizes patient care.
Some medical centers allow doctors and nurses to scan a patient's wristband to access all of this information. This reduces the number of medical errors significantly. Doctors and nurses have performed procedures on the wrong patient and given medications to the wrong patient, but when patients wear a scannable band this risk is reduced significantly.
Although there aren't any apps that help doctors or nurses perform their job better, patients do have access to mobile apps that can improve their health. For instance, apps can help patients manage their checkups and schedule their appointments. Some physicians offer the option to view test results online, alleviating the need to go into the office for your test results. Additionally, you can see the results sooner when you have access to them online. Ultimately, being able to see results sooner reduces the amount of time you have to worry. Apps can also help you with exercising, eating healthy, and managing your health conditions.
The Internet is full of resources for patients. You can access information related to your condition and medications. You also have access to information related to how to improve your health overall. With so many online resources, patients can educate themselves before they get to the office. This makes conversations with medical personnel more effective, especially since the patient better understands what the staff is saying. In addition, it makes it easier for the patient to make informed decisions regarding his or her health. Before modern technology, patients relied on what their doctor told them. They could only fact check on a few references and the information was limited.
Nowadays, you can visit a physician through an online program. You go to their website and initiate a video chat. Your physician sees and hears you. Instead of going into the office, you just explain to the physician what you're experiencing. The physician is then able to treat you, and you don't ever have to leave your house. Keep in mind, these kinds of appointments can't replace going to see a physician for regular appointments or seeking out care from the best alcohol rehab programs.
Access to Info About Physicians
Patients have more power than ever before because of technology. Most physicians, including specialists, have websites where patients can view their credentials. If a patient is curious about the reputation of a physician, it's possible to search for him or her online and find sites that offer information regarding the doctor. It's possible to view information regarding any malpractice or other legal issues the doctor may have had in the past. With social media and sites like Yelp, patients can post information about their experience with a doctor or medical center. Other people may view this information before they seek out the care of a physician. This helps patients make informed decisions about their healthcare. They can avoid places that don't have a strong reputation for providing high-quality care. On the other hand, this isn't always the best for physicians. It may lead to doctors having a reduced number of new patients.
Social Media Groups
It's becoming more and more common for people to suffer from anxiety openly, depression, or other mental illness. In some cases, people suffer from chronic conditions and worry about their outcome. Social media offers the option to join groups consisting of people experiencing the same thing. Patients can find sites specific to their conditions. The patient gets access to people who can share their experiences and insight. They can support one another when the prognosis doesn't seem very optimistic.
Technology has changed how patients with diabetes can manage their condition. Rather than having to remember to take their blood sugar reading using a lancet and a monitoring device – sometimes several times per day – patients may wear a monitoring device that detects their blood sugar without the need to use a lancet.
X-rays were standard at one point in time. In the 1970s, computerized tomography came out, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the 1980s. Initially, the imaging wasn't very clear. Doctors and other medical professionals were trained to read them, but the general public wasn't really able to notice much. Today, the imaging is much clearer. This reduces the possibility of a doctor misreading the results. Doctors can watch the cardiovascular system function in real time, making the diagnostic process much easier. MRIs and ultrasounds don't expose patients to radiation; therefore, these images don't come with a risk of cancer like X-rays or CT scans.
Cancer treatment once consisted of radiation and chemotherapy. Unfortunately, these treatments come with their share of risks. Often, patients suffer from severe nausea, a loss of appetite, hair loss, and a wide array of other symptoms. Sometimes, these treatments aren't enough to combat the problem effectively. However, advances in the medical field are allowing specialists to build up a patient's immune system, so it combats the disease. During the therapy, the physician administers synthetic proteins in order to stimulate the immune system to work more effectively. Nowadays, doctors are using this treatment in addition to other cancer treatments. More and more patients will beat their cancer as a result of this treatment. Not to mention, patients don't experience harmful side effects like chemotherapy and radiation. For some, it works when the patient doesn't respond to other treatments.
Sharing Information Between Offices
Your imaging, test results, and other information about your health condition wasn't always easily shared. Today, the information can go from one office in less than a minute. This makes the experience of having to see a specialist easier for patients. Patients get the care they need quicker.
Improved Average Lifespan
The advancements in technology have led to patients living longer. Patients are living happier lives as a result of technology. They have more options for medical treatment. New technology arises constantly. Patients can access treatments only available in clinical trials.
The healthcare field is changing drastically each day. While some patients aren't ready for the changes, the changes are improving patient care and changing how individuals who work in the field administer it.