3 Digital Health Trends Coming Soon To A Doctor’s Office Near You

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Digital healthcare is revolutionizing how we seek and receive medical treatment in ways we couldn’t have imagined just a generation ago. From new diagnostic and surgical techniques to the way patient information is stored and shared, digital health technologies are transforming every aspect of the healthcare field.

While some of the most cutting-edge technologies currently being explored may not reach patients for many years, a number of digital health advances are being implemented by hospitals and medical practices right now. We look at three trends coming soon to a doctor’s office near you.

Health tracker data

We love our FitBits, Garmins, other wearables and health tracker apps on our phones. They help us keep track of physical activity, report on the quality of our sleep, can analyze our diets and some programs even claim to monitor baseline health indicators such as resting heart rate, body fat percentage, and oxygen saturation.

The data captured by these gadgets and apps can be very valuable to healthcare professionals who traditionally rely on patients to self-report on issues such as activity and diet. Unfortunately, self-reporting is seldom accurate.

Having access to accurate, real-time data can help medical professionals offer better, more personalized care, and monitor long-term results to identify significant changes of areas of concern. In the not-too-distant future, except these apps to automatically send data straight to your personal digital health file at your doctor’s office.

Electronic Health Records & Digital Patient Registration

All that data we gather from our trackers needs somewhere to go. Increasingly hospitals, medical practices and provincial health authorities are implementing Electronic Health Records (EHRs). In an ideal system, your complete medical records, test results, diagnostic images, prescription history and more would be accessible to any doctor and hospital in the province (or even the country), helping reduce errors and allowing for more efficient and effective provision of service and treatment.

Many medical practices are taking electronic records keeping a step further by eliminating paperwork and digitizing forms. Any paper form can be handled electronically using a simple all-in-one system such as Ambir Technology’s nForm.

From patient registration information to test requisitions, the forms can be completed on the tablet device which also doubles as an e-signature pad, and delivered or stored electronically. No more lost paperwork, no need for patients to manually fill in the same information on multiple forms.

Virtual appointments

Imagine waiting for your appointment in the comfort and privacy of your own home instead of in an office surrounded by sick people, or being able to consult with a specialist hundreds of miles away, without any travel required.

With medical records, test results and diagnostic images now accessible remotely from anywhere, the need to meet with a doctor face to face is diminishing too.

Virtual appointments via live video chat can provide those in remote locations access to much needed medical services and can reduce the backlog and wait times for care, particularly in areas with doctor shortages.

 

 

 

Use of EHRs in Healthcare Still Small, but Benefits are Big

Despite the benefits of electronic healthcare records (EHRs), many facilities aren’t incorporating them into their establishment’s procedures. This is leading to medical facilities being much less efficient than they could be. The popularity of electronic healthcare records isn’t as popular as one may expect. Less than one-quarter of medical establishments utilize this technology. It assumed that the cost of converting records to electronic deters, and sometimes prevents, facilities from converting. However, once switched to electronic record keeping, it saves facilities money and has numerous other benefits.

1. Reduced Amount of Medical Errors 

EHRs reduce the number of medical errors. They have the ability to store a high quantity of information and are easy to read. They force the person to switch to the another page of information with each patient, which prevents some errors. The overabundance of writing with traditional records leads to people getting sloppy with their handwriting. People end up just getting guessing what orders say, which leads to medical errors. Sometimes, people just don’t write neatly, and the same problem occurs. Spelling errors, abbreviations and difficult-to-read writing be confusing and cause errors with medications and dosages. This leads to medical errors. Having to call the doctor or track down another staff member is time-consuming. All of these scenarios are prevented with electronic record keeping.

2. Saves Money  

The paper and several other aspects of the administrative duties cost a significant amount of money for people to sign documents in a traditional manner. And it’s forever costing the facility since supplies must be reordered on a regular basis, usually monthly for many facilities and products. It’s much cheaper to use EHRs regularly.

3. Less Time Consuming  

It’s much less time consuming to type and scan, then it is to write. Plus, not having to track down people to figure out information saves time, so employees have more time with patients and other responsibilities. Employees have the ability to be much more efficient.

4. Less Storage Issues  

All the paper files start to accumulate. Because issues may occur far in the future, facilities must keep records for many, many years. All of the files and documents take up space. The facility might not have the space to store it all and, therefore, requires a storage facility or an entirely separate building. This leads to a person needing to travel to the storage area to get the necessary files. Oftentimes, they hire a company to retrieve the files. This is an extra expense that’s costly, especially if the records need to be retrieved on a rush delivery. If the records remain on-site, it takes away space that can be used for a different purpose.

EHRs store a large quantity of information about the patient for diagnosing and providing treatment. It makes it easy to access and input information, even during admissions and discharges. The process saves money and prevents medical errors. They can be accessed from various locations, even at the same time. Turning to EHRs has many perks for a facility and not just for having less of an environmental impact.

5. Integrate with nForm and Go Paperless

Simply put, Ambir’s nForm converts any paper form into an electronic form.

It uses forms or documents generated by your application, or existing forms in PDF, Microsoft Word, JPG, TIF, BMP, PNG formats. There is no need to convert, modify or redesign these forms. Forms are sent to nForm 410x, Android or iOS tablets using a virtual print driver. Any application that can print a form or document, can easily send the form or document to nForm. Forms can also be sent to tablets directly from the 410x user interface.

Completed forms are input to the patient registration system, EHR or document management system using a TWAIN interface just like a document scanner, eliminating the need for complicated integrations. Completed forms can also be automatically saved as: PDF, JPG, TIF or BMP by nForm. If the document management or EHR system supports printing and TWAIN scanners or automatic import from a watched folder, it supports nForm.

Check out Ambir nForm here