How Streamlining Medical Communication Will Lead To Better Care [Future Of Health]

PSFK Labs explore how Cloud-Powered Medical Records eliminate information silos within the healthcare system.

Imagine spending your day connecting with superiors through pager calls, having to fill out hundreds of paper documents over the course of the week and sharing files with colleagues through fax machines. This isn’t a history lesson in communication technology, but rather the realities that many doctors, nurses and medical professionals are forced to deal with on a daily basis. Saddled by regulations and concerns around patient security and privacy, the healthcare industry has been slower to adopt the latest information systems and communications platforms, but we’re beginning to see positive change.

Cloud-based platforms are helping streamline the way hospitals manage and distribute patient files, diagnoses and other sensitive medical records. These digital networks are designed to cut down on mistakes and redundancies, while ensuring that important information can quickly get into the hands of physicians and key members of staff during emergency situations. These systems point to a trend from  PSFK Labs‘ Future of Health report we’ve called Cloud-Powered Medical Records.

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The nature of healthcare is changing to focus more on patient satisfaction, outcomes and care by applying a range data from wearable devices and using prompts to change patient behaviors, but first that information needs to make it into the hands of your doctor. David Medina, a Senior Manager at Boehringer Ingelheim points to the possibilities this has for medicine, telling us, “Instead of a physician getting a snapshot of you from the five minutes you’re in their office, they can actually print out a report or see on their screen how you have been behaving for the last three months, for the last six months, since the last time they saw you. All of these technologies actually providing the system with a lot more information.”

As these new forms of data change how patients and healthcare professionals interact, there will need to be a shift towards open communication channels. Sterling Lanier, CEO of Tonic for Health, describes, “The cloud can make a huge difference because it unshackles providers from the tyranny of a closed system and allows them to find best-in-class solutions to finally make coordinated patient care a reality.”

As these open systems become more commonplace, integrating new healthcare tools like smartphones and wearable devices can help alleviate some of the data entry involved in inputing patient information. Dr. Tracy-Ann Moo of Weill Cornell Medical College notes, “We’re moving along the lines of giving patients more control and having devices develop that do give them that control. Eventually, we’ll move to a system that allows patients to enter data into their electronic medical record, whether it’s directly from a device that’s attached to them or it’s basically them providing their input. In the future, we’ll actually be importing data more directly from the patient into the system than through the provider.”

For those looking to leap-frog ahead in healthcare communications and patient record management systems, please consider the following questions:

  • Are there frequently occurring processes during a visit or procedure that can be streamlined through the use of digital technology?
  • What passive information systems can be used to collect patient information in order to reduce intake times and provide verified data about patients?
  • What protocols need to be in place to ensure that patient information is private and secure?
  • What platforms can hospitals and insurance companies create to better connect disparate teams and help them communicate more efficiently?
  • With clear communication channels, how can teams be organized to better provide patient care?
  • How can contextual information be used to guide patients throughout their care experiences?

With the help of our partner Boehringer Ingelheim, PSFK Labs has released the latest Future of Health Report, which highlights the four major themes and 13 emerging trends shaping the evolving global landscape of healthcare. To see more insights and thoughts on the Future of Health visit the PSFK page.

Contributed by: Wesley Robison

Images via: Koreaittimes & Phyode

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