Information Technology’s Role in the Future of Health Care

We live in a time where information technology has touched every facet of life. It would be a fair bet to assume that, at this point, it is more commonplace than a trend. We are inundated with Internet-connected computer systems in every aspect of life. We use automated tellers to do our banking, most major retailers have automated checkouts to supplement the work staff they have in place, and even your Grandma uses Gmail. With this technology saturated into the culture, there are many pragmatic uses that are just now being discovered and implemented. Nowhere is this more true than in the health care industry.

While information systems can allow us to contact the people of Antarctica or Svalbard in real-time, the implementation of systems that can instantly and securely send and receive a patient’s health records is just beginning to completely take hold. Laws have been adopted in many of the worlds more advanced nations with the core initiative of providing individuals with protections from health care providers and insurers who use this information. The sensitive nature of healthcare and financial information requires there to be public entities to oversee the transfer of it and stiff penalties to keep these entities from misusing individual’s sensitive data.

Faster, Better Care
Lets face it, most times when a person goes to a clinic to visit a doctor, they are there to get care for a pre-existing condition or a condition that has just been presented to that individual. For individuals with pre-existing conditions, especially ones that have necessitated the patient to visit a specialist, it is important for the medical professionals to have the most recent information available about his/her malaise or condition in order to find the best course of action for that patient’s care. This use of information technology allows healthcare organizations and insurers the ability to share a patient’s information, with the patient’s consent. Being able to access these records equips the health care provider with the resources to provide faster, more succinct care.

Wireless Medicine & Wellness
Along with the secure computing environments mandated by each country’s Privacy Laws, many healthcare providers are beginning to embrace wireless devices as a vessel to retrieve information on demand. The implementation of document management software systems called electronic medical records (EMR), will soon replace the traditional color-coded folders. Doctors, nurses, and other eligible professionals can have all the information about a patient presented to them on-demand on a tablet. This saves the nurses digging through a stack of folders, desperately searching for a file that may or may not be current. This not only saves time, it allows doctors to see more patients, which boosts the effectiveness of their practice.

EMR technology isn’t the only wireless technology to be used to improve patient care and medical operations. The use of mobile devices with Bluetooth and sensors are highly prevalent in the health and fitness industry to measure an individual’s vital signs and activity level. This technology allows for users to audit their wellness routines and adjust them according to personal preference or doctor recommendation. These sensors provide users with statistics to help them audit and manage their exercise and dietary routines.

For medical IT to truly take hold, it will have to start to present substantial benefits for patients, and a significant cost reduction. As health care costs continue to steadily increase, and more people seek care, health care providers will need ways to improve the operation of their practices. Like many other industries, by looking to technology, health care providers understand that companies like Think Tank NTG can deliver the enhancements their practices need to be efficient.

At Think Tank NTG, we provide comprehensive managed IT services to small and mid-sized companies in the Northwest Indiana area. Our system of providing companies new avenues of efficiency work for all types of organizations, including those in the healthcare field. For more information about how we can offer solutions to maximize your company’s productivity, call us at 800-501-DATA.

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