10 ways in which Health Informatics changed healthcare

In what ways have the poster child for HI – electronic health record (EHR),  and the likes of it impacted healthcare systems all over the globe? How has redefining the patient’s roles contributed to a shift of power in the doctor-patient relationship? What are some of the future trends in healthcare? In order to answer all of these questions I have assembled a list of 10 ways I feel the use of HI has made an everlasting impact on healthcare.

In case you’re not familiar with what HI is, you might want to check out one of my previous blog posts first.

Without further ado, here is the list. Enjoy!

1. Time-efficient and cost-effective treatment

Authorized healthcare providers are able to create, manage and share health information within a healthcare institution or with other healthcare providers such as laboratories, medical imaging facilities and pharmacies. As a result of that, EHRs contain comprehensive information from all  healthcare providers involved. Such approach is deemed time-efficient and cost-effective. The use of EHRs allows for a greater portion of doctor-patient time to be spent on providing treatment rather than on repeated anamnesis.

2. An extensive source of health-related data

EHRs can be viewed as large databases which may help facilitate medical research in the future.

3. Booking an appointment online

One of the most used EHR features which accounts for less time spent in the waiting room and a better overall patient experience.

4. Telemedicine

Technological advancements have made it possible for patients living in remote areas, where only primary care is available, to receive specialist care without having to physically visit them. Such use of technology has reduced the number of outpatient visits and significantly improved the quality of health services primarily for geriatric patients. Telemedicine also serves as a way of sharing knowledge among healthcare professionals and discussing patient issues and treatment options.

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Telemedicine consult By Intel Free Press (CC BY-SA 2.0)

 

5. Patient education and participation

Allowing patients to access their EHR and providing them with useful education materials makes room for more proactive  patients who are able to make well-informed decisions. Patient participation is especially important in managing and treating chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and obesity.

6. Self-tracking apps

In recent years the self-tracking app market has seen a  great boom. The range of apps available spans from everyday apps monitoring weight loss, physical activity, sleep cycle and mood to apps specialised in managing chronic illnesses.

7. Clinical Decision Support Systems (CDSS)

Modern CDSS assist clinicians at the point of care by helping them analyse patient data and reach a diagnosis. Contrary to popular beliefs, CDSS don’t make decisions instead of clinicians but rather help them make the right choice, while decreasing the number of adverse drug events and medication prescription errors.

8. Robotic surgery

Robotic surgery is usually associated with minimally invasive surgery. It has all the benefits of laparoscopic surgery, such as fewer surgical site infections, quicker recovery, less pain and smaller scars. However, surgeons that perform robotic surgery claim that it provides them with a better view of the operating field, allows for movement in more planes and leads to enhanced precision.

 

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Da Vinci action by ©[2016] Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (CC BY-SA 3.0)

9. The use of haptic virtual reality simulators in training future healthcare professionals

Haptic technology has been successfully used for providing near reality training in many different fields. This being particularly true of the army, where haptic virtual reality flight simulators have been in use for years. Haptic technology uses the knowledge in haptics to enable virtual objects to mimic the tactile sensation of real objects. Efforts are being made in developing such technology that would revolutionize the existing teaching methods.

10. Less beds in the hospitals of the future?

Hospitals of the future, such as the new Karolinska hospital in Solna, might have less beds. You may ask yourself why is that the case? Shouldn’t they increase the number of beds in order to cater to more patients? Healthcare is transitioning from primarily treating the ill part of the population to ensuring that healthy individuals remain such. With that in mind, chances are there might be fewer patients in need of hospitalization. Hospitalized patients would, in turn, spend less time in a hospital and be able to recover at home instead, due to robotic surgery and telemedical monitoring.

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New Karolinska hospital, Solna

 

I hope you enjoyed reading my blog post. You are welcome to post comments and / or questions in the comment section bellow or via e-mail and I will try to get back to you as soon as possible.

 

Nikola Mastilović

Digital Ambassador

 

Contact me via:

Instagram: nomad_dentist

LinkedIn: Nikola Mastilovic

e-mail: nikola.mastilovic@stud.ki.se

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