The full digitization of hospitals, medical offices, and dental clinics is inevitable. Many healthcare establishments have already gone partially or fully digital, and the trend is showing no signs of slowing down. Data-driven transformations allow healthcare businesses to leverage next-generation technologies, including advanced analytics, big data, and artificial intelligence.
With the ever-growing advancements in software, server and cloud security, the healthcare industry can take full advantage of digitization. From telehealth and wearable tech to digitized payments and even going fully paperless, the benefits of a digitized healthcare system are boundless. However, there is a specific way medical businesses should approach digitization: prioritizing data and the technical infrastructure, but still allowing the human side to contribute when it comes to decision-making.
At SMEDIX, we’re always looking at emerging technologies and trying to figure out how they can push the boundaries of the healthcare industry, so we rounded up 8 key steps to take to digitize your medical business. Let’s take them one at a time.
1. Go paperless
In addition to protecting the environment and having a greener ecological footprint, the main advantages of a paperless medical office include lower costs, less waste, and a more organized environment for medical files. A paperless medical office also means better protection of patient data, and it’s a much safer option of storing important documents. Keep in mind, however, that going fully paperless requires great security, reliable hardware and software, as well as a secured internet connection.
2. Embrace the cloud
A reliable cloud solution is fundamental for any healthcare business on the verge of digitization.
Keeping medical records in a safe and secure environment, migrating patient information and other internet-based services, as well as high-speed data transfers are all key benefits of a flexible cloud platform. Implementing healthcare cloud computing solutions can ease the lives of both patients and medical professionals by leveraging data to ensure accessibility, simplify payments, and more.
3. Choose better security
Patient and doctor confidentiality has always been one of the most important aspects when it comes to healthcare. A secure cloud, in compliance with key regulatory agencies and regulations, will guarantee that your patient data and information will be stored safely, and also eliminate the fear and possibility of your physical medical records becoming compromised. Plus, a heightened security solution will protect your data from any form of malicious cyberattacks, while proper fail-safe measures will ensure data integrity and availability against system failures or other disasters.
4. Adopt telehealth
Adopting telehealth appointments will greatly improve your relationship with your patients by giving them the option to book medical visits in a whole new way. There are countless situations when a face-to-face medical appointment can be replaced with a phone call or video call, which can save both parties a lot of time. In many cases, care, advice, reminders and more, can be done remotely. Being able to connect and communicate with patients remotely can prove a true lifesaver, as doctors can keep tabs on patients, assess their wellbeing and even detect troublesome health issues early. Telehealth also comes in handy during times of crisis, when patients are self-isolating at home, or when travelling to see a doctor in person is not an option.
5. Implement a new management system
Fully automating your healthcare business’ critical operations with end-to-end platforms and enhancing your instrument’s interoperability are fundamental aspects of digitization. With the right tool, for instance a LIS Interface Solution, you can boost your instruments’ interconnectivity, as well as leverage rapid scalability and robust connectivity. Implementing a solid management system is highly advised for any healthcare establishment, particularly for those looking to digitize and future-proof their operations.
6. Improve research & drug discovery
Research and development is a long process. Fully embracing technology and AI can boost long and costly research periods by streamlining important processes. Going digital opens new doors when it comes to biotech and R&D, including improved drug discovery and development, as well as enhanced lab research efforts. Drug research and treatment discovery are two of the most revered actions in the medical world.
7. Change financial outcomes
AI and digitization can significantly cut treatment costs, administrative tasks, and other back office functions, which can ultimately lead to saving costs. Non-patient activities in clinics are time-consuming and take up a lot of time for both nurses and physicians. From routine office work to billing and other activities, a digitized system will not only help you save time and money by automating several tasks, but will also improve patient care in the process and reduce potential errors.
8. Better coordination and communication
Improved coordination and communication eases many aspects for both physicians, healthcare professionals and patients. Digitization allows specialists to maintain constant communication among themselves and patients, in order to create schedules and maintain a productive medical plan. By constantly sharing information, medical professionals manage to stay on top of their game with real-time data at their fingertips.
Are there disadvantages when it comes to digitization in healthcare?
When it comes to digitization, the good obviously outweighs the bad. There are very few risks, downsides and complications in digital health, most of which can be avoided or dealt with easily. For example, a heightened security solution can keep hackers at bay, and regular system updates will ensure optimal performance. One of the biggest disadvantages, however, may be cost related, so make sure you find the best solution for you and your medical establishment by comparing and researching prices before you commit. Keep in mind that you can opt for a completely custom medical device software, or even a healthcare systems engineering solution that responds to all your needs. In this way, you can control exactly what you want your software to do and optimize the processes that are most important for you.
All of these digitalization solutions combined can highly enhance your medical business, boost productivity, improve communication, tighten security as well as create a powerful doctor-patient relationship. If you’re thinking of digitizing your healthcare business, SMEDIX is eager to help you achieve this. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you’re in need of assistance or have any questions whatsoever.