Patients today have more avenues for getting medical treatment than ever before. Of course, they still have access to the same physicians and nurses they always did, but on top of that, they can also use online and mobile portals for gathering information, plus there are numerous specialists in various specific medical fields that might be able to help them. Often these days, treating one patient is a collaborative process that includes a dozen stakeholders.
What can be done to create better continuity of care in the health field?
This raises an interesting question – what can be done to create better continuity of care? As people are being passed from provider to provider, they need their information to be shared freely and reported accurately. This way, they can get all the help they need without any costly delays caused by breakdowns in communication.
The keys to building continuity
If you've spent a little time inside the healthcare consulting community, you've no doubt noticed that this has become an area of greater focus. As sources of medical consultation become more diverse, bringing them all together has become particularly challenging. According to the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, this is something that has raised concerns for patients and providers alike.
A key goal for all who provide medical care is to regularly update patients' clinical records with the most accurate, up-to-date information possible. This should include not just objective facts but subjective medical thinking as well – if one specialist recommends a particular course of action for treatment, for example, that recommendation should be passed on to other care providers who will get a chance to consider it.
A key byproduct of this change is greater potential for transparency. This is important because in the Information Age, patients are increasingly curious about the details of their own medical treatments. With better record-keeping and continuity, it will be easier to share this information with them directly.
Technology growth causes pressure to innovate
The good news is that technology is making it far easier for medical providers to get information and share it. Healthcare IT News noted that one of the key trends in medicine in 2016 has been the rise of Internet of Things-based technologies that tap into medical data for use in business intelligence. For example, wearable devices make it easier for doctors and nurses to measure things like stress response, blood pressure and glucose levels in real time, which helps them make quick decisions better.
The flip side of that coin is that with increased tech innovation comes increased pressure. Patients now have extraordinarily high expectations of their medical providers, and they're quick to abandon those who can't deliver. This makes it important for healthcare organisations to survey the competitive landscape and quickly assess their technology needs.
A good consultant can help figure things out
It's not always easy to figure out exactly where your healthcare organisation stands in terms of adopting the right technologies and enabling continuity. The medical field is evolving so fast that it's hard to keep up. Fortunately, you can get help in the form of solution consulting, tailored to fit the precise needs of your organisation.
At AtoBI, we aim to do this by identifying and deeply understanding your BI needs. Once we do, we can use that knowledge to prototype and implement solutions that will work just for you. Your organisation will need a significant investment in technology in the coming years if it wants to stay competitive, and our job is to ensure you invest wisely. Allow us to help.