In a world where technology is advancing at a rapid pace, it is becoming a necessity for organisations to adopt digital technology. This includes the medical and care sector.
If you look at the history of health organisations such as the NHS (The National Health Service), you will see some major technological advancements that have been introduced in the last few decades. These advancements have contributed to services being taken out of the confines of hospitals and GP surgeries and integrating them with user-friendly, accessible services over the phone or through mobile devices such as tablets.
Probably the most well-known of these advancements was NHS Direct, a nurse-led advice service provides people with 24-hour health advice over the phone, launched in 1998. This service has gone on to become one of the largest single e-health services in the world, handling more than half a million calls each month. It became the start of a growing range of convenient alternatives to traditional GP services – including the launch of NHS walk-in centres, which offer patients treatment and advice for a range of injuries and illnesses without the need to make an appointment.
For an organisation that was born out of a long-held ideal that good healthcare should be available to all, regardless of wealth, these advancements have led to changes in the way the organisation has functioned which has provided benefits for both the organisation but, more importantly, the patients themselves.
But, like anything, technology is ever-evolving, and these organisations cannot stand still. They must move with the times. A recent report by Nuffield Trust shows that compared with health services in 18 countries, the NHS is relatively poorly resourced, and there may be a welcome need for the use of more specific technology in the sector.
The report, celebrating the NHS turning 70, showed that the resourcing was poor especially in terms of staff and physical equipment. Outsourcing certain jobs, therefore, would help put less pressure and stress on a healthcare service that could be seen as currently struggling. The primary benefit of universal healthcare is that it improves the quality of life for everyone, and this could be seen as a welcome change. (See full report here.
In an article released in June 2018 by Pulse magazine, Dr. Jonathan Simon, a retired GP and former honorary secretary of the Royal New Zealand College of GPs, claims that GPs must embrace digital innovations and models of care to secure their future.
He says, “The whole model of medical practice is being disrupted by the digital revolution, something I believe will determine the future of general practice both in the UK and in other developed countries. As knowledge moves into the community, so does power and the capacity for patients to make their own choices about which services they want and how they have them delivered.
“GPs need to be proactive and incorporate ‘smart technologies’ into their practice, using the technology to support high-quality real-time and virtual access to services.”
Hospitals and other medical institutions, such as GP surgeries, dentists, and care homes are investing in new technologies to reduce cost, increase access to facilities and improve care in their environments. The ultimate aim of this is to deliver a better healthcare service to all patients.
Mobile and tablet devices are being used for activities such as booking in patients, collecting patient surveys, and updating patients on live waiting room times.
Without this approach, it is possible that the medical industry will fall behind in terms of patient care, as these efficiencies can potentially offer shorter waiting times and automated admin, leading to a better patient experience.
In fact, achieving an improved patient experience was exactly what happened at El Camino Hospital, in Silicon Valley USA. Four years ago, the hospital turned to a healthcare technology start-up to help with falls amongst the elderly. The product, which helps busy nurses monitor elderly patients, has seen the number of falls decrease. But there can be issues with the use of technology, and it is important that healthcare organisations have the proper management procedures in place to deal with these issues effectively.
The NHS cares for over 1 million patients every 36 hours. A big issue when dealing with personal data, especially data dealing with patient health, is patient confidentiality. The IT systems and the IT hardware used by all medical professionals must be secure enough to protect these patients. In fact, a single lost device can cost a business $50,000 in lost productivity, data security issues and replacing the device itself.
Not only that, they must ensure that when using technology such as iPads or tablets, they are fully charged, accessible and ready for use at all times. Lost and broken devices can create substantial budget overruns, and staff who can’t easily find a fully charged device at the start of their shifts will lead to lost productivity and slower adoption of the new processes and tools.
LocknCharge offers several mobile device charging and security solutions that are suitable for the healthcare environment. Highly-secure charging solutions not only keep devices locked away to protect patient confidentiality and device theft when not in use, but also can ensure that devices are fully synced so that software and data is always current. New-to-market laptop and tablet charging station features such as LED lights, which provide at-a-glance charging status, an ultra-mobile design, and a backend management portal can help drive staff productivity.
Our expert team can help recommend which charging solution is best for your needs, please click here to contact us.