4 Helpful Strategies Hospitals Can Use to Boost Efficiency
The Healthcare industry has faced some major challenges during the last few years. During peak SARS-CoV-2 transmission rates in 2020-2021, hospitals had to deal with an overwhelming influx of inpatients.
As a result, they struggled to maintain efficiency in patient diagnosis, treatment, and elective procedures, apart from containing highly contagious diseases.
In a post-COVID world, providing quality patient care and efficiently improving diagnosis and treatment methodologies have become increasingly important for healthcare facilities. However, achieving optimal efficiency can be challenging when hospitals don’t have a forward-looking strategy.
In any healthcare setting, procedural delays in patient diagnosis, treatment, and medication administration can severely affect the patient’s life.
With the right strategy, hospitals can boost their efficiency in performing day-to-day operations, improving treatment and medication administration procedures, and accomplishing major business goals.
Let’s look at some strategies for increasing efficiency in hospitals and healthcare systems.
1. Using Integrated Healthcare Information Systems to Streamline Operations
The best way to improve operational efficiency and precision in patient care is by eliminating repetitive procedures and improving the flow of digitalized information across the board.
Hospitals can replace cumbersome and repetitive tasks with automated systems and streamline mundane processes. When information is available, healthcare professionals can get up-to-date patient information with a single click.
Hospitals use a variety of IT tools and systems to streamline their operations. Here’re some of the most beneficial IT systems used in healthcare facilities:
Laboratory Information Systems
Advanced laboratory information systems are specialized all-inclusive systems designed to store and manage heaps of information related to patient tests.
Cloud-based LIS systems for genetic and molecular testing, such as NovoPath molecular lab software, provide integrated workflows over a SaaS-based platform. These platforms enable pathologists and oncologists to add molecular and genetic tests to anatomic workflows.
Healthcare professionals use the information provided in these easy-to-interpret reports to diagnose medical conditions and carry-out medical research.
Physicians can track multiple reports of a patient based on a single specimen and see combined results instead of collecting and examining individual reports. This helps them save additional time and effort and improves overall efficiency. Patients can also use cloud-based or web-based portals to access their reports.
If you’re looking for some of the best LIS and molecular lab software, we recommend NovoPath 360, a leading cloud-based integrated workflow system for genetic and molecular testing.
NovoPath 360 allows laboratories to provide easy-to-interpret diagnostic results that fuel precision medicine developments.
Patient Healthcare Portals
Patient healthcare portals are integrated with hospital management systems. These systems provide instant access to test results, reports, medical history, doctor prescriptions, and patient health records to individuals.
In addition, a patient can schedule appointments and view doctors’ recommendations and notes on diseases diagnosis based on blood work and other tests. They can do all this without having to physically visit the hospital.
This helps hospitals improve efficiency and patient care and minimize outpatient inflow during peak epidemic outbreaks.
Improved Digital Communication Systems
Due to the rising necessity of close coordination among nursing staff, doctors, and administrative workers, digital communication is the backbone of the healthcare industry.
An integrated digital communication system employs various cutting-edge technologies to allow seamless information tracking, patient monitoring, and information flow between various departments. It can notify nurses, doctors, and other hospital officials of critical and trivial patient information changes. This helps minimize procedural delays and maximize efficiency.
Digital communication systems are centralized in nature. When a change occurs in a patient’s health and insurance record, even if it is as simple as medicine administration during a hospital stay, the information is promptly updated across the healthcare system.
Process automation tools in healthcare facilities allow the digitalization of various administrative tasks like patient admission, creation of digital wristbands, automatic form completion, patient transfer from one facility to another, contract management, invoicing, and much more. These tools can also predict trends in seasonal patient influx and help optimize hospital performance.
Hospitals use various information systems, most of which are used independently in each department.
By integrating individual information systems using a centralized approach, hospitals can benefit from easy access to digital information and create an integrated interface for the smooth flow of information from one subsystem to another.
2. Replace Manual Patient Records with Electronic Health Records (EHS)
An electronic health record (EHR) is a patient’s official health record shared among various hospitals and authorities.
Electronic health records help hospitals retrieve patient medical records, including IDs, social security numbers, health insurance records, medical history, previous diagnoses, physician notes, and medical procedures, with a single click.
Instead of storing such information on paper, hospitals can store it electronically and minimize information retrieval time. Since this record is shared on a national level, it has enhanced levels of security.
3. Incorporate Telemedicine to Reduce Patient Visits to Hospitals
Telemedicine has opened new avenues for decentralizing the healthcare system and providing targeted, patient-centered medical care without physical presence.
Using telephony and web services like video conferences and video or audio calls over IP, patients can consult doctors and specialists without visiting the hospital.
By confining non-urgent consultations to telemedicine, hospitals have maintained efficiency and quality of patient care during COVID surges.
4. Leverage the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)
The internet of medical things (IoMT) is considered the future of technology in the healthcare industry as it empowers remote patient monitoring.
IoMT is a collection of electronic gadgets, intelligent machines, and applications that gather real-time patient information over the internet. IoMT devices are wearables with sensors and trackers that send data over a Wi-Fi network to healthcare information systems. This helps physicians remotely monitor patients’ health conditions and examine their progress.
Patients can access real-time data on their physical condition like oxygen levels, blood sugar, blood pressure, pulse rate, heart rhythm, and other vitals. Physicians and nurses can get instant notifications, allowing them to participate effectively in patient treatment.
IoMT technologies have far-reaching benefits when treating diseases and disorders necessitating considerable lifestyle changes, such as diabetes, drug abuse, mental health issues, obesity, and heart diseases.
In the future, IoMT will facilitate using hands-free equipment for on-site treatment for enhanced protection during epidemic breakouts and efficient patient monitoring.
Technology is changing the landscape of the healthcare industry. Improving efficiency and enhancing the quality of patient care are among the biggest advantages of using technology in hospitals.
Hospitals can use the above-mentioned IT strategies to achieve operational efficiency in all departments. However, they must analyze their digital transformation needs before investing in technology to maximize outputs and return on investments.
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