Healthcare's Rapid Digital Transformation Offers Vast Opportunity to Partners
COVID-19 has forced every industry to “go digital” and healthcare is no exception. From virtual patient visits to provider digital collaboration, the pandemic has accelerated healthcare’s transformation. Healthcare providers report 46% of patients are using telehealth to replace canceled in-person visits, a dramatic jump from 11% in 2019. Physicians saw telehealth visit volume increase by a factor of 50 to 175. For providers to keep up, there are 3 key areas of investment.
Consumers continue to look for opportunities to complete tasks on their own time. More recently, customers are increasingly looking for low-contact interactions. Providing self-service solutions can increase customer satisfaction, while also meeting social distancing guidelines.
While we’ve seen self-service kiosks at airports for years, doctor’s offices, clinics, and hospitals are bringing this technology into their facilities to help streamline check-in, check-out, billing, and even scheduling follow-up appointments. Providers can offer their patients the freedom to self-serve and minimize physical interactions by providing bedside tablets. These tablets can be custom configured according to the facility’s needs, allowing patients to complete tasks on their own like ordering meals, calling for assistance, changing the channel on their TV, or even checking their latest lab results.
The stark reality of COVID-19 is that healthcare providers have never been busier. With the rise of hospitalizations, mobile clinics, pop-up vaccination sites and drive through testing, providers need mobile solutions. Because of the rapid adoption and use of digitized records, providers can access their patient’s information through their secure, cloud-based tablets and computers - regardless of the patient’s physical location. The interoperability between devices, medical records and different users makes cloud-based solutions more important than ever. For increased mobility within hospitals, we can expect to see many facilities equipping their staff with medical computing carts or mobile nurse workstations, which can increase efficiency as hospitals continue to become busier. These traveling carts are outfitted with all of the necessary technology a doctor or nurse may need when interacting with a patient. Features include cordless scanners to positively ID patients and medication administration, an anti-microbial mouse and keyboard to help limit the spread of germs, computers and monitors to review and update chart records at patient bedside, and a re-chargeable, hot swappable battery source so the cart peripherals never lose power – all maximizing the nurse’s operational time during a shift.
This past year, the risk of spreading COVID-19 accelerated the acceptance of telehealth. Not only is it convenient, but telehealth improves access to care, leading to better patient outcomes and a more efficient health care system. But because this form of healthcare delivery is remote, not all providers have the necessary tools to make this change. To support remote and virtual doctor visits, providers need a strong, cloud-based unified communications platform (UCaaS). UCaaS enables seamless operations like scheduling appointments, video conferencing, billing, and customer service.
The interoperability of this technology becomes even more important when used to support regimented treatment programs that requires regular monitoring and patient adherence. Whether it is a physical therapist watching the patient’s movements on camera or a doctor monitoring glucose levels, the technology needs to function remotely. In the homes of patients and doctors alike, a strong communication system that allows technology like cameras, microphones, tablets, and docking stations, to operate in sync will provide the best care.
Whether you’re talking about a patient’s living room, a small doctor’s office, or a 500-bed hospital, 2021 will be a year for technology adoption and investments. These digital transformations are here to stay, and end-users need your solutions to meet patient needs and wants. If you are looking to enhance your current healthcare solution offering, the ScanSource team can help you deliver and support the industry’s best solutions. Visit www.scansource.com/healthcareprogram today!