Improving the patient experience, streamlining communication to boost efficacy and speed of care delivered, and integrating technology into the healthcare setting are the current trends shaping the medical landscape. As HIPPA regulations and the HITECH Act continue to evolve with the times, there will be a corresponding uptick in the number of healthcare institutions investing in new tech to advance the level of patient care provided.
Historically, the healthcare industry has relied heavily upon paper documentation. However, many practices have begun adopting and implementing Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems to retain patients and alleviate inefficiencies in the storing, transferring, and analysis of medical information. According to the 2017 Patient Survey Report conducted by The Physicians Foundation, 74% of patients believe EMRs will greatly improve the quality of healthcare provided. Additionally, 85% of respondents agree that advancements in technology will vastly improve the quality of patient care they receive.
Despite the availability of EMR systems and various health-related tech, 55% of patients are still reporting inaccuracies and missing data as it pertains to their medical history when visiting their doctor. A large contributing factor behind this gap in coverage is the need for healthcare professionals to learn new technical skills. In fact, many facilities across the country are placing a greater emphasis on recruiting tech-savvy professionals in an effort to provide the highest level of care for their community.
As a healthcare professional, here are 3 reasons why you should consider becoming more technologically savvy.
Gain a Competitive Edge
Whether you’re an on-demand locum tenens physician, nurse, or full-time practitioner, it's imperative to stay current in our digital age and work to develop new skills as market needs become prevalent. Make yourself indispensable and stand out amongst your competition by brushing up on your computer skills, learning new software that’s widely used in the healthcare space, or improving your knowledge of Microsoft Office. Some EMR systems that are universally employed in hospitals, clinics, and healthcare facilities across the nation include Allscripts, Epic, QuadraMed, and Siemens.
Expanding your breadth of technology-related knowledge will also help you progress in your career. The fusion of healthcare and technology is going to become increasingly prevalent in the coming years and possessing a working knowledge of certain devices or programs will be pivotal to your long-term success in the field. You’ll want to highlight your proficiency with various systems or technical instruments on your resume in order to showcase your candidacy in the best light.
Familiarize Yourself with Technology-Oriented Practices
From the installation of new digital platforms to the acquisition of innovative machinery and devices, technology is slowly infiltrating the daily workflow of many healthcare institutions. Without the proper technical knowledge, you run the risk of erroneously operating a system or device, which can correspondingly endanger a patient’s life.
Mobile technology, for example, is one major movement impacting the healthcare sector. Wireless technology and smartphones are strengthening communication between medical facilities and patients, as well as boosting the level of care provided to those individuals. Traditionally, healthcare professionals would analyze hospitalizations, office visits, or periodic emergency care to make vital clinical decisions.
With new technology, like wearable activity trackers or pocket-sized implants, practitioners have remote monitoring capabilities, which can help improve their ability to diagnose and treat their patients. This is why it’s essential for healthcare professionals to move beyond conventional job description standards and challenge themselves to become adept at using technology.
Provide Optimal Care
In pursuit of providing the highest level of patient care, both clinical and non-clinical workers will need to diversify their computer skills and master using various types of technology. For RNs, you should become well-acquainted with the assortment of codes that correspond with different medical situations and be able to act accordingly as those instances arise. If you’re a home health care nurse, familiarize yourself with devices like the iPad, which is a more effective and organized method for recording patient information. Developing your tech-related skills will allow you to work with more innovative systems and devices, thereby enhancing the quality of care you can provide to your patients.
Proactively fortifying your computer skills is an investment in your future success in the industry. Whether you choose to undertake a certification course, pursue per diem or locum tenens work with a facility that uses EMRs, or seek aid from your current employer who offers training for the systems they use, always strive to continue your tech education.