The Covid-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented, and in some cases permanent, changes to health care provision.
A robust, technology-based response to urgent needs will have positive impacts that will continue beyond the current health crisis, providing patients and service providers with new options for preventive care and improved communication.
Rapid and exciting developments at the same time can challenge IT teams, whose duty it is to figure out what needs to be implemented and integrate it into their clinical ecosystems.
“The expectation in healthcare is that a leader can introduce new things, sometimes not even know what they were doing yesterday, and spread those technologies in an excellent way,” said Russell Branzel, president and CEO of the College of Healthcare Information Managers told HealthTech earlier this year.
“Doing so is critical to helping organizations make cultural and behavioral adjustments at an unnatural pace.”
With COVID-19 vaccines approaching and patient expectations rapidly changing, there will be a lot to consider in 2021. Here are 5 things teams need to keep in mind:
Patients Will Increasingly Drive the Healthcare Experience
As hospitals continue to handle high-risk cases and work to provide long-term care for non-severe cases, there is a growing need for patients to take a proactive role in their health. Additionally, more personalized technology will be incorporated to improve and address gaps in home health care delivery.
Organizations support this movement by improving and expanding telehealth programs and by creating “digital gateway” portals that offer a variety of self-service features and messaging services.
Efforts to curb readmissions, which have increased in importance in recent months, are being reinforced by health information technology teams that have launched and expanded wearable devices and remote patient monitoring programs to collect and transmit vital signs of patients and patients from afar. However, service providers must be Willing to deal with education and communication issues.
Permanent Changes to Hospital Design and Cleaning Technologies
To keep spaces more hygienic, healthcare providers are looking for a set of tools to tackle critical deep cleaning tasks and enforce good hygiene. They also change the designs and registration processes to reduce meetings and identify infected visitors before they enter the building.
Deployments can include autonomous robots that emit germicidal UV rays to disinfect rooms in 15 minutes and RFID technology to track how long (and how often) employees wash their hands. More hospitals are using thermal cameras at entrances to detect people with high body temperature, which is a common but not universal symptom of COVID-19.
Expect to see more changes in building design. These include convertible spaces to accommodate temporary increases in critical care patients, clear glass or plastic walls to display isolated patients, reconfigured rooms to provide remote healthcare in the hospital, and tools such as touch screen kiosks and portable alarm bells so that people do not congregate in the waiting area. Before the visit.