In this increasingly digital age, communication between individuals is centered around smartphones, tablets and computers. Medical facilities have even started integrating these new technologies into daily operations, with physicians using mobile devices and electronic medical records (EMRs) regularly in hospitals.
Hospitals that are looking to implement new systems or devices can make the process easier by partnering with a healthcare consultant. These individuals can use their experience in healthcare IT consulting to ensure that all staff members are properly trained in everything from mobile technology to EMRs.
There are still several improvements that can be made when it comes to leveraging electronic tools to engage patients in their own healthcare, according to findings by The Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C.
The report, "Improving Quality and Reducing Costs in Health Care: Engaging Consumers Using Electronic Tools," recommended that facilities build more awareness around electronic tools. The report stated that it's crucial to develop principles, standards, policies, strategies and best practices.
"Patient-centered communication and engagement drive lower costs, better outcomes, and better patient experience in healthcare," the report said. "Patients involved more closely in clinical decision-making report less pain and faster recovery, are more likely to adhere to medical recommendations and carry out more health-related behavior change."
Additionally, it explained some challenges that facilities need to overcome, including limited education and training on patient-centered communication and engagement in medical schools and follow-on programs. It also said that organizational cultures don't yet embrace this type of care and that many interactions individuals have with their physicians is through traditional office visits.
When a healthcare organization partners with a hospital consultant that specializes in healthcare IT consulting, they can ensure that electronic technologies will be thoroughly explained to all staff. That way, facilities can work toward overcoming the communication issues between patients and doctors.