In the healthcare profession, hospitals, outpatient facilities, and clinics must constantly be focused on ways to improve patient outcomes through modern care. All across the nation, new technology is helping make this happen. The more we understand these trends, the more positive change will follow.
Practical Ways to Improve Patient Outcomes
The number one goal in a healthcare setting should always be to help the patient discover or restore health. Unfortunately, the emphasis doesn’t always reflect these objectives. So we must ask ourselves, how can we put the focus on improving patient outcomes at all costs?
Throughout the industry, there are hundreds of doctors, facilities, and leaders relying on advanced technology and innovative methods to improve patient outcomes. Here’s some of what they’re putting into action:
- Better Treatment Planning
We have a problem in the medical community that doesn’t get discussed enough. The issue is that advances in diagnoses have far outpaced advances in treatment. Put another way, we’re really good at diagnosing what’s wrong with patients, but we don’t always have the right treatments to follow up. This is especially true with rare medical conditions that have been insufficiently researched.
The gap between diagnoses and treatment is wide, but it isn’t unnavigable. One solution is to improve how Electronic Health Records (EHR) platforms communicate with one another. The seamless flow of information (from organization-to-organization and across geographical borders) will help doctors quickly access effective treatments without the long delay that puts patients in greater jeopardy.
- Advanced Learning/Development Tools
The future of healthcare is closely tied to the development of today’s medical students and future doctors. The more we can do to prepare them for real-world situations they’ll encounter, the better patient outcomes will be.
One of the positive trends in the healthcare education niche is the way in which medical schools and facilities are using video-based simulation platforms to train students. Intelligent Video Solutions is one of the leaders in this space.
“Replicating the complexities of the health care environment is a learning strategy that immerses the student. It enables them to build problem-solving skills attuned to genuine clinical problems, to incorporate clinical reasoning, and be faced with the pressure of real-time decision-making,” Intelligent Video Solutions explains. “Simulations create a dynamic learning experience which contributes to an excellence in practice for the student in health care.”
Further advances in video and software will pave the way for even greater training tools – tools that will prepare healthcare professionals for the pressures and nuances of working in a real-world environment.
- Improved Internal Care Coordination
Diagnostic errors are overwhelmingly common, yet incredibly preventable. The problem often results from poor communication and coordination between doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals who are involved in the care of patients. One opportunity for improvement is in the adoption of critical test results notification technology that ensures diagnoses and test results end up in the right hands as quickly as possible.
“For example, a patient has a CT scan,” suggests Katie Cornwell, MSN, NNP-BC, CNS. “The radiologist notices acute cerebral bleeding and enters the results in the RIS/PACS viewer. This triggers an HL7 message to the CTRM system, which notifies the ordering physician on her preferred mobile device and updates the patient’s EHR with a flag. The physician can view that result, wherever she is located, and begin a treatment plan.”
These are the elements of internal care coordination that need to be improved in every hospital and lab across the country. The faster and more organized communication is, the less likely it is that an issue will slip through the cracks and cause physical pain, emotional turmoil, and legal fallout. This is an area where we can’t compromise or settle for anything but the best.
Adding it All Up
There is no perfect tool to guarantee optimal patient outcomes across the board. The best we, as a healthcare community, can do is to rely on the most advanced and innovate solutions we have at our fingertips.
In 2019 and beyond, we see the technologies mentioned above paving the way for superior results. Now it’s up to more healthcare organizations and industry leaders to jump on board.