The history of healthcare has been marked by a constant evolution of medical science, from the first creation of vaccines to the discovery of penicillin. As the dust settles from COVID-19, the healthcare industry continues to experience rapid changes. Today, new technologies and virtual systems define the landscape as they become more prevalent than ever before.
While it remains difficult to predict the future of healthcare, one thing is certain: digital transformation is here to stay. The pandemic may have hastened this shift, but the innovative software and technologies that have emerged as a result are changing how healthcare organizations operate — and provide care to patients in a lasting way.
As healthcare continues to evolve, it’s increasingly critical for providers to embrace technological advancements to deliver the highest quality patient care. Here are some of today’s biggest digital healthcare trends that are set to impact the industry now and far into the future.
1. Digitization of Credentialing
During and after the pandemic, thousands of nurses were found to have falsified degrees and transcripts. This nursing fraud scheme — dubbed Operation Nightingale — shed light on serious vulnerabilities in the licensing and credentialing processes that many healthcare facilities use (or lack). The pandemic placed verifications on the back burner, leaving many teams struggling to catch up. Compounded by high staff turnover, the number of credentialing tasks has also grown exponentially.
Luckily, advancements in technology, such as AI, machine learning, and automation, offer efficiencies that teams can’t ignore. Digital credentialing can greatly increase accuracy and speed, allowing providers to get in front of patients faster, while still giving facilities the peace of mind that comes with proper verification. It also provides an easy way to store documents together for easy access.
As we continue to navigate these challenges, it’s critical to explore the benefits of digital credentialing to streamline the process and improve patient care.
2. A Shift to Digital Data Storage
As the number of patients increases, so does the volume of paperwork. Keeping track of documents is tedious and storing physical copies can be a headache. That’s why one of the biggest digital health trends on the rise right now is the move towards electronic storage. The transition to a digital system allows for easier tracking and access to patient data, eliminating the need for physical storage space.
Electronic storage also allows for increased security and privacy of patient information, which is crucial. Beyond that, there are clear advantages in the way of accessibility and information sharing:
Single source for important documents
Effective, efficient management of healthcare policies and documents is critical in ensuring that healthcare providers comply with regulatory standards. With the ever-increasing amount of information, it can be challenging for providers to manage their policies and documents effectively. Digital systems make collaboration, version control, and access make it so much easier. Every member of the healthcare team can quickly and easily access critical documents online, to enhance efficiency and productivity.
Safety Data Sheets at your fingertips
Regulatory bodies require healthcare organizations to obtain a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for every product they use. The process of obtaining, organizing, and keeping track of SDSs can be tedious and time-consuming. Fortunately, housing them in a digital binder can greatly simplify the process, making them easily accessible for medical teams. Compliance platforms like MedTrainer offer millions of pre-uploaded sheets that teams can utilize without having to go through the scanning process. Ultimately, it saves time and promotes safety in healthcare facilities.
With digital health becoming more prevalent, this shift towards electronic storage is a necessary step in streamlining healthcare practices and improving patient care.
3. Focus on Cybersecurity
While the pandemic may have revealed vulnerabilities in healthcare software, its impact has raised awareness about the need for enhanced security measures. Malicious hackers have preyed upon hospitals, reinforcing the urgency for heightened cybersecurity. In addition to patient privacy and safety, keeping within HIPAA guidelines is a legal requirement for healthcare organizations.
Implementing digital software systems is becoming increasingly necessary to better manage compliance. With the adoption of proper technical safeguards, healthcare facilities can focus on the well-being of their patients, without worrying about the risks of a security breach.
Keep in mind that simply installing cybersecurity safeguards isn’t enough — there’s a human element to consider, as well. Teaching employees to be mindful of their digital habits and cognizant of the tactics bad actors use can put your organization in a position to enjoy the benefits of digital technology, without falling victim to its pitfalls.
4. Technology To Train Staff
More and more, healthcare organizations are turning to technology to fill training gaps caused by an industry-wide staffing shortage. A learning management system (LMS) allows employees to take courses online at their convenience. Digital training platforms offer staff increased flexibility, without having to rearrange their schedules to accommodate in-person training.
Along with the staffing shortage comes the demand to accomplish more in less time. A digital LMS reduces — if not eliminates — the need for staff to sign in on a paper log, turn in paper quizzes, or interrupt the flow of their workday. Furthermore, digital learning eliminates the need for trainers to tally sign-in sheets, tediously add attendee names into Excel spreadsheets, collect paper assessments, score quizzes, and manually track training progress. Within an efficient, cloud-based platform, everything from assigning courses, completing courses, and viewing score reports is achieved in just a few seconds with a few clicks.
5. Provider-Friendly Software
It’s no secret that caregivers in the healthcare industry are experiencing serious burnout. The long hours, constant pressure, and emotionally demanding nature of their work takes its toll, leaving many providers feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. Thankfully, emerging digital healthcare trends offer some relief.
One such trend is the development of user-friendly interfaces that make healthcare software more accessible and easier to navigate. Cloud-based storage solutions are also saving providers valuable time and energy by providing them with quick and efficient access to the information they need.
These advancements in technology are a promising step forward for the industry, and their impact on caregiver burnout can’t be overstated.
Keep Pace With These Digital Healthcare Trends
Digital healthcare trends, or technologies, have become a vital aspect of healthcare facilities, benefiting not only the hospital staff but also their patients. The use of these technologies has improved the efficiency of healthcare systems, enabling medical professionals to deliver results and provide care faster than ever before — but keeping up with the ever-evolving landscape of digital health can be a daunting task for healthcare providers. MedTrainer can help.
Our suite of healthcare compliance tools and SDS management programs enables healthcare providers to deliver care with ease, streamlining complex processes through digital means. With MedTrainer as your partner, your facility can stay up-to-speed with the latest digital healthcare trends and make the most out of technology to provide better care.
Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help bring the forefront of digital health to your organization.