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The Top 7 Healthcare Tech Trends
Quality of care will always be central to healthcare, and advances in technology make it easier than ever to deliver that care to your patients. Cutting edge technology allows for greater connectivity between healthcare professionals, and it can help you educate and connect with your patients as well. As more and more healthcare providers embrace technology to boost performance and productivity, sticking with dated technology could cause your practice to lag behind those of your peers.
Multiple Signage Networks
Investing in high-quality multiple digital signage networks can not only educate your patients and help to relieve their anxiety, but it can save time for your staff as well. Use signage networks so patients can easily locate the amenities they need. Use the displays to let patients know what they can expect for common procedures. Display recovery and healthy lifestyle tips in an uplifting tone to put a friendly face on your practice. Digital signage can also let your patients’ loved ones track their treatment and progress, but be mindful of HIPPA compliance issues and protect the patients’ identity. Signage can support your staff, too. Displaying introductory videos and staff photos helps create a community feel in your practice to boost morale.
Many healthcare providers have turned to tablets, laptops and mobile devices — the market increased almost 10 percent from 2010 to 2015, according to research from IDC Health Insights. Tablets are light and designed for maximum portability, so you can easily access patient records without having to sit down at a laptop. Tablets also cut down on paperwork. You can track patient orders on the go, download records to your tablet, easily update patient information with each visit, and fax the records to a printer near you for an almost-instant hard copy. Tablets also help enhance patient education — use them to display relevant images or 3D models so your patients can learn more about their health, diagnosis and treatment.
A powerful laptop offers many of the same benefits of a tablet and helps to increase productivity. Like a tablet, a laptop lets you access and modify patient records easily. Where laptops really shine, however, is with ease-of-use and processing power. Laptops often make it easier and faster to input information — especially if you’re not used to typing on a touchscreen device. They have more screen real estate to toggle multiple windows at once. That’s great for comparing patient images and scans from multiple time points all on one screen to find subtle differences that could affect your treatment plan or patient outcome.
Although a powerful tablet or laptop can make your job easier, it won’t do much good without a high-quality internal network. Fast network connectivity allows for live syncing between your devices and fast communication between staff. Everyone is on the same page so your support staff can address patients’ and visitors’ concerns with up-to-date information. A speedy network router — paired with a quality Internet connection — also allows for easy videoconferencing. You can be sure you’re getting every important detail in a video consult with other healthcare professionals.
If you’ve ever tried to glean crucial information from a fuzzy, crackly speakerphone, you already know the importance of a high-quality phone. Crisp, clear audio from a speakerphone makes it easy to call in a consult or check in with a patient’s former healthcare provider without having to struggle to hear every detail. A high-quality speakerphone also makes it easier to keep up with the rapidly growing demand for medical translators. More and more patients require medical translation, while the number of available medical translators remains relatively stable. Existing translators spend hours running from consult to consult, grappling with overloaded timetables. A high-quality speakerphone makes it easier to access a medical translator remotely so you can more easily keep up with patient demand.
According to research by watchdog group Which?, the average touchscreen device has more microbes than a toilet seat. Going hands-free with a quality headset helps cut down on microbial transmission from your phone to your hands and vice versa. It also lets you comfortably record memos or talk on the phone while carrying your tablet or laptop, or talk hands-free to make notes. A headset also serves as a high-quality microphone, which can take the hassle out of transcribing dictation. A headset with high sound quality cuts down on unclear passages and background noise, even if you’re working in a busy or loud environment. You’ll make transcription easier for your staff, resulting in less wasted time, faster transcription turnaround, greater accuracy and fewer follow-up questions.
Gone are the days of clunky, slow printers that only work from a few machines. The newest printers sync perfectly with your wired and wireless networks so you can print from any authorized devices. Use a printer enabled for Wi-Fi to interact with your laptop and tablet on the go. Look for one with a large monthly duty cycle and RAM — 100,000 pages or more and at least one GB of RAM. Shop for printers that allow for USB connectivity so you can print from USB flash drives — no computer required.
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