Healthcare technology is one of the fastest growing fields in our nation. It promises to create new opportunities for improved healthcare for all Americans. What exactly is healthcare technology? According to the World Health Organization, “Health science is the application of scientific knowledge and technologies in the field of health to enhance the quality of life and the impact of medical discovery for the betterment of health.” Healthcare technology includes information technologies, population management systems, patient-centric care delivery, and other technological advances that promote healthcare improvement.
Many experts believe that we are at the beginning of a new era of health care. “The rapid growth of information technology and associated clinical applications in the past decade have made medicine a science that is more like a service than a traditional profession,” according to an article in Trends in Biotechnology Education. With this focus on wellness and prevention, there is sure to be a big impact on the healthcare industry. According to estimates, by 2021 the United States will face a shortage of skilled healthcare workers. In fact, by 2021 the United States could see a loss of technician jobs because of the new emphasis on wellness.
One focus of healthcare technology is the development of technologically advanced equipment that can help doctors carry out their patients’ care. Clinical technologies now include heart rate monitors, end-cures, intra-operative digital software, telemetry and more. According to Trends in Biotechnology Education, the adoption of electronic medical record systems has helped doctors capture and store patient information in an organized manner, which in turn has reduced the chances of human error, decreased the need for duplicate tests and reduced the possibility of providing ineffective or harmful treatment.
Another focus of healthcare technology is to prevent disease. There are many developments in the technology field that aim to provide the best patient care possible by making the health of patients and the entire medical team known. Advancements in diagnostic technology have made it possible for many diseases to be diagnosed early and given the proper treatments. Advances in surgical technology enable doctors to perform very complicated and difficult operations, such as hip surgery, open heart surgery and cardiac surgeries with minimal risk to the patient. As a result of these advancements, technology plays a huge role in ensuring that patients stay healthy.
Advances in communications technology have helped to improve the healthcare industry’s ability to monitor patients, measure healthcare productivity and track patient recovery time. One such system is the Electronic Health Record (EHR), which aims to provide a safe, secure and reliable way for all healthcare workers to store and manage patient information in a secure and efficient manner. EHR technology can track all aspects of a patient’s healthcare, from their medical history to vital signs and prescription information. An EHR also reduces administrative tasks and provides access to vital data at the point of care.
Technology also helps healthcare workers deal with the daily challenges of patient care. With the increase in EMR technology, medical professionals can exchange documents easily and rapidly between departments. This allows workers to more effectively care for their patients, making the work environment less stressful and less cluttered. EMR and EHR technology can help doctors and other medical professionals to provide their patients with the best quality of care possible. It can even allow them to see improvements in their own health.
Because technology has played such a large part in improving healthcare, most hospitals and other health care organizations now have computerized systems designed to track patient records, order necessary lab tests and keep detailed patient histories. Due to EMR and EHR technology, healthcare workers are now able to identify potential problems early on in the patient’s case, allowing for more efficient treatment options and earlier recovery. The amount of time that a patient spends in the hospital or nursing care also decreases, making the overall healthcare experience more positive for everyone. A healthier patient may even end up saving the healthcare organization money in annual operating costs and medical care premiums.
The next few years will certainly be important years in the growth of healthcare technology. As medical professionals continue to improve the quality and life-saving results they can deliver through their work, the demand for this type of technology will continue to grow. As long as the healthcare industry remains lucrative, these advancements will continue to change the face of how medical professionals work. No one wants to leave the comfort of their own home or doctor’s office to travel to a strange place for routine care, so technology is an integral part of making this transition smoother for everyone involved. If you want to benefit from some of the latest and greatest technology in your field today, then it is definitely time for you to start looking for healthcare technology programs at your local college or university.
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