BlackPoint Healthcare Series: How Technology Can Increase Revenue and Reduce Overhead
We are continuing our 3-part Healthcare Series where we explore 1.) how technology, connected devices, and automation can improve your productivity, 2.) how to cut costs using that technology, and 3.) how to protect that technology from cyber-attacks.
Healthcare organizations are transforming everyday by leveraging data to create new operational efficiencies and collect better data around what does and does not work. Accurate collection of healthcare data minimizes errors, increases preventative care solutions, and extends care beyond the hospital bed, saving both time and money.
Too many people and not enough seats, immersed in a cacophony of sneezes, coughs, sniffles, and the unsettling feeling you may walk out with a few more cold germs than you walked in with. The average waiting room experience is not one most patients look forward to – that is, assuming they’re able to make an appointment in the first place. With a national doctor shortage fueled by population growth and aging baby boomers, patients are now waiting an average of 24 days for a scheduled appointment with
a doctor. The experience can be just as stressful for care providers; with waiting rooms often bursting at the seams, many doctors feel conflicted taking even short breaks between appointments. Enter telemedicine. Enabling healthcare professionals to evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients at virtually any distance using telecommunications technology, telemedicine drives more flexible office hours, fewer patients in waiting rooms, and less patient non-compliance with treatment plans, as more consistent follow-up is possible through video calls in lieu of clinic visits.
Medical equipment that lasts is critical to the hospital or clinic. Healthcare employees use this equipment to transport, care for, monitor, and cure patients. Advances in IoT (Internet of Things) within the medical equipment industry, such as hospital beds and bathing equipment, can save hospitals and clinics time and money. Innovative, durable, and intuitive self-cleaning and self-maintenance designs are developed on a regular basis. More efficient and better-constructed equipment can not only help to prevent injuries for both patients and the staff, but can last longer, which decreases the cost of replacing them, lowering the cost of hospital stays and clinical visits overall.
Additionally, telemedicine creates a new revenue stream for doctors. In fact, with the addition of five telehealth calls a day, five days a week, a doctor can potentially add $3,500 in monthly revenue. The promise of saving time for your facilities management team and cost savings to please healthcare administration. Healthcare IoT will drive both better decisions and cost savings facility maintenance, ensuring that patients are cared for better, treatment results are improved leading to a decrease in healthcare cost.
In addition to the durable equipment, advances in imaging equipment and diagnostics can not only save money, but save lives as well. The latest advances in imaging provide sharper and more detailed views, which can prevent unnecessary exploratory surgeries and help the physician select the correct treatment the first time. Diseases such as cancer can be detected earlier, which also enables the physician to act faster. Early detection is critical when diagnosing cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. In addition to imaging tests, advances in other diagnostic tests such as DNA technology can speed the diagnosis as well as prevent errors, which can save money by preventing repeat tests as well as help the physician to make treatment decisions more quickly.
IoT business is booming, and only getting bigger. With the need for more advanced and personalized treatment pushing the market, connected healthcare is forecasted to reach $117 billion by 2020. The potential of emerging technology within the healthcare sector is boundless, transforming care delivery, patient satisfaction and the very industry itself. Driving lower cost and higher accountability, while placing patient satisfaction at the forefront, most facilities are looking for the right tools to make it happen.
Finally, the latest breakthroughs in medical informatics have revolutionized the way in which medical offices are run. New electronic filing systems help streamline appointment booking as well as remind office staff and physicians to schedule specific patients for tests and regular check-ups. In addition, these programs store patient health records, which helps to identify patients who are good candidates for clinical trials, analyzes demographic data, and allows physicians to analyze treatment outcomes.
Like other uses of technology, physicians and administrators must consider the legal and ethical implications of purchasing new technologies. New advances in medical equipment, testing, and programs can provide better results and save money when they are used correctly, but some pieces of technology may not be worth the cost. Some new technologies can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, which has to be passed along to the patients and the insurers. Physicians and administrators must consider the benefits of the technology and the long term costs before new technologies are purchased.
In this day and age, the cost of healthcare is being scrutinized and wasteful spending is being eliminated from medical systems. The cost of purchasing new equipment is a large expense, and hospitals and clinics may find themselves under increasing pressure to justify their purchases. While current climate is unlikely to halt research and development, we may see new, more efficient technologies being developed with a focus on cost effectiveness rather than just for the results the technology can provide.
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