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5-Features-of-an-EMS-Computer-Aided-Dispatch-System

5 Features of an Excellent EMS Computer Aided Dispatch System

Time is of the essence when your organization is in the business of saving lives. To improve response time and promote clear and concise communication between all parties involved, you need to make use of a customizable yet reliable computer-aided emergency dispatch system to coordinate with the rest of your team members. 

5-Features-of-an-EMS-Computer-Aided-Dispatch-System

If you’re in the market for emergency dispatch software specially designed to meet the needs of your EMS organization and improve the services that you provide your clients, there are a couple of things that you can do to make your selection process much faster and easier. One of these is listing down all the features that you want your ideal solution to have. Exactly what features should a dispatch software include so that it can help your institution provide high-quality service during stressful and critical situations? Here are a few that you should consider:

Mobile-Ready

Almost everyone owns a smartphone these days, and more often than not, your staff members access their daily schedules through their smartphones. When you’re dealing with medical emergencies on a daily basis, it is simply not ideal to rely solely on a computer or website to find out what your next schedule or assignment is. Therefore, it makes sense for your dispatch system to feature a mobile app that your team members can access in a heartbeat. 

Once they have the app installed on their mobile phones, your personnel won’t have to log in using a browser every single time just to see their updated tasks. Also, they can receive real-time notifications for urgent assignments. These features, in turn, will help your organization maximize the use of technology and minimize the time you need to provide your services. 

Visual Dispatching

The act of organizing a dispatch can take up a lot of time. Some systems will require you to manually input the time, location, situation, type of vehicle, personnel, and other details that are needed to carry out a proper response, and this can eat up precious minutes. 

Visual dispatching is a much faster alternative to this dated method. Simply put, visual dispatching allows you to click, drag, and drop a crew member’s details to a schedule grid, and your crew member will know about their current tasks or upcoming schedule changes. This method will make it easier for your dispatchers to manage both scheduled and unscheduled assignments that pass through your system. Also, because you can readily see everyone’s timetable, you’ll have an easy time identifying and filling up available slots. 

Multiple Manager Access

Companies that focus on maintaining public health are often open 24/7. EMS organizations typically have to change the schedule of their personnel every now and then to ensure that there are enough staff members to respond to the needs of their clients. This is true with both the EMS crew members on the ground and the dispatchers who coordinate their efforts. 

Patient-data-accuracy-can-be-ensured-with-RightPatient

RightPatient enhances patient identification.

Your online scheduling application, then, should allow more than 1 person to work in an administrative capacity. The system should feature multiple levels of access rights to ensure security. While one person can serve as the system’s primary administrator, the others can be given administrative privileges that they can use when the primary manager is out of their workstation. This way, your organization can continue providing its services even if there’s a sudden change in your staffing schedule. 

Active UHU Percentage

Your dispatch system effectively records the time that your team members are on the clock. This puts it in a unique position to report on Unit Hour Utilization (UHU). This key metric is what most EMS organizations monitor frequently when they have profitability in mind.

Using this metric, EMS organizations can track whether their ambulances are being utilized effectively and whether their crew members are being put to work. To maintain or increase profits, some EMS organizations set a minimum UHU goal to achieve. Besides profitability, this metric also helps dispatchers to allocate resources effectively so crew members are not stretched too thin. That way, crew members can provide better quality care and service even during stressful and critical situations.

Integration with Other Modules

Last but not least, your dispatch software should have the ability to easily integrate with other modules. When every module is sitting on an independent island, numerous IT resources and API calls are needed to get all data in one place. Headaches and frustration arise when you get data integration errors.  Your staff will then have to either fix the issues or key in those data, a highly inefficient process.

At the minimum, your computer-aided dispatch should integrate with ePCR and billing. If that’s the case, then you can improve cash flow dramatically because your billers can bill the dispatch as soon as it is finalized. Also, when your dispatch system is integrated with employee scheduling, you can eliminate the mistakes of assigning someone who is on PTO to a dispatch. These are just a few benefits when you use an all-in-one solution for EMS organizations. 

Conclusion

In order to provide people with quick, efficient, and life-saving services, your EMS organization should be supported by a computer-aided dispatch system that’s designed to meet today’s growing demands. To start, sit down with your team members to list down the essential and nice-to-have features as well as functionalities that you want to see in your next dispatch system. Then, use this list as a guide when checking out your options, or use it to formulate questions when you’re shopping for software providers. Doing so allows you to easily narrow down the vendors that offer concrete solutions to the dispatch system issues that you are facing today.

RightPatient-prevents-EHR-data-corruption

Senators Focusing on Improved EHR Data Shows the Importance of Patient Identification

Unfortunately, even now, many believe that patient misidentification is not a significant issue within the US healthcare system. Even many healthcare providers don’t think of it as a huge problem. They fail to acknowledge that patient misidentification corrupts EHR data significantly, leads to patient record mix-ups, is one of the causes of wrong medical procedures, causes avoidable medical errors, and more.

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Let’s break down why they are wrong and how patient misidentification is a huge issue by observing what others are doing to solve it and how RightPatient is helping ensure positive patient identification

Patient misidentification is a huge deal – corrupting EHR data is just one of its consequences

A crucial factor that can lead to better patient safety within hospitals, according to the Joint Commission’s National Patient Safety Goals for 2021, is by identifying patients accurately. That’s precisely why it has listed improving patient identification on the top of its list. Each year, the Joint Commission releases goals based on research that they believe will enhance patient safety. Each year, patient identification improvement is always one of the many goals, sometimes even topping the list (just like this year).

There are many healthcare organizations and associations such as AHIMA (The American Health Information Management Association) and CHIME (The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives) that focus on patient misidentification, its consequences (EHR data corruption, patient safety issues, detrimental healthcare outcomes), and the need for accurate patient identification.

Even last year, many organizations came together and formed a coalition called “Patient ID Now” for a national patient identifier. Unfortunately, there is very little progress in that area (as of now), and if the past tells us something, then the UPI (unique patient identifier) is still far from reality. Many organizations, healthcare experts, and officials urge the government to lift the ban on creating a state-funded UPI. Unfortunately, the ban has been in effect for more than two decades due to “privacy concerns”. 

RightPatient-enhances-patient-identification

However, while all of that is occurring, patient misidentification is still thriving and causing issues such as duplicate medical records, corrupting EHR data, hampering patient safety, causing avoidable medical errors, and more. Fortunately, more people are identifying how big of a problem it is. 

Patient misidentification is an issue significant enough to bring senators from different parties together. An effort taken by bipartisan senators is focused on improving patient record matching in hospitals and health systems, something that they believe is crucial for vaccine distribution as well.

Called the “Patient Matching Improvement Act”, it aims to provide vaccination sites, hospitals, and testing labs access to the US Postal Service’s address-formatting tool for improving patient record linkages. They believe that this will help contact tracing efforts and track community spread more accurately.

After the pandemic, it will also help improve EHR data within hospitals and health systems as they believe it will help improve patient identification. But will it be enough on its own, if it ever leaves the Senate health committee? What are responsible caregivers doing now to prevent patient misidentification? 

RightPatient effectively prevents data corruption

While there are several solutions available, the most feasible one, given the pandemic, is RightPatient. It is a touchless biometric patient identification platform that is the choice of responsible healthcare providers. Since it is touchless, it doesn’t create infection control issues for healthcare providers – improving patient safety and ensuring hygiene.

It enhances patient safety, prevents medical identity theft in real-time, ensures that patients are identified at any touchpoint across the care continuum, and is even ideal for telehealth sessions.

However, if the Patient Matching Improvement Act is introduced, RightPatient can augment its effectiveness further, as it is a tried and tested platform used by responsible caregivers – are you one of them?

Tips For Improving Patient Satisfaction In Surgery Centers

Tips For Improving Patient Satisfaction In Surgery Centers

Are you an administrator looking to expand or improve your hospital’s ambulatory surgical center’s operations? One critical component to every healthcare facility’s success is positive feedback. Use these practical tips to improve your patient’s satisfaction.

Tips For Improving Patient Satisfaction In Surgery Centers

What Is an Ambulatory Surgical Center?

Ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) were created to administer a variety of low-risk surgeries. Some routine procedures performed at an ASC include:

  • Arthroscopy.
  • Cataract surgery.
  • Cesarean section.
  • Dental restoration.
  • Gastric bypass.

What Are the Benefits of an ASC?

ASCs are becoming an increasingly accessible option for many patients. These centers offer a variety of benefits such as:

  • Same-day discharge.
  • Lower out-of-pocket costs.
  • Higher nurse-to-patient ratios.
  • Lower risk of infection.
  • Improved recovery.

What Is Patient Satisfaction?

Patient satisfaction measures how pleased a person is with their level of care. This accounts for services both inside and outside the surgeon’s office. A patient’s feedback provides administrators with valuable insights into the effectiveness of the medical staff’s care and empathy level. 

How Is It Measured?

Patient surveys are an integral way to measure their overall satisfaction. Whether it’s in person, written, or over the phone, obtaining this information helps healthcare administrations identify gaps and develop quality improvement initiatives. Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) is the industry standard for reporting patient experiences and their perspectives of the care they receive.

Tips for Improving Patient Satisfaction in Your ASC

A patient’s satisfaction level affects many areas of your ASC, such as patient retention, clinical outcomes, and medical malpractice claims. Healthcare executives and physicians can institute a few easy strategies to improve patient experience at ambulatory surgical centers across their system. 

Use Your Patient’s Name

For many patients, their hospital experience is often impersonal. Doctors may forget about one of the most important tools in their arsenal — a friendly hello. More than merely greeting your patients, use their first name.

Ensuring Accurate Patient Identification

One of the biggest pain points faced by any healthcare provider, whether health systems or ASCs, is patient identification errors. In the case of ASCs, these errors lead t mix-ups, wrong surgeries, and worse. Many healthcare providers are preventing these issues with touchless biometric patient identification platforms like RightPatient. By identifying patients accurately at any touchpoint within the care continuum, RightPatient enhances patient safety and personalized the experience – improving patient satisfaction in the process. 

Make Eye Contact

Keeping eye contact with the person you’re talking to shows that you are actively listening to what they have to say. A friendly, sympathetic attitude helps patients feel more at ease. It’s essential for building rapport and is a sign of care and respect. 

Focus on Patient Education

Information is vital to a person’s decision-making process and empowers them to better direct their healthcare. Enlist the help of nurses and other support staff to help educate patients, and remember to use layman’s terms.

Create a Welcoming Environment

Most people think a medical center is a cold and sterile place. Make sure your ASC is tidy, and add some comfortable seating arrangements, soothing artwork, and soft lighting to create an attractive aesthetic.

Upgraded systems

Value stream mapping (VSM) is a business management method physicians can use to analyze and improve patient flow. It gives administrators the tools to identify inefficiencies during any step of a patient’s experience.

Take advantage of these tips to ensure a positive patient experience. Create a welcoming environment for patients and add a personal touch. You’ll soon see your survey results improve.

Accurate-patient-identification-with-RightPatient

RightPatient Can Prevent Medical Mistakes, Patient Mix-ups, and More

While 2020 felt like a very long year for all the wrong reasons, it has been already two months into 2021, fortunately. However, COVID-19 is still having a significant effect, especially on the US healthcare system. One of the many issues that were present even during the COVID-19 waves was patient identification errors, and it demonstrated that healthcare providers need to upgrade their patient identification systems immediately. Patient record mix-ups, preventable medical mistakes, sending reports to the wrong patients, and not finding the patient records were just a few of the problems healthcare teams faced during the pandemic.

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However, there’s a more serious concern up ahead. As the vaccine starts to slowly but steadily reach the general public, potential vaccine mix-ups might occur as a result of patient misidentification. This will severely jeopardize vaccine rollouts and make them lose their efficacy.

While patient identification issues and their several consequences have been present for a long time, they can be prevented with an effective patient identification platform like RightPatient – let’s explore.

How RightPatient works to prevent medical mistakes

RightPatient is a touchless biometric patient identification platform that helps hospitals and health systems prevent patient identification errors and mix-ups. It attaches the patent’s photo and biometric data to the medical records during registration. During subsequent visits, patients are required only to look at the camera – the platform verifies their identities and provides the appropriate medical records.

One of the best parts is that RightPatient is contactless, making it feasible for a post-pandemic environment, as it prevents HAIs (hospital-acquired infections). Moreover, it can also be used at any touchpoint across the care continuum, making it ideal for telehealth sessions. 

That was a lot about how RightPatient works – let’s see the issues it prevents – and can prevent – for healthcare providers. 

The problems RightPatient addresses

RightPatient prevents duplicate medical records

Duplicate medical records have been creating mix-ups, preventable medical mistakes, and more, leading to detrimental patient outcomes, impacting patient safety, revenue cycle issues, and lower bottom lines. Since RightPatient can identify registered patients right from the start, it prevents the creation of additional duplicate medical records as well as medical errors – improving patient safety and healthcare outcomes.

Prevent-medical-mistakes-with-RightPatient

RightPatient eliminates preventable medical mistakes

One of the biggest issues patient identification errors create is medical errors. For instance, patient A will get medications that are actually required by patient B – a single mistake can be disastrous. Moreover, there have been cases where one patient received a transplant that was supposed to be received by an entirely different patient. However, since their names or demographic characteristics were similar, a mix-up occurred. Fortunately, RightPatient prevents such cases – ensuring quality and safety in healthcare facilities.

RightPatient prevents medical identity theft and protects patient data

One of the prominent reasons medical identity theft cases are successful is because there is no way to catch the fraudster. Conventional patient verification methods are not well-equipped to handle misidentifications, let alone detect fraudsters.

Fortunately, RightPatient can accurately identify patients using their photos; whenever the fraudster tries to pass themselves off as the patient (or victim), the platform red-flags them, preventing medical identity theft in real-time. This helps in a number of ways – patient information is protected from being corrupted, litigation costs are prevented by the healthcare provider and patient safety is ensured.

Can RightPatient prevent vaccine mix-ups?

While most of us among the general public wait for the vaccine rollouts, we have to remember that, at this point, to ensure maximum protection, we require two doses of the vaccine. However, imagine this – a hospital is housing vaccines from two different manufacturers. What if a patient receives the shot of Pfizer’s vaccine the first time and the second dose is from Moderna? 

Unfortunately, vaccine mix-ups are occurring as we speak, and it might significantly reduce the effectiveness of the vaccines, putting numerous lives at risk. Moreover, many of these cases might occur due to patient misidentification.

Fortunately, RightPatient can help hospitals and health systems to determine patients’ identities accurately, prevent record mix-ups, and ensure efficient vaccine administration without any hiccups, enhancing patient protection against the virus.

Responsible healthcare providers have been using RightPatient for years – preventing patient safety issues, avoidable medical mistakes, duplicate medical records, and medical identity theft in real-time. Contact us now to be a more responsible healthcare provider.

Patient-information-protection-is-a-huge-concern-RightPatient

Is Patient Information Protection Possible With Rising Cybersecurity Threats?

Healthcare is always in the spotlight – mostly because of the wrong reasons. Some of the many topics that often come up when discussing healthcare issues are data breaches, medical identity theft, the lack of interoperability, the lack of patient information protection measures, patient identification issues, among other things.

Patient-information-protection-is-a-huge-concern-RightPatient

However, due to the pandemic, telehealth has become a mainstream tool to provide patient care outside of healthcare facilities. While telehealth has been an extremely useful medium for caregivers and patients, there are valid concerns regarding its security. Moreover, even before that, cybersecurity threats have been growing considerably for the last few years.

That being said, let’s take a closer look at the recent state of healthcare data breaches, how the data were obtained from hospitals, and if patient information protection is possible.

The pandemic showed patient information protection measures were not enough

When the pandemic started, healthcare providers in the US had their hands full – not only did they have their usual problems to tackle, but also they had to deal with the surge of COVID-19 cases that overwhelmed their facilities. Quite naturally, healthcare frontline teams, facilities, and anyone else involved with them was pushed to their limits. Fortunately, there was a ray of hope when many hackers pledged that they won’t focus on hospitals since they were facing the biggest challenge in decades. However, not all the hackers shared the same sentiment – many chose to attack during this vulnerable period. 

For instance, by the end of 2020, many hospitals and health systems were victims of a wave of cybersecurity attacks that left them paralyzed. The attacks forced them out of their systems – disrupting healthcare operations until the hackers’ demands were met. Moreover, even prominent health systems took days to restore and operate normally.

Others were handicapped, and while not fully locked out of their systems, these caregivers were unable to provide accurate healthcare services too. For instance, they had read-only access to patient records, meaning that they couldn’t update the records themselves, which is usually done after seeing the patient (virtually or otherwise). As a result, a lot of scheduled visits, surgeries, and elective procedures had to be stalled or postponed. Cyberattacks ultimately harmed the bottom lines of affected hospitals. However, all of these attacks, delays, and threats led to the conclusion that patient information protection must be upgraded significantly to ensure quality and safety in healthcare.

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How patient information is typically protected

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is primarily focused on protecting patient information from internal and external threats or data breaches. It applies to any organizations (known as business associates) that deal with patient information or PHI (protected health information). HIPAA even has a Breach Notification Rule that provides guidelines for hospitals that suffer breaches. Unfortunately, there are many cases where HIPAA violations do occur, leading to hefty fines and loss of goodwill.

But how do hospitals typically ensure patient information protection? 

Well, different healthcare providers have different guidelines, budgets, constraints, and advantages. However, some of the more common ways hospitals and health systems protect patient information are:

  • Having a robust policy in place
  • Developing a culture that focuses on protecting patient information
  • Regularly providing training to staff members that access patient information
  • Performing internal audits
  • Having a security improvement plan in place 
  • Monitoring access and restricting unauthorized individuals
  • Pursuing HIPAA compliance
  • Encrypting patient information both in transit and at rest

Patient information protection needs an upgrade

While the aforementioned were some of the common security safeguards hospitals use to protect patient information, the pandemic showed the flaws of the existing cybersecurity measures. Also, another factor to consider is that not every healthcare provider has state-of-the-art cybersecurity measures in place – many are restricted by budgetary issues, bureaucracy, and current priorities their leaders have.

Telehealth raised security concerns

Moreover, telehealth has changed the rules. When the pandemic struck the US in full force, it forced the government to relax rules regarding virtual visits. While this was to make telehealth easier for patients and caregivers, it also opened doors for hackers. Cybersecurity experts were understandably worried about frauds – they already occur during inpatient visits, what about virtual ones? 

As a result, due to ever-increasing cyberattacks, healthcare data breaches seem inevitable, don’t they? However, their effects can be mitigated by preventing medical identity theft – that’s where RightPatient comes in. 

RightPatient can mitigate the effects of data breaches

A robust patient identification platform used by leading providers, RightPatient locks EHRs with patients’ photos and their biometric data upon enrollment. During subsequent visits, patients only need to look at the camera – the platform runs a search, and, upon a positive match, provides the accurate EHR within seconds. Fraudsters are red-flagged during the verification process, preventing medical identity theft in real-time and protecting patient information.

RightPatient is versatile enough to be used at any touchpoint across the care continuum – making it feasible for telehealth sessions. Responsible caregivers have been using the platform for years now – are you one of them? 

Telehealth in the Covid era - from coordinating care to saving lives

Telehealth in the COVID Era – From Coordinating Care to Saving Lives

How telehealth evolved due to Covid

Even before the novel coronavirus pandemic broke out across the world, technologies like telehealth video conferencing were penetrating more and more institutions with the promise of new efficiencies for doctors and patients. 

Telehealth in the Covid era - from coordinating care to saving lives

The COVID‐19 emergency disrupted even the most stable healthcare systems, speeding up the introduction of new care modalities. Multiple telehealth solutions got the green light in clinics and hospitals to permit the delivery of comprehensive, high-quality care in new conditions.

Training and care coordination for pandemic responders

In the hectic first months of the pandemic, when governments and health systems were working out a response to an unprecedented situation, telehealth proved to be an indispensable tool for training and collaboration. 

Thanks to specialized telecommunications solutions, doctors from different institutions and even countries have been able to carry out distance education courses, deliver critical COVID-19 training for rural providers, and streamline real-time collaboration with out-of-hospital providers.

Addressing the needs of vulnerable groups

Domestic violence victims

Recent surveys have shown that the pandemic has had an impact on domestic violence victims as well, with people in abusive households facing a higher risk of isolation, depression, and suicide due to widespread social distancing and lockdown measures. 

Telehealth can go a long way in providing domestic violence victims and survivors with important psychological services whenever and wherever it’s comfortable for them. One example is The Zepf Center, a non-profit behavioral health center in Ohio that is now partnering with Bethany House and the YWCA of Northwest Ohio to install telehealth systems on-site and run an awareness campaign. The project will enable abuse survivors to connect with much-needed psychiatric, therapy, and case management services. 

Elderly patients

Out of all at-risk demographics, the coronavirus has especially heavy consequences among the elderly. In a situation where seniors have to minimize close contact with other people and postpone non-urgent medical visits to avoid contagion, their healthcare routines are being disrupted and key services become unavailable.  

New telehealth initiatives are now targeting care delivery to elderly patients that stay at home for their safety or experience poor availability of care due to hospitals predominantly treating COVID-19 patients. In Maine, elderly residents will get access to wellness services and advanced care planning with the help of telehealth in a program coordinated by the University of New England.

Within the program, osteopathic medicine students and family medicine practitioners will be trained to deliver their services, such as annual and routine preventive care for seniors, via telehealth platforms.

Rare disease patients

Before COVID-19, people with rare diseases already routinely turned to telehealth to reach specific experts without traveling a long way. In the last months, the same technology turned from convenience to a life-saver, since many rare disease patients take medications that adversely affect their immune systems and increase the risk of infection. By moving face-to-face consultations online, users are able to receive the care they need regularly and safely. 

For example, hemophilia patients in Ireland benefit from a well-developed EHR system that simplifies the use of telemedicine for managing hemophilia treatments. Surveys among such patients have shown that 94% are satisfied or very satisfied with telehealth physical therapy, and 63% express interest in a remote exercise class by video or via an app.

Tackling emerging challenges of telehealth delivery 

Despite multiple advantages and high levels of motivation among stakeholders, telehealth video conferencing initiatives still face many hurdles in their implementation. Let’s have a closer look at some of them. 

Accessibility

Not all telehealth solutions that are currently in use accommodate well for people with visual impairments, motor impairments, and language barriers. The pandemic has also highlighted the inequalities in access to a stable phone or broadband connection, especially in rural areas. For example, among elderly Americans, just 55% own a smartphone or have broadband access at home. 

A related factor is the lack of familiarity with telehealth technologies among patients and doctors alike. Most elderly patients are comfortable with telephone consultations, and a much lower number can confidently use video conferencing. 

A concerted effort is needed to tailor telehealth solutions to the needs of patients and, on the other hand, to improve digital health literacy among affected patient subgroups. 

Scalability

Quite simply, the pandemic has put all digital systems in healthcare under increased pressure, and scalability has become an issue for many telehealth providers. 

Developers introduce highly available architectures to help doctors reach geographically distributed patients and support a larger number of concurrent connections. Another way of addressing the issue is cloud-based autoscaling – an approach that leverages the flexibility of the cloud to ramp up resources in real-time depending on the performance and current demand.

Regulation

To address the migration of multiple healthcare services to online platforms, regulatory bodies in many countries had to ease the existing restrictions around telehealth. In March 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in the U.S. reduced barriers to telehealth access. 

Among other changes, CMS dropped the rule that stipulated telehealth recipients needed a prior relationship with their healthcare professional of choice, which allowed doctors to offer consultations to new patients using telehealth. The easing of HIPAA requirements in telehealth also enables physicians to use popular videoconferencing platforms like Zoom and Skype for remote consultations.

Security

A lot of experts have been concerned about security issues that lead to cases of telehealth fraud and medical identity theft. Many hackers have even forced themselves into telehealth sessions, showing that an extra layer of security is required. 

Fortunately, medical identity theft is preventable if a robust patient identification platform is used to validate patients’ identities, and that is exactly what RightPatient does. It is a touchless biometric patient identification platform that uses patients’ photos to verify their identities and can be used across the care continuum, making it ideal for telehealth sessions. 

Conclusion

According to a report by The National Organization for Rare Disorders, before the pandemic, only about 0.01% of healthcare appointments in the U.S. were done via telehealth. By mid-April 2020, that number had risen to 69% of total appointments.

For many, a shift from in-person visits to telehealth in the current period improves safety and accessibility of qualified medical assistance. However, healthcare providers and regulators should take into account that for certain populations, the benefits of this transition also create new barriers and limitations. As we all work to minimize the COVID-19 risks, the efficiency and equitability of care delivery with telehealth should be examined in relation to various patient demographics.

6 Healthcare Technology Trends Accelerated By COVID-19 You Should Know

6 Healthcare Technology Trends Accelerated By COVID-19 You Should Know

Technology is the need of time. This era is moving, or you can say running on technology. Think for a while, is there any field that is performing its tasks without this gift of science? The answer is a big NO! And if every field is dependent on technology, why health lags?

6 Healthcare Technology Trends Accelerated By COVID-19 You Should Know

During this pandemic of COVID-19, we have seen drastic changes in our lives. Similarly, healthcare technology trends accelerated by COVID-19 are also one of those changes.

Healthcare needs advancement because the survival of the human race is dependent on this sector. COVID-1 has proved that many developed countries do not have advanced healthcare systems. And their healthcare sectors collapse within two months of pandemic during 2020. 

So, the world has realized the importance of technology. Because it improves the efficacy of healthcare professionals and improves the outcomes of the performing tasks.

Here are the healthcare technology trends accelerated by COVID-19;

E-Hospitals

E-hospitals are established to connect the patients, doctors, and hospitals on a single digital platform that helps in providing services to the citizens with great efficiency. 

This concept is broadly accepted all over the world during the COVID-19 pandemic peaks, as we need social distancing in this pandemic. And E-hospital is the only solution for this.

Through these hospitals, anyone can reach any doctor across the world. The data can be shared through digital media. And consultation can be provided from far distances.

E-Pharmacy

E pharmacy services are the unique way of facilitating the citizens and are provided during this pandemic. As we are using online portals for shopping and home deliveries, medicines can also be purchased through online platforms. 

Websites and Apps are available on which you can find and order the medicines and disposable medical essentials, and order them online.

Telemedicine

Telemedicine is a service through which healthcare professionals provide online consultations through digital platforms. Many websites and Apps are working day and night to connect the patients with the doctors. 

These platforms have a complete database of doctors according to their specialties. You can also search for a health professional according to the disease you are suffering from. 

You don’t need to wait in long queues or waiting areas of the clinics, rather you can book your appointment online and get your consultation while sitting in your homes.

However, there are growing concerns regarding healthcare fraud and medical identity theft cases during virtual sessions. Fortunately, innovative solutions like RightPatient can prevent medical identity theft even during telehealth visits since it can be used at any touchpoint across the care continuum to verify patients’ identities.  

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is enhancing the efficacy and outcomes of different health processes. It improves the diagnosis process, analysis, interpretation, and comprehension of complicated medical and healthcare data. 

It analyzes the data throughout the system. It helps in identifying the risks and infections. The data helps in predicting the future risks and healthcare outcomes.

Cloud Storage System

The storage system is like a cloud of data through which anyone can get information according to their need. A Cloud storage system in healthcare has all the necessary data stored in one place. 

And it can be accessible by anyone in the world. It is helpful in many ways like it is a cost-effective way of using the data and technology.

Wearables and Health-related apps

Covid19 led to wide usage of smart bands and health-related applications. The apps help in tracking your footsteps, workout, menstruation cycle, pregnancy, oxygen levels, heartbeat, and blood pressure, etc.

Similarly, people like to wear different smartwatches and bands to stay fit during this pandemic.

Living with the new normal is not that hard as it seems. If you just go with the flow and adopt the latest technology trends, you can easily survive this pandemic. 

Digital platforms like Marham are helping millions of peoples in connecting them with the best healthcare professionals while sitting in their homes. 

The website provides you a separate section of a health blog, in which you can read about the latest news related to COVID-19, health issues, remedies, best health professionals, and many more.

Now everything is just a click away in this online world. And you need to understand the benefits of these healthcare technology trends to get a better life ahead.

8-Strategies-That-Enhance-Safety-in-Hospitals-RightPatient

8 Strategies That Enhance Safety in Hospitals

Healthcare has always been under scrutiny by everyone, and it’s quite natural. After all, it is a system that has a direct impact on our lives. Diving deeper, one of the aspects that are examined thoroughly is safety in hospitals, and for good reason. For starters, hospitals are havens where the sick and injured ones among us go for treatment. Since the critically ill patients are already vulnerable, they need to be guaranteed a safe environment so that their health doesn’t worsen, for instance, by contracting viruses.

8-Strategies-That-Enhance-Safety-in-Hospitals-RightPatient

However, patient safety is just one side of the coin – physicians, nurses, and other staff members also need to be guaranteed safety. Just think about the COVID-19 fiasco – a patient with the virus can just pass it on to anyone in the hospital who is without protection. Thus, safety for both patients and hospital staff members is crucial to ensure quality and safety in healthcare facilities.

While we just explained why safety within healthcare facilities is important, let’s take a closer look at how it can be improved – for both patients and the hospital staff members.

Strategies that enhance safety in hospitals 

Have a robust patient safety policy in place

One of the most crucial ways to improve patient safety in hospitals is by having a written policy in place. It must outline the do’s and don’ts regarding normal as well as emergency patient safety incidents that may potentially occur within the premises. Having such a plan is more crucial than ever, given the pandemic. For instance, what to do during outbreaks, what to do when a patient contracts a virus, and similar scenarios must be included in the plan.

Keep critical materials in stock at all times

Healthcare providers know how big of a challenge COVID-19 has been. In fact, it is still wreaking havoc across the US healthcare system as well as the rest of the world. Using PPE in the new normal is important, not only for the individual’s safety but also for everyone else around them. 

Hospitals, however, are places where PPE is an absolute must. While surgical masks, gloves, etc. have been used for years by physicians and nurses mostly, it is required by everyone within healthcare facilities.

Thus, keeping a healthy amount of quality PPE in stock is a crucial factor that impacts both patient and employee safety – it helps safely provide uninterrupted healthcare services. Moreover, reordering them when inventory drops to around 40% is a good strategy – remember, most of these materials are disposable!

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Enforce safety measures on everyone on the premises

While there may be many individuals who might not like masks or other PPE, don’t let such behavior put your patients in jeopardy – it severely hampers safety in hospitals. Enforce rules within the healthcare facilities that apply to everyone. For instance, place posters on entrances and strategic places with messages that highlight the importance of masks as well as the fact that nobody is allowed to be there without proper PPE. Enforce social distancing as well, especially during patient registration, as many can forget about it during crucial moments.

Ensure proper waste management

This is a common but critical issue for any given healthcare provider, as most of them deal with discharges such as excretion, blood, etc. that might be contaminated. Properly label the trash cans or containers where these types of wastage go and also provide the employees with proper safeguards (masks, gloves, eye protection) so that they are safe while handling these materials. This won’t only help improve their safety, but the safety of everyone else they come in contact with.

Disinfectant commonly touched surfaces and materials

COVID-19 has demonstrated how quickly and effectively viruses spread and how they stay on surfaces for an extended period. Ensure that beds, bed sheets, and any other surfaces are kept clean regularly. Also, use disposable glasses, plates, and materials whenever possible so that transmission is kept to a minimum.

Continuously work on improving safety

Ensuring safety once is not enough in such a rapidly changing environment – any responsible hospital or health system must take safety as a process rather than a task. 

Set meaningful targets to improve patient safety, tools to monitor them, and follow up to observe how you are doing. For instance, zero patient harm can be a huge challenge, but moving toward that goal and implementing the practices required for it can significantly reduce patient safety incidents.

Deploy solutions that boost patient safety in hospitals

There are many solutions available that improve patient safety. However, one of the most crucial ones right now is RightPatient – a touchless biometric patient identification platform. But why is it needed so badly now?

Well, patient identification errors have been causing problems even during the pandemic and RightPatient solves that effectively. However, the best part is that it is entirely touchless, something that is a must in a post-pandemic world. All the patients need to do is look at the camera during – the platform attaches a photo and biometric data with the EHRs during registration. For subsequent visits, RightPatient runs a search when patients arrive and look at the camera, and provides the appropriate medical records in seconds. This helps to reduce HAIs (hospital-acquired infections) as there is no physical contact required. Moreover, patient safety is improved, medical errors are prevented, and healthcare outcomes are improved with RightPatient. 

Streamline OSHA compliance to improve employee safety

Hospitals have a lot on their plates as they must focus on employee safety as well as patient safety. Thankfully, CloudApper Safety, an OSHA recordkeeping software, can help with that. 

Employees can use it to share the best practices they deem suitable using their smartphones, and one of the main highlights is that the app can be used using mobile devices. Healthcare employees can report accidents, injuries, and near misses along with photos – helping streamline OSHA compliance. The management, on the other hand, can use all of the data, and work on corrective actions – improving safety in hospitals. It helps remove the administrative burden, streamline OSHA compliance, as well as reduce workplace safety incidents – enhancing safety for everyone involved.

Healthcare and technology

4 Ways Digitization is Transforming the Healthcare Industry

Technology has benefited almost every industry it has come into contact with. The impact that it has had on businesses is undeniable. Truly, shifting to digital systems has fundamentally changed the way that work is done, vastly improved upon existing processes, and enhanced how businesses engage and interact with their customers.

Healthcare and technologyEven healthcare, an industry known for being traditionally slow to adopt radical changes, is now embracing digital transformation as a response to ever-increasing regional and federal demands. This is done to improve the delivery of its services, operations, and outcomes. Indeed, digitization addresses some of the biggest problems facing healthcare systems all over the world. These include, but are not limited to, the rising cost of care, the poor quality and inaccessibility of healthcare services, inefficient back-office systems and processes, and the lack of personalized patient-specific treatment. 

Though these digital breakthroughs in healthcare may still be in their infancy stages, technology has still significantly transformed the relationship between health systems, healthcare providers, and patients. This can be seen from the digitization of health records to innovations in health insurance technology. Here’s a closer look at how digitalization is directly helping to save lives, greatly improve operational efficiency, and better the experience of both providing and receiving healthcare services:

Health Record Digitalization

Before digitization, patient medical records had to be manually encoded on paper before being transferred from department to department. It would be an understatement to say that it was a burdensome, time-consuming chore for everyone involved.

To make matters worse, the records themselves were inherently insecure and vulnerable to human error, loss, and damage. Simply locating an existing patient’s information could take a while, depending on the size of the institution. A person’s medical records could also be scattered across a variety of healthcare practitioners that offered different services. For example, a person’s dental records would traditionally be kept separate from their psychiatric records, their physical therapy records, and so on, hindering collaboration between a patient’s medical providers.

The introduction of the Electronic Health Record or EHR has been a blessing to both healthcare practitioners and patients everywhere. They allow providers and other authorized users to access accurate, complete, and up-to-date information about patients instantly and securely. EHRs help facilitate faster diagnoses, reduce medical errors, and improve the completeness and legibility of documentation. Additionally, they can bring down the cost of healthcare by avoiding duplicate testing and decreasing the time it takes to do administrative tasks.

Moreover, many healthcare providers are enhancing EHRs by ensuring accurate patient identification with RightPatient. It is a robust touchless biometric patient identification platform that prevents patient misidentification, duplicate medical records, and improves healthcare outcomes. 

Telemedicine

Access to quality healthcare continues to be an issue worldwide, especially in lower-income countries. They may suffer from weak healthcare infrastructure as well as a shortage of providers. Challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have also called for a definitive solution that will allow elderly patients and those with co-morbidities to safely see their healthcare providers without putting them at risk.

Telemedicine is the digital solution that can address all of these problems. Video conferencing allows medical professionals to see patients that may not be physically able to come to them. It also enables them to reach those who reside in rural or remote locations. They can even conduct one-on-one appointments with patients who live in other countries. Additionally, telecommunication is a valuable educational tool that helps facilitate training and collaboration opportunities between healthcare institutions and providers separated by long distances. 

Big Data Analytics

Many of us have freely embraced technology as a way to proactively keep tabs on our own health. Our smartphones can automatically track how many steps we’ve taken in a day, while wearable electronic devices can provide insights into our resting heart rate and blood oxygen levels. There is also an abundance of health apps out there for a variety of use cases, from meal tracking and calorie counting to meditation and mental health improvement. 

This means that there is an ever-expanding pool of data that can be collected from these sources, the importance of which simply cannot be overstated. Big data, when harnessed effectively, can be used to create a more personalized approach to patient care. Analytics can also empower healthcare professionals in providing faster, more accurate diagnoses and making better treatment decisions. Most promising, though, is the possibility that, in the near future, big data can be used in conjunction with artificial intelligence and machine learning to predict a patient’s medical trajectory. 

Modernized Insurance Claims Processing

Health insurers are also benefiting from digital technologies, especially with regards to claims processing and adjudication. Claims management has long been considered a major pain point in the healthcare lifecycle. Nowadays, consumers are paying more than ever for premiums and out-of-pocket costs, but do not feel that they are getting their money’s worth from their insurance providers. Most of their dissatisfaction comes from delayed claims payments caused by inefficient claims processing. 

Digitizing claims processing and adjudication addresses the root of the problem. Going digital enables health insurers to streamline claims management and offer claims processing in real-time, thus vastly improving the experience for their customers.

Even now, the future is looking particularly bright for technology in healthcare. There are always exciting new developments to look forward to, and we can expect this digital revolution to continue in the years to come.

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5 Ways EHR benefits Healthcare Providers and Patients

Usually, our blog mostly talks about the issues that plague the US healthcare system. Moreover, the majority of 2020 did not give much scope to talk about anything positive, especially in the healthcare space. It has been a rollercoaster ride for all of us, and with the breakthrough vaccines, all of that is hopefully behind us. That being said, we wanted to focus on something positive this time around – the benefits of EHR (electronic health record) systems. They have been in use for years and most of us have taken them for granted. However, EHR systems provide a host of benefits for everyone involved – making processes more streamlined, boosting coordinated care, and improving patient care. Let’s take a look at 5 ways EHR benefits both healthcare providers and patients and how it improves healthcare outcomes.

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5 ways in which EHR benefits healthcare

Before electronic health records, healthcare providers used paper records. While they had some benefits at the time, they had a number of drawbacks as well. For instance, paper medical records took up a significant amount of space.  If a hospital has thousands of patients,  where would all the records be stored? Moreover using paper was not feasible – if you made mistakes, then they had to be crossed out and rewritten. Finally, it was extremely difficult to search for paper medical records. All of these issues are eliminated with electronic health records. 

While the aforementioned were some commonly known EHR benefits, let’s take a look at how it improves healthcare.

Boosts coordinated care

In the earlier decades, patients usually had visited a single hospital, had a single healthcare provider, and all of their doctors were from the same system. Now, healthcare has become complex, includes physicians from different hospitals, and requires all of them to communicate to provide better and coordinated care.

EHR benefits coordinated care efforts significantly. The physicians of a single patient can access their digital medical records that are kept at a centralized location. They can make necessary changes, obtain critical information, and make informed decisions, all of which are recorded within the EHRs, helping everyone to work together.

CMS has also mandated healthcare providers using EHR systems to support e-notifications in order to boost interoperability and enhance coordinated care. Fortunately, RightPatient can help send out accurate alerts and prevent false ones. 

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Ensures a well-organized database

Since EHRs are digital, they need to be stored somewhere – a database, to be precise. With EHR systems, healthcare providers can store their data in a centralized location if they choose to do so, as many of them back up the data in other locations. As all of the data is in a single location, it is much easier to manage, access, update, and keep track of activities such as changes made.

EHR benefits patient care

Interrelated with the previous points, EHRs help enhance patient care, as information is retrieved and stored faster, something that is critical during time-sensitive cases to make informed decisions. Moreover, most of these records are virtually error-free, and if not, they can be rectified whenever required.

Secures patient data

EHRs don’t have the risks associated with paper records – fire, water, or some other damage won’t be able to affect them. Moreover, most healthcare providers keep backups, so, in cases of emergency, the backups can be used. Moreover, the information is encrypted and sent via secure means, rendering it useless for hackers in most cases.

Improves efficiency

As previously mentioned, EHR systems dramatically improve efficiency. Prior to EHRs, caregivers had to search for the record manually and send faxed copies to labs, or other caregivers – something which was not secure, and recordkeeping was quite problematic. For instance, imagine that you sent a record of 4 pages, but you got back 10 pages in return that contained new information – recordkeeping was an administrative nightmare!

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With EHRs, the healthcare staff member simply puts the name in the search bar, identifies the accurate medical record, and sends it over securely. The EHR user doesn’t need to accommodate the new information; it automatically gets recorded in the original record, making everything more efficient than ever. Also, healthcare teams don’t need to visit each other to send over the records – one click and it’s sent over to the required individuals, saving time and costs.

RightPatient boosts EHR benefits

While EHRs have a number of advantages it brings for healthcare providers and patients, some external factors hinder them from providing the best possible experience. One such restriction is patient identification. 

The unique patient identifier (UPI) was supposed to be made around two decades ago, but due to privacy concerns, a ban was imposed on its funding. As a result, healthcare providers still struggle with patient identification errors. Not everyone faces these issues, though, many use RightPatient. 

RightPatient is a touchless biometric patient identification platform used by several responsible healthcare providers and clinics. It identifies patients accurately across the care continuum and becomes part of the EHR workflow. 

During enrollment, patients only need to look at the camera – the platform captures a photo and their biometric data and attaches them to their EHRs. Returning patients just have to look at the camera – RightPatient runs a search and provides accurate medical records in seconds, boosting EHR efficiency. The best part is that the process is entirely touchless, eliminating any chances for HAIs (hospital-acquired infections), making it ideal to be used in the post-pandemic world. 

RightPatient also prevents duplicate medical records and overlays – something that is extremely crucial to improve healthcare operations.

RightPatient enhances patient safety, improves patient outcomes, prevents medical identity theft, and boosts the bottom lines of healthcare providers – something that is vital right now to survive during the pandemic. Be a responsible healthcare provider and contact us now to learn how we can help your healthcare facility.