Technology’s Influence on the Society
Technology’s Influence on the Society
The electronic health record is one of the technology’s influence on healthcare. The electronic health record includes the use of computers and information technology to manage patient’s data in terms of registration, clerkship, diagnosis, laboratory tests and administration of drugs. The electronic health record is also used by the hospitals’ administration to know the number of patients in the hospitals and hence they are able to budget and plan for the needs of the patients and the human resource, to handle the patients. In the past, the health records were on paper form and huge files. This prevented easy retrieval of huge files from the hospital records office. Sometimes the papers and files get lost or tear.
One could not track the record of the patients for any service received because information was fragmented as per the department. The electronic health records has ensured faster and easier retrieval of information. All the departments are connected to a single electronic computer system and hence it is easy to track all the services, laboratory and radiology services and reports of a single patients on one single sitting. Easy referral of patient to another physician is now easier with the electronic health records. The electronic health system has also integrated patient management and drug administration by nurses, which creates reminders and alarms for certain drugs to be administered to certain patients. It has also helped doctors by informing doctors of potential drug to drug interactions in instances where the doctor is overwhelmed by too much work and easy reference for the medical personnel.
The electronic medical records system has also been used by doctors off duty to check the vital signs and progress of a critically ill patient even when they are off station and out of work. Technology has brought about mobile healthcare for patients. This includes where patients can contact their doctors at the comfort of their homes. This is especially important for patients on chronic illnesses like diabetes, hypertension and asthma. This helps them to consult the doctors at any time of the day or night. Using mobile health care programs, the doctors are able to respond and advise the patients accordingly. The patients are also able to book appointments dates online and hence able to acknowledge that they will indeed attend the clinic visits.
Patients can also be able to access and learn about their ailments via mobile healthcare applications. This helps them to know how best to handle their ailments and the questions to ask the doctors during office visits for clarification. Using mobile healthcare, the patients can also take vital signs like blood pressure wirelessly. Patients can take an electrocardiogram, put in their smart phones and send to the doctor wirelessly. Mobile technology has increased efficiency in the emergency response system, as during an accident, there are trigger alarm systems to the nearest hospitals. The same trigger mechanisms notify all medical personnel within the closest reach, to respond to the call. This ensures by the time the patients are brought in the emergency rooms by ambulances, the medical teams are able, ready and set to handle the casualties to reduce the mortality levels and ensure effective services.
Telemedicine is a field that has been integrated in medicine due to improvement in technology in healthcare. The benefit of telehealth in the rural areas cannot be overlooked, it is beneficial and helpful because, they lack resources that are found in most urban setups. It is a growing field being developed and cannot be ignored. Doctors in the rural setup are able to communicate and perform procedures with the guide of specialist in the metropolitan areas. The rural doctors are able to help the patient or stabilize the patient, as the patient awaits transfer to a facility with better facilities. Telemedicine has also assisted patients to communicate with doctors and reduce the time out of office costs for the individuals to leave their workstations to go to hospital or primary care offices. The video chat with the doctors can help the patient receive full assessment, and it can be equated to going to the hospital and physically meeting the doctor for review.
Remote monitoring of patients has come up due to technology in healthcare. This is seen with patients with pace makers, where the pacemakers communicate always and automatically with the doctors pagers and inform them in case of any alert like a cardiac arrest or arrhythmia. This reduces expenses of always travelling to hospital and reduces anxiety to the patients. It also helps the hospitals to keep tabs about the health of their patients. It reduces mortality and morbidity.
Research in healthcare has also been improved and enhanced by technology by use of sensors and wearable technology and real-time locating services. It improves efficiency and effectiveness in collecting raw data for research purposes. Subjects being involved in a certain study are able to be monitored and located in each step of data collection and ensures that the correct data is collected. The real-time locating services are used in the hospital setup to locate the hospital devices and instruments. A blood pressure machine of a certain serial number can be located in the medical ward. Sensors are installed in oxygen back-ups to show the amount of oxygen left for use. It also raises alarm in case of any fault in the oxygen delivery system. Such technology in the hospital setup has reduced errors in patient care and ensured decrease in mortality.
Pharmacogenomics, gene sequencing, surgery simulations and accelerated experimentations have all been made possible by the use of technology. Complex surgeries are performed using computer applications ensuring that mistakes are eliminated and success rates for the surgery are high. Treatments are individualized up to the gene sequencing level by use of computer applications and the output is seen. This ensures the treatment is fully optimized.
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