The healthcare industry in the United States is one of the largest and most complex in the world. The sector comprises many organizations, from large integrated healthcare systems to small community clinics.
The healthcare industry in the United States has seen significant growth in recent years, thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA has helped expand coverage to millions of Americans, and as a result, the healthcare industry has seen a surge in service demand.
However, the healthcare industry in the United States is also facing significant challenges. The sector is struggling with rising costs and increasing complexity. It’s also becoming a lot more inefficient because of the lack of healthcare workers in the country. Thankfully, technology is helping hospitals function more efficiently and effectively.
Electronic Health Records
One of the most important ways that technology is helping hospitals function more efficiently is through electronic health records (EHRs).
EHRs were invented in the 1960s, but it wasn’t until the late 1990s that they started being widely used in hospitals. EHRs are digital versions of a patient’s medical chart. They include all critical information about a patient’s health, such as their medical history, medications, immunizations, and test results.
EHRs have many advantages over paper records. They’re more efficient because doctors and nurses can access them from any computer. They’re also more accurate because they’re less likely to be lost or misplaced. And they’re more secure because they’re password-protected and encrypted.
The use of EHRs is becoming more widespread in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the percentage of office-based physicians using EHRs increased from 18% in 2008 to 72% in 2016.
The widespread adoption of EHRs is helping hospitals function more efficiently by reducing the amount of time spent on paperwork. It’s also improving communication between healthcare providers and patients.
Another way that technology is helping hospitals function more efficiently is through patient portals.
Patient portals are online platforms that give patients 24/7 access to their health information. They allow patients to view their medical records, schedule appointments, and message their doctors.
Patient portals are becoming increasingly popular in the United States. According to a 2018 survey, 43% of Americans say they use a patient portal.
Patient portals are helping hospitals function more efficiently by reducing time spent on administrative tasks. They’re also improving communication between healthcare providers and patients.
Online Recruitment Tools
Despite the rise of automation in the health care industry, most jobs are still being done by humans. However, the current labor shortage in the health care industry makes it difficult for hospitals to find and hire qualified workers.
One way that technology is helping hospitals function more efficiently is through online recruitment tools. Online recruitment tools are websites and databases that allow employers to post job openings and search for candidates. Healthcare recruiters are also using them to find and contact potential candidates.
Additionally, it makes it easier for countries to hire healthcare professionals overseas. For example, there’s a severe lack of healthcare professionals in the United Kingdom. But online recruitment tools make it easier for overseas healthcare professionals to apply for a sponsor license. The license is a work visa allowing healthcare professionals to work in the UK. It helps increase the number of workers in the country, which can help the industry perform more efficiently.
Telemedicine is another way that technology is helping hospitals function more efficiently.
Telemedicine is the use of telecommunications to provide medical care from a distance. It allows patients to consult with their doctors via video conferencing, email, or telephone. Because of the convenience it brings, the service becoming increasingly popular in the United States. According to a 2021 survey, about 22% of Americans have used telemedicine.
Telemedicine is helping hospitals function more efficiently by reducing the need for travel. It’s also improving access to care for patients in rural and underserved areas.
Robotic Process Automation
Robotic process automation (RPA) is another way that technology is helping hospitals function more efficiently.
RPA is the use of software robots to automate repetitive tasks. For example, it allows hospitals to automate billing, appointment scheduling, and claims processing tasks.
RPA is helping hospitals function more efficiently by reducing time spent on administrative tasks. It’s also improving communication between healthcare providers and patients.
Robots are far more efficient because of various reasons. First, they are not bound by the same limitations as humans. They can work 24 hours a day without breaks, and they don’t get tired. Second, they can process large amounts of data much faster than humans. And third, they’re more accurate than humans, which reduces the number of errors. RPA is becoming more widespread in the United States for these reasons.
Technology is crucial for the healthcare industry, and it’s continually finding new ways to help hospitals function more efficiently. The five examples we’ve provided are just a few of the many ways that technology is helping the industry become more efficient. As these technologies continue to develop, we can expect even more efficiency gains in the future.