The Coronavirus pandemic brought a new reliance on technology across the board, and this is especially true when it comes to healthcare. With social distancing a top priority – and especially in the medical realm where patients were most vulnerable to COVID-19 – the world found new ways to communicate and conduct business in a virtual arena.
According to recent reports, more than 21 billion dollars was invested in digitizing healthcare during the Coronavirus pandemic. Furthermore, recent research found that approximately 83% of patients are ready and willing to use telemedicine.
However, what is digital transformation in healthcare, and what are the benefits? What are the considerations or possible risks, and how can healthcare professionals address these challenges? Let’s discover important information about digital transformation in healthcare and how it can benefit your organization.
What is Digital Transformation in Healthcare?
Digital transformation in healthcare can be defined as utilizing the latest technologies (and their subsequent processes and methodologies) to the best possible value and service to patients, healthcare professionals, and affiliated organizations. This is a broad definition, simply because digital transformation is multi-faceted, and can include a lot of technological advancements across the board.
What Are the Benefits of Digital Transformation in Healthcare?
From an individual patient to a broad organization like a hospital or insurance company, there is a range of benefits for all parties involved when it comes to digital transformation in healthcare. Here are some examples of the more obvious features that will transform the way your medical business operates.
Receive High Quality Information Faster and When You Need It Most
All records should be digitized with the patient’s extensive history, current medications, prior illnesses, and other key data such as, doctors, hospitals, and medical professionals. Overall, patient data and healthcare information will have a better ability to quickly and efficiently address any new issues.
Starting with an ambulance ride where EMTs have instant access to this information. Additionally, digital healthcare information can help with follow-up visits or just general doctors’ visits for an annual physical. Moreover, all this extensive information at your fingertips ensures the best care possible, regardless of circumstances.
Efficient and More Streamlined Communication
Online patient portalsare becoming increasingly popular with medical professionals and patients, and it’s easy to see why.
Doctors and patients communicate quickly from an automated yet individualized online portal. This means no more lengthy phone calls or in-person visits, and both parties can access imperative data whenever necessary. This includes information such as insurance providers, the patient’s physical address, current or outstanding medical bills, and recent medical visits. However, it can also include direct messaging, follow-up questions, and other types of communication that can be quickly handled outside the doctor’s office.
The Digital World of Telemedicine and Virtual Doctor’s Visits
With so many changes in technology, telemedicine has grown in popularity by leaps and bounds. The use of telemedicine eliminates the need for in-person visits in certain circumstances. This service can be helpful for smaller medical issues or follow-up appointments. Telemedicine or a virtual doctor’s visit can save time for both the patient, and the busy medical professional.
Instant Tracking and Monitoring with Health Devices
“Health wearables,” or devices are worn to keep track of certain health factors or medical issues, and provide better and more comprehensive healthcare for a wide variety of patients.
Heart rate trackers, fitness trackers, and specialized devices like oximeters (which measure the oxygen carried in the blood and used for patients with COPD, asthma, severe cases of COVID-19, and other respiratory illnesses) are all gaining steam throughout the medical industry.
With these new tools, patients can handle their health better, and catch potential issues before they become more drastic problems. Conversely, doctors have unlimited access to round-the-clock medical information and can better determine the right treatment, solutions, and next steps for their patients.
The Drawbacks of Digital Transformation in Healthcare
This digital movement makes healthcare more affordable, accessible, convenient, and comprehensive in virtually every way. However, there is one big exception that medical practices of all sizes must account for, and that exception is cybersecurity. This is one of the most significant disadvantages of digital transformation in healthcare.
As the healthcare industry becomes more reliant on technology, the risk of cyberattacks starts to increase. Therefore, these cyberattacks can have devastating results for medical practitioners and patients.
Technology, Digital Transformation, & Healthcare Cybersecurity
In, 2020 Michigan-based Trinity Health data breach cost the organization a total of 3.32 million individual records. This was one the largest healthcare breaches in the United States (which happened to health insurance provider Anthem Inc.). Additionally, 78.8 million private records were ultimately compromised.
Data breaches in healthcare have also accelerated over the past five years, rising to 42% in 2020 when the pandemic hit. In fact, out of the total number of ransomware attacksreported in 2020, 60% specifically targeted the healthcare sector.
Therefore, when your medical-related business starts a digital transformation, it’s essential that this transition is made hand-in-hand with a company that can guard your business against cybercriminals of all varieties.
Digital Transformation and Healthcare Cybersecurity with Emeritus
At Emeritus, we serve as your personal IT team and cybersecurity partner to ensure that your data and your new technologies are protected from the inside out. We provide top cybersecurity for mobile devices you use on the go or online portals where thousands, if not millions, of records are stored.
Emeritus has years of experience providing IT and cybersecurity services to businesses of all sizes. Our team of experts can support the rising technological challenges in today’s global and primarily online environment. Additionally, our services also include medical equipment maintenance and operations.
Therefore, if you want to ensure that your business can utilize the best technologies available for the health of your company and your patients, it’s time to get a plan in place.
Let’s work together to identify the solutions that will enable your business to make a safe and streamlined digital transformation without putting the health information of your patients or your daily operations at risk.
Contact us today for a free consultation.