• Dec 14, 2021

5 Healthcare digitization trends adopted in the healthcare sector post Covid-19

2021 may be behind us but the presence of COVID-19 still lingers on. It became a major mark in history. Life will be marked in an unusual way- pre-Covid-19 and post. The Covid-19 has impacted everyone, be it financially, physically, emotionally or in any other way. Everyone has faced the wrath of the pandemic. 

The regular working of businesses and industries has been ruptured, altering many forever. The healthcare industry has faced immense disruption and has been altered forever. The coronavirus pandemic challenged the medical world and humanity at large. It brought to light the need for constant innovation, digitization and constant technological advancement. 

The pandemic changed people’s attitudes towards healthcare. In the pre-pandemic times, people sought clinical visits in case of any medical need. After the pandemic havoc, a majority of the people would prefer a digital diagnosis unless and until a clinical visit is necessary. Lockdown and pandemic have changed the outlook towards digitalization in healthcare.

While many digital health trends gained traction during the pandemic, some will remain on the rising curve as they will revolutionize the future of healthcare.

1. Telehealth
Telehealth uses telecommunication technologies to provide healthcare services remotely. Tablets, mobile phones and laptops facilitate the ease of delivery. The pandemic may have brought this to the limelight but this trend will stay. The reasons are simple—convenience and easy access for patients in remote areas.

People have become habituated to a seamless digital experience of scheduling appointments, consultations and receiving advice on their health. Telehealth will become a critical element in the healthcare industry because it aids in the improvement of the patient experience and care.

2. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial Intelligence has created waves in various industries, especially the healthcare industry. It is more than just a passing trend. This technology will shape all facets of the industry which is evident from the fact that people are investing millions in it.
AI can efficiently process information. It provides the medical experts with data which when clubbed with their experience can improve the decision-making capacities. AI changes the focal perspective of healthcare from the treatment of diseases to their prevention. 

With AI, medical experts can make decisions based on their experience and the data, taking their decision-making to a whole new level. Thanks to AI, the future of healthcare could be preventive measures rather than treatment. AI can be used to establish early diagnosis wherein it is possible to foresee a possible illness before its symptoms are visible.

The importance of preventive medicine can be analyzed when seen in the light of severe and fatal diseases like cancer. 

3. Wearables 
The healthcare industry is not untouched by the constant innovation in technology. The past saw an individual going for a yearly physical exam or visiting the physician only when something didn’t feel right. In this digital age, people are more aware and are focused on prevention rather than cure. They demand information as they have made their health a priority. 

The advancement of wearables is an applaudable technological innovation. It has given every individual the ability to observe their health status which is an incredible achievement. Smartwatches have become widely popular increasing their potential to be used in the healthcare industry. The high-risk patients can be monitored effortlessly to prevent any fatal health episode, simply by using a smartwatch.
The wearable medical device market has seen an upward trend owing to the pandemic and is expected to continue on that path for a long time.
4. Big Data 
Big data is an aggregate of information about a business collected through various sources. Patterns and trends are analyzed through enormous amounts of information. It has become a hot topic in the past decade owing to its potential. 

Healthcare service providers must be equipped with correct and relevant information at all times. An appropriate analysis of the big data would provide solutions relevant to improving the healthcare industry. Efficient management and analysis of big data can open major avenues in the future of medicine.

From the facilitation of preventive healthcare to lower medication errors—the scope is vast. It is not only important in patient-care but is also important at the corporate level. This is the reason that is pushing healthcare and pharmaceutical companies to invest in organizing data.

5. Virtual Reality (VR)
Virtual Reality was best suited to video games a couple of years ago. However, in the present scenario, their scope is way beyond gaming or entertainment.

The healthcare industry is not untouched by VR. It helps with surgical training and planning. It enables the surgeons to get comfortable with the procedures before performing them. It is also used to supplement the traditional training methods for interns. The surgical interns who receive VR training are better equipped in surgery.
Another major application of VR is to treat mental illnesses like anxiety, PTSD, eating disorders and phobias.

Although the environment is artificial, the simulation creates real-life scenarios, which gives them opportunities to understand what needs to be done in reality. 

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  • Dec 27, 2021

Why FHIR is a trending topic in the healthcare industry?

Constant technological advancement has dramatically changed the functioning of the healthcare industry. A discussion about the healthcare industry cannot be complete without mentioning the exchange of healthcare information. Easily accessible medical records are a necessity for every healthcare professional and even the patient. This is now possible with FHIR. 

FHIR, also known as Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources is a formidable attempt by Health Level Seven (HL7) for healthcare data interchange and to digitalize the health records.

It is an interoperability standard that allows all healthcare professionals, organizations and clinical staff to share and exchange clinical patient data through software. It bridges the gap between all parties that need instantaneous access to patient information. 

The prime focus of healthcare is always the patient. Interoperability is a major step in the process of giving the patient optimum care that they require. The easy, quick and efficient exchange of vital medical records is just one of the reasons for FHIR’s popularity.

Numerous factors have paved the way in giving FHIR the much-needed attention-

Ease of data sharing
FHIR would make direct communication between organisations a reality. It allows the creation of a system wherein the health data would be transferred easily without any risk of it being accessed by a third party. It also eliminates and cuts down the tiring process of exchanging data between systems. The easy availability of the necessary information would smoothen the next steps.

Patient empowerment
Knowledge empowers people. Sharing the patients’ clinical data with them would ensure that they are better equipped with information about their health. This increases their faith in the healthcare service providers. It allows them to make informed decisions about their treatment in the future. Any decision pertaining to diet, the treatment plan, exercises required would be based on information.

Improved Co-ordination
There are multiple parties involved in the care of a single patient, including himself, the family, the physicians, the clinical staff and the diagnostic staff. FHIR has brought about a patient-centric approach. It allows the e-medical records of a patient to be easily accessed by various parties. The easy access to medical data creates seamless communication and a great level of coordination. This, in turn, leads to optimum patient care. 

Improved clinical treatment
With easy access to accurate patient-related information, the physicians and their care teams would be able to devise effective treatment plans. The introduction of remote monitoring and various virtual care tools would ensure proper care at all times. This would save time and effort on the part of the physicians and the care providers.

With specifics of each patient’s data in hand, research and analysis would take a new flight, giving the healthcare sector a significant boom. 

Easy and quick implementation
Prompt actions play a vital role in providing efficient patient care. With FHIR, healthcare information is exchanged easily and without any delay. The user-friendly FHIR interface is an added benefit for the users. With a capable integration system, the patients receive the best care possible. 

Cost-Effective Solutions
Developing an application with FHIR is easier as it uses technologies like REST. The costs in comparison to developing other applications are lower, making FHIR cost-effective.
With FHIR, the healthcare data is easily transmitted and the results are analyzed more efficiently. This eventually leads to a reduction in overall healthcare costs.

Unrestricted FHIR Specifications 
Today, HL7 standards are readily available for free. The introduction of FHIR has improved the documentation process, and drastically reduced the lag time. The unrestricted specifications of FHIR have led it to become a key to improved healthcare interoperability. 

A Mobile-Friendly Platform
With everyone on constant move, today everything is on-the-go. The number of mobile users is on the rise, outnumbering desktop users. In such a scenario, everything is turning mobile. FHIR as a platform can be easily set up. The ease of access by mobile phones has created a surge in its usage.

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  • Dec 30, 2021

Seamlessly integrate scheduling and medical billing software with your business.

Medical Billing Software
Medical billing is a process wherein medical bills are prepared and submitted to the insurance company. The progress is then tracked to ensure that the hospital is timely reimbursed for the services they rendered to the patients.

The medical billing procedure is very challenging and time-consuming if performed manually. It is challenging to train people to perform proper billing as the process involves a huge amount of paperwork and a rejected claim may impact the hospital’s revenue system.
In the face of the pandemic where the healthcare industry was continually dealing with the growing number of chronic patients, the manual filing process became cumbersome and impractical. It reinforced the need to integrate medical billing software within the system.

A medical billing software automates the operations, reducing the paperwork and the engagement of personnel. This gives medical professionals more time for important tasks. 

A medical billing software can automate the following operations-
notifications about upcoming and executing payments
verifying the patient’s insurance before his arrival 
digital claim submissions
available patient billing records
individual validation of claims by patients

The software also helps to validate the patient's eligibility for the insurance coverage and then validate it. With information on the patient’s insurance plan, the staff is well equipped to claim and receive rightful payment for their services.

Scheduling Software
A scheduling software covers two important aspects—medical staff scheduling and patient scheduling. Medical staff scheduling is an internal solution that optimizes the creation of the schedules of the healthcare personnel. Using medical staff scheduling software reduces the friction in creating schedules. It ensures that the human resources are managed efficiently. The right person at the right place at the right time improves patient care while reducing overall costs.

Patient scheduling software is an external solution that allows patients to schedule their own appointments with their physician. It empowers the patients in taking the first step towards their health.

Although it may seem like a daunting task, medical billing software and scheduling software can be easily integrated into the existing internal software systems like EHR or EMR. The decision that next needs to be taken is whether a ready solution is to be adopted or a custom-made solution is to be designed.

The first step is to check for a demo software and then modify it according to the specific needs. With medical billing software, it would be best to register all the insurance providers in the market. This will allow ease in collecting payments. 

Doctors, physicians, technical staff and nurses—anyone who will use the software must be consulted during the entire development cycle. Their feedback would improve the practical use of the software in the future.

The need to select an appropriate user interface is noteworthy. It will help in the smooth integration with the existing system.

Once this has been done, it is necessary to ensure that the software is scalable and would be able to take on the expansion in the years to come. It is critical to establish a system for regular software upgradation. It will prevent any inconveniences and hassles of backlogs. 

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