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Using Technology for More Efficiency

Nurses spend approximately 19 to 35 percent of their time documenting care. Healthcare costs in the United States are two times higher than in other wealthy countries—the US spends more on administrative expenses than on long-term care per capita. However, around 40,000 to 80,000 patients die due to a diagnostic error every year. Technology can help clinicians to make more accurate diagnoses. Improving healthcare is possible, and technology can be an excellent ally to enhance efficiency and patient safety, increase more accurate diagnoses, and allow greater access to data, among other improvements.

Some Healthcare Areas That Need Optimization 

Hospitals can gain more efficiency by implementing technology in certain operational areas. The following list gathers some of the operational tasks that can benefit from technology:

Admitting and discharging patients:

This process requires several administrative steps. For example, nurses must manually enter patients’ health records, complete medication reconciliations, and provide educational materials, among other tasks accompanying these processes.

Patient transfers:

In the care process, patients can be transferred from one unit to another or even to a different healthcare facility if necessary. These processes are complex tasks and require special equipment in many cases. Therefore, it is essential to have excellent communication between the units or hospitals to know where the patient is and what resources the patient requires at all times. 

Bed availability:

Knowing the number of beds available can help hospitals be more efficient in their services since this information is crucial to eliminating bottlenecks in the care process.

Communication failures:

The lack of communication between care providers—for example, due to incomplete electronic health records (EHRs)—has an estimated cost of $27 billion to $78 billion annually.

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Coordination between departments:

Poor coordination makes things work slowly, which can cost lives in a healthcare scenario.

Staffing shortage:

It’s not new to hear about the nursing shortage, but it still affects healthcare efficiency. Moreover, looking for new ways to face this problem is necessary.

Inefficient workflows:

Healthcare staff need access to patients’ complete information at the point of care. Not having efficient workflows could lead to bottlenecks and risk patients’ lives.

Patient experience:

Patients with a positive experience are often more involved with their treatment and have better outcomes.  

Increasing Productivity in Healthcare

Efficiency and efficacy go together; hospitals want to accomplish their goals, but at the same time, they want to use their resources in the best way possible. Estimates indicate that by 2025, artificial intelligence will save $150 billion in healthcare and improve outcomes by 40 percent.  

The following list shows some ways that technology can improve effectiveness and efficiency in healthcare:

  • With technology, automating many processes—like obtaining and verifying patient information and updating EHRs—can help nurses and other clinicians focus more on patients’ needs and help them make accurate decisions. This also leads to greater continuity of care.
  • Having precise patient data stored in secured drives that only physicians, nurses, or caregivers can access makes sharing vital information effective and safe. 
  • An Integrated Health Information System (IHIS) provides accessibility to live data in every moment and place, helps caregivers facilitate many operational tasks like discharging a patient or delivering new orders remotely, and also helps monitor patients continuously.    
  • Combining artificial intelligence (AI) and other technologies allows administrators and clinicians to stay informed about where the hospital’s patients and personnel are and how many beds are available for efficient workflow and communication.
  • Technology empowers patients, making them active in their treatment. For example, wearable technology allows patients to know when to exercise, check their heart rate, and measure their pressure. It also helps patients to understand and follow their treatment plan more accurately.       
  • Healthcare professionals can also align patients’ medical records with their health insurance information to make reimbursement easier. For the revenue cycle management (RCM) aspects of a facility – this is a crucial area that needs to be improved.
  • Regarding diagnoses, the AI in a study showed an accuracy of 87 percent in image analysis compared to 86 percent for healthcare professionals.
  • Digital twins (DT) is a technology that aims to help medicine become more precise in treatment and diagnosis, making accurate virtual models of real-life entities through AI, the Internet of Things (IoTs), machine learning, and data analytics. Therefore, doctors can test a DT with the patient’s data to see which treatment is better for them. Pharmaceutical companies will also be able to test new drugs with DTs instead of using human subjects. 
  • Real-time location solutions (RTLS) is a technology that helps administrators have a clear view of all hospital assets, staff, and patients at every moment. With this knowledge, institutions work as the finest Swiss watch, leading to better decisions and outcomes.
  • Healthcare chatbots help to answer patients during unconventional hours, cover claims, schedule appointments, and much more.  
  • The design of smart rooms focuses on patients and caregivers to limit falls, reduce the spread of bacteria, and provide correct patient information, among other features. 
  • Robot-assisted surgeries are less invasive and increase precision. Consequently, patients have faster recuperation processes with less pain, and surgeons can significantly reduce their stress.   
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Those are just a few improvements that technology can bring to healthcare. Technology is causing a revolution in which healthcare will change its focus from treating disease to preventing it or at least finding it in earlier stages.

Who Is at the Forefront of Healthcare Innovation?

According to the 2022 World Index of Healthcare Innovation, the countries with the best healthcare are Switzerland, Ireland, and the Netherlands, partially due to their use of technology. However, the country with the highest level of technology and innovation in healthcare is the United States.

Improving Healthcare through Staffing Innovations

According to Curtis Anderson, CEO and founder of Nursa, the staffing problem began even before WWII. Therefore, it’s time to approach this problem with innovation and creativity.

Since healthcare is in the midst of a technological revolution, staffing solutions must also transform and use IT advancements to become more efficient and productive. 

In that sense, healthcare may benefit from Nursa, a staffing app that empowers nurses and makes staffing easier for healthcare facilities.   

Nursa is an open marketplace where nurses can find shifts, and facilities can post PRN jobs. With this technological innovation, facilities have a new way of managing staffing, and registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and certified nursing assistants have a new way of finding jobs. Download Nursa today to improve healthcare staffing efficiency.

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