A Promising New Landscape for Health IT

For many people, the mere thought of going to the doctor summons images of long lines, impatient receptionists and complicated insurance billing systems.

But the introduction of technology into the healthcare arena may diminish or eliminate these troubling scenes that confront us all too often at the doctor’s office. Many patients envision a healthcare system where technology and IT solutions are seamlessly integrated into their medical experience.

My company, Red River, recently commissioned a survey of American consumers and found that more than 60 percent of patients want better ways of communicating with their doctors, and 65 percent are concerned that outdated technology could delay critical health treatment.

These are valid concerns of patients, and we have the opportunity to address inefficiencies in hospital systems while improving and maximizing internal communications among clinical staff, ultimately providing better patient care.

But the great news is that this technology is available today, and that Americans are surprisingly eager to accept these changes in their healthcare model.

To this point, we found that three-fourths of patients believe technology will speed up the process for securing referrals, prescriptions and test results, and implementing IT solutions in the healthcare space will improve an outdated system that plays such a critical role in people’s lives. And notably, almost two-thirds of the consumers believe that the use of technology would improve the explanation of health insurance benefits and accuracy of billing. If patients are more aware of their options, they can make more informed decisions that will result in better medical care.

For example, the healthcare industry should implement mobile technologies to help patients communicate better with physicians, according to 61 percent of survey responders. Perhaps therein lies an important strategy to combatting delays of treatment. If patients can communicate with their physicians via mobile devices, they could address their medical concerns without ever stepping into a doctor’s office.

Taking a step back and carefully considering solutions to these concerns will ensure continued success in the healthcare system. There’s a great need for IT professionals who can navigate the needs of healthcare customers and bridge the gap between clinical outcomes and technological capabilities.

Based on these results and the direction of medical care centers across the country, it is clear that the need for Healthcare IT infrastructure is an essential part of the future of the medical industry. Moving forward, we will continue to see technology positively changing healthcare practices.

I look forward to seeing the implementation of these solutions streamline processes and modernize medical IT infrastructure with access to new tools for clinicians and improved healthcare for patients.

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