Patient safety always comes first in the medical field. However, while providers always want to ensure that their patients are as safe as possible, in reality, things don’t always go according to plan. In fact, medical error is the third leading cause of death in the United States, according to a study published in The BMJ.
While there’s no foolproof way to prevent all medical errors, one way that providers can help reduce the likelihood of errors is by using efficient technology. By automating tasks and processes, technology can help take some of the burden off of providers so they can focus on delivering high-quality care.
How, exactly, does efficient technology improve patient care? Here’s a look at four ways:
1. Automation can help reduce medication errors.
One of the most common types of medical errors is medication errors. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Patient Safety found that medication errors are responsible for more than 1.5 million preventable adverse events each year.
Technology can help automate the process of prescribing and dispensing medications, which can help reduce the likelihood of errors. For example, electronic health records (EHRs) can help providers keep track of a patient’s medications and allergies, and computerized physician order entry (CPOE) systems can help automate the ordering and dispensing of medications.
2. Technology can improve communication and collaboration among providers.
Good communication is essential for providing high-quality patient care. However, it can be difficult for providers to keep track of all the different conversations they have with colleagues, patients, and other stakeholders.
Technology can help improve communication by providing a central place for all stakeholders to share information. For example, many hospitals use EHRs to store patients’ medical records. This way, providers can easily access a patient’s history and see what medications they’re taking, their allergies, and other important information.
3. Technology can help streamline processes.
Streamlining processes can help save time and resources, which can ultimately improve patient care. For example, if a hospital is using an outdated scheduling system, it may take longer for patients to be seen by a provider. This can lead to longer wait times and ultimately, frustrated patients.
Technology can help streamline processes by automating tasks that would otherwise be done manually. For example, many hospitals use appointment scheduling software to automate the process of scheduling appointments. This way, patients can easily schedule their own appointments online, and providers can spend less time on administrative tasks.
4. Technology can help improve patient engagement.
Engaged patients are more likely to be involved in their own care and more likely to follow their treatment plan. However, it can be difficult for providers to keep track of all their patients and ensure that they’re engaged in their care.
Technology can help improve patient engagement by providing patients with access to their own health information and connecting them with their provider. For example, many hospitals use patient portals to give patients access to their EHRs. This way, patients can easily view their test results, medications, and other important information.
Technology is constantly evolving, and there are always new ways that it can be used to improve patient care. However, these are just a few examples of how efficient technology can help provide high-quality care.