Healthcare technology has transformed the patient experience, extending the doctor/patient relationship beyond the healthcare facility and enabling smarter, more accurate treatment through an expanded healthcare ecosystem. Thanks to technology, caregivers are no longer constrained in how and where they treat patients, and patients are no longer constrained in where they are treated.
Indeed, technology adoption continues to move at a rapid pace in the healthcare sector, with core technologies such as electronic health records (EHRs) and telemedicine improving and newer technologies such as artificial intelligence gaining ground. Data is driving health care today more than ever, and technologies that can make sense of—and derive value from—healthcare data will be much sought after moving forward.
Data analytics, for one, is helping doctors and healthcare providers utilize EHRs beyond static medical records to spot global trends such as the onset of particular diseases within a population or outbreaks of illnesses such as the flu by geographical locations. Likewise, data analytics could be used to make more accurate decisions regarding diagnosis and treatment of a particular patient based on the input of a global system of providers, who have complete access to the patient’s medical history.
And, as health care becomes less location-centric, thanks to the rise of urgent care centers, walk-in laboratories and even clinics in retail chains, EHRs and data analytics will become even more critical tools in enabling doctors to provide optimal—and accurate—diagnosis and treatment.
In the same vein, telemedicine continues to help providers treat their patients anytime, anywhere. The tools that enable telemedicine are becoming more consumer-friendly, including fitness trackers and home-based healthcare kits that can measure vital signs, blood sugar levels and more, providing more comprehensive patient information to healthcare providers. This level of information can help providers offer more services via telemedicine, such as behavioral health and treatment of chronic conditions.
As healthcare organizations continue to embrace new technologies and services to improve operations and provide high-quality patient care, a solid foundation is critical to support those technologies. While new technologies offer unlimited opportunity in scope and results, it’s as good as useless without the necessary underlying infrastructure. Savvy healthcare organizations understand that a solid foundation that addresses performance, reliability and affordability will enable them to provide optimal patient care and more securely and position them to take advantage of future technology advancements.
As the number of devices on any given network increases, so, too, does the amount of data generated by these devices. Users—both providers and patients—meanwhile, expect networks to be fast and highly responsive, regardless of what applications they’re using. A foundation of performance keeps systems, applications and services running at peak speed.
Likewise, as new technologies transform business models and processes and organizations become even more technology-enabled, networks must be able to adapt to new technologies without causing bottlenecks or slowdowns. A foundation of flexibility ensures that technology works for the organization, not the other way around, and that the network can grow and adapt as new technologies are added.
What’s more, today’s networking technology is open, vendor-agnostic and API-friendly—a far cry from the closed, proprietary legacy systems that organizations traditionally have relied on. A foundation of affordability ensures healthcare organizations can easily add new technologies that integrate seamlessly and offer greater processing power without expensive “bolt-on” integrations.
In building a foundation of performance, flexibility and affordability, healthcare organizations must ensure the technologies they choose will provide benefits both today and down the road. Those organizations that understand and adopt such technologies will have a greater chance of providing better patient outcomes today and in the future.
Like every industry, healthcare is evolving and today’s patients expect more from their providers. How can today’s healthcare organizations set up their technology to stay ahead?
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