Healthcare should evolve along with the rest of society. If your everyday office building employs technology aimed at eliminating inefficiency and improving productivity, someone somewhere should be hard at work thinking of ways to incorporate those very precepts and hardware into the medical profession. If it can save a bottom line, maybe it can save a life too.
However, some medical providers reach an impasse when dealing with problems curable through the right kind of healthcare equipment financing. Which problems in healthcare can technology mend?
"The free flow of patient data will be the lifeblood of tomorrow's healthcare technology."
Hospital staff members perform different, sometimes overlapping jobs in order to accelerate and maintain a single patient's recovery plan. The oncology department may need to schedule an appointment with the MRI technician, but only before he or she receives results from a blood panel. As such, all of these individual facets of care need to be in sync in order to provide the pinnacle of care.
According to a poll commissioned by PerfectServe, more than half of medical professionals questioned usually don't know whom to refer a patient to when approached. This caution is understandable – no one wants to waste the patient's time or appear unprepared to handle his or her diagnosis. However, as it stands now, the survey found almost 70 percent believe this stumbling block leads to delays in care. Having the proper tools to communicate as quickly and effectively as possible can eliminate this wariness and, at the very least, give doctors and nurses a channel through which to confer with their peers.
Philosophically, healthcare and technology clash on the subject of confidentiality versus transparency. Since time immemorial, medical professionals don't share information. The reasons why not make sense in theory. If protecting patients is the name of the game, what good could come out of publishing their diagnoses or medical history?
Depends on who you ask. The New York Times recently profiled Steven Keating, a young MIT doctoral student whose self-diagnosis correctly identified a brain tumor when his doctors couldn't. As the Times reported, though Keating collected his own data, he faced obstacles in obtaining 70 gigabytes of his own medical history.
More than simple medical releases, the free flow of patient data will be the lifeblood of tomorrow's healthcare technology. Frictionless file transfer and flawless cross-platform compatibility will mean patients can move between medical providers, each armed with the extent of the individual's medical profile. Furthermore, this same information can be fed directly into machinery and monitoring devices to aid treatment. To reach this height, however, medical professionals must invest in technology that might go against the grain of traditional thought.
Spending money where it counts
Proper healthcare doesn't need frills to get the job done, just serious attention paid to what's best for the well-being of the patients on site. Unfortunately, a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers study labeled more than half of all U.S. healthcare spending as wasteful to the tune of $1.2 trillion according to the firm's parameters.
But what does "wasteful" even mean when talking about a hospital or a doctor's office? PWC focused on three key areas: behavioral, clinical and operational waste. Targeted technological acquisitions can eliminate each one of these issues. As mentioned earlier, if a patient's behavior contributes to or exacerbates an illness, proper monitoring and freedom to access personal information can help steer his or her attitude toward cooperation. If the clinic itself runs too many unnecessary and expensive tests, a centralized digital database will add a layer of accountability. The same goes for wasteful operational costs. Retrofits for hospital-grade HVAC systems, for instance, not only save healthcare providers energy costs, but aid in the prevention of airborne contagion passing between patients. Readmissions and prolonged illnesses due to malpractice can cost healthcare centers resources, valuable space and even fines from the government as well as lawsuits.
Equipment and healthcare industry piece brought to you by Marlin Equipment Finance, leaders in healthcare equipment financing. Marlin is a nationwide provider of equipment financing solutions supporting equipment suppliers and manufacturers in the security, food services, healthcare, information technology, office technology and telecommunications sectors.