Hospital administrators know how important it is to keep up with the latest in medical technology. However, day-to-day responsibilities make it easy to miss some of the less obvious ways in which technology affects both the job of hospital administration and hospitals themselves. Do you have a sense of how technology is changing hospital administration, both today and how it’s likely to change in the future? Here are some things to keep in mind.
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Patients Expect Digital Touchpoints
While some patients will always prefer to pick up the phone to do things like make an appointment, pay their bill, or ask questions about their care, many now expect to be able to conduct these common transactions digitally. By creating an online portal, app, or other digital pathway for patients to interact with you, you’re not only increasing their satisfaction, you’re also reducing demand on staff, who are freed up to deal with more complex issues.
Professionals and Patients Are Going Mobile
Many hospitals and healthcare facilities have already begun using tablets to update charts, order tests, and write prescriptions. Patients are increasingly turning to mobile devices for medical needs as well. Between 2010 and 2014, the number of healthcare-related apps jumped from 4,000 to 20,000. Many of these apps are provided by health insurers and third-party companies as well as providers, and help patients do everything from looking up symptoms to meeting with a doctor via video. Given how much time the average person spends looking at a smartphone or tablet, this trend is sure to continue.
Privacy Becomes Top Priority
The news is increasingly populated by stories of major companies and organizations falling prey to hackers. Medical professionals are understandably paying close attention to the issue of cybersecurity, as medical data is an especially sensitive category of information. When thinking about implementing new technology, be sure to include a careful analysis of how to keep that technology secure, and periodically review systems to ensure you’re using the most advanced protection available.
SEO Matters to Hospitals
As hospitals have expanded their online presence, many have focused on providing details about available facilities, services, and treatments. But in order for patients to find you online, you also need to be aware of how search engines view your content. Online marketers know the importance of creating a steady stream of high-quality, valuable content to keep a brand’s name high in search results. By finding opportunities to create this kind of content, hospital administrators can not only add value to the patient experience, but can help boost SEO to reach a wider audience.
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Medicine by Machine
Let’s not forget the huge impact that technology is having on the practice of medicine itself. From telemedicine to equipment that can reduce the need for painful procedures or simplify the treatment of chronic illnesses like diabetes, the healthcare field is in the midst of an unprecedented period of innovation in diagnosis and treatment technology.
No one knows what the next breakthrough in medical technology will be, but by staying aware of current trends, hospital administrators can get a sense of how technology will affect the field, in both the short and long term.