Every healthcare organization must aim to set a new standard when it comes to patient care. However, many hospitals and practices often struggle with insufficient processes, outdated technologies, or poor employee engagement.
When an organization’s standards slip, patient outcomes will pay the unfortunate price. Protect your community and reputation by reading the following six ways to transform a healthcare organization in 2021.
1. Embrace Big Data to Identify Patterns
Healthcare organizations of all sizes will accumulate a considerable amount of data each day. For example, they will gather information from online transactions, social media, and patient information.
Rather than allowing these details to live on a database, you could use this data to identify patterns and trends. For instance, a hospital or clinic could introduce software to analyze patient records and identify a potential inconsistency in a patient’s condition and the drug prescriptions. It will then alert a healthcare professional about a possible medication mistake.
Organizations must view data as a medical asset that requires investment. For this reason, you would be wise to hire data experts to gather and analyze data to identify your hospital or practice’s weaknesses.
2. Adopt Lean Principles
Manufacturing companies incorporate lean principles into their operations to eliminate waste and improve value to their customers. However, the techniques can extend to hospitals and various medical settings to improve efficiency.
If a process doesn’t provide a customer with value, it should be cut from an organization’s operations. By adopting lean principles, you could reduce medical errors, decrease waiting times in emergency departments, improve medical billing, and ensure healthcare professionals can access the equipment they need to care for patients.
For example, if you have excess inventory, your medical organization might struggle with expiration dates, storage problems, and large overheads. However, you could introduce a tracking system to identify in-demand supplies that you will need to order manually or via an automated order system. Visit this page to learn how lean principles can improve your healthcare organization’s efficiency, profitability, and productivity.
- Invest in Wearable Devices
Hospitals and medical settings don’t need to be solely reactive to medical issues, as they can take a more proactive approach to healthcare with wearable devices. The innovative technology will allow doctors to monitor conditions and prevent health complications from arising.
For example, a high-risk patient could wear one of the following devices:
- Heart rate sensors
- Sweat meters – the device will monitor a patient’s blood sugar levels
- Exercise trackers
- Oximeters – it will monitor the amount of oxygen carried through a patient’s blood if they have a respiratory illness, such as COPD.
The devices could notify a patient when they have a health issue that requires urgent treatment, which can prevent medical complications.
Patients will feel a sense of ownership over their health, too, and the device could encourage them to make better lifestyle decisions. Another big benefit is that it could help patients lower their insurance premiums, as they will have taken preventative steps to avoid a serious or fatal health issue.
- Consider Human Factors
Everyone makes mistakes, even the most talented healthcare professionals. Consider the human factor when designing an internal process, tool, or system. For example, you must take into account a professional’s limitations, abilities, and characteristics. Therefore, you might need to avoid reliance on a practitioner’s memory and then standardize various protocols, procedures, and checklists to limit mistakes, improve patient outcomes, and save money.
- Incorporate Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial intelligence isn’t solely for sci-fi movies. It is transforming medical organizations across the globe, which is why the AI industry will surpass a projected $34 billion by 2025.
Many US hospitals have embraced the innovative technology, as they have invested in Moxi, an AI droid that can assist nurses with various routine tasks, such as restocking supplies. Other forms of AI you should consider include chatbots, which can replace customer service representatives without compromising patient care.
AI is helping hospitals to improve oncology care, too. Computer programs can now analyze thousands of pathology images for various cancers, and they can accurately diagnose and recommend the best anti-cancer drugs for a specific patient. The unique technology is changing oncology for the better and can identify tiny details that experienced radiologists could miss with the human eye.
- Improve Patient Engagement and Education
As stated earlier, hospitals and medical practices must adopt preventative practices rather than merely reacting to various health issues. To do so, they must aim to both engage and educate each patient about their health.
Rather than explaining symptoms and treatments, they must discuss causes and preventative measures to stop issues from arising. What’s more, they must communicate a health condition or complication with a patient’s primary care physician, who can follow up with them at a later date to support their healthcare journey.
If a patient has a thorough understanding about their health risks, symptoms, and the possible outcomes, they could make smarter lifestyle decisions. Plus, they might adopt a more proactive approach to their healthcare, such as attending medical appointments, taking medication on schedule, and attending a hospital when they develop symptoms.
Look for opportunities to improve education via:
- The organization’s website
- Social media profiles
- Email newsletters
- Billboard advertising
Also, you could target communities to improve education and reduce common health issues within their population, such as obesity, heart disease, or type 2 diabetes.
No healthcare organization is perfect. Standards can slip, processes may need updating, or organizations might fall behind on technologies. However, to provide patients with the highest standard of care each day and improve outcomes, hospitals and medical practices must look for ways to tweak or overhaul their processes, technologies, and behavior regularly.
To do so, they might need to adopt lean techniques, embrace new systems, improve patient engagement and education, or identify and eliminate factors that could lead to medical mistakes. It could transform the patient experience and help your organization set a new standard in the healthcare industry.