Delivering care through technology: Anywhere, anytime
How, where and when patient care is given is changing. As technology evolves, there is a natural evolution towards smart services to ensure better quality, faster and safer patient healthcare.
The ability to access systems anywhere, at any time is now seen as essential, but system users in the modern healthcare environment often experience many frustrations with functionality in their day-to-day activities. A poor digital experience can lead to a decrease in productivity, meaning less time is spent with patients in need of care.
Telefónica Tech UK&I, in collaboration with key healthcare partners, is helping to deliver a truly efficient and seamless modern healthcare environment by helping healthcare providers put the right digital foundations in place.
Recently, we have been working on several very large public sector health contracts to help transform how healthcare is delivered across the UK and Ireland with the rollout of Electronic Patient Records. The Electronic Patient Record system ensures information will no longer need to be stored across multiple systems, reducing duplication of effort, and allowing care providers to securely see the right information, in one location. This will free up staff to provide greater patient or service user focus, improving both staff and patient experience in Northern Ireland and beyond
In the medical profession, technology has made significant moves in transforming healthcare for the better by making remote or hybrid working a reality across the sector. Indeed, Telefónica Tech recently worked on a healthcare project which helped radiologists access medical images such as X-rays and scans from anywhere. This change allowed them to work more flexibly, as well as increasing the number of radiologists available, which reduced the amount of time that patients had to wait for their images to be checked.
Furthermore, mobile technologies have streamlined and enhanced various aspects of healthcare operations, making access to systems and patient data more seamless. Healthcare professionals use mobile technologies and apps for many purposes including administration, health record maintenance & access, communications & consulting, reference & information gathering, and medical education. One illustrative example of this multifaceted use is the application of barcodes to streamline administrative tasks. In a recent partnership, Telefónica Tech UK&I collaborated with a healthcare client to implement mobile technologies equipped with integrated barcode scanning capabilities for medication administration. This initiative is designed to enhance patient safety by ensuring accurate patient identification and precise dosage administration, thereby reducing potential risks.
Additionally, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has proven to be highly effective in automating manual and repetitive tasks. This could be from patient administration to appointment scheduling to report generation and distribution. The ability of RPA to allow staff to focus on higher value tasks was evident during the global pandemic; it played a vital role in relieving pressure on healthcare professionals so they could focus their efforts on helping those in need.
Hospitals and health systems are now tasked with improving challenges around data security, remote access, cost control, and digital experience. These specific factors are now under scrutiny amongst C-Level Executives in the sector. To tackle this, technologies such as remote desktops and collaboration apps are serving the needs of those in a host of different clinical and non-clinical job roles. These technologies ensure secure remote access and a consistent work experience, regardless of the device type or network.
The future of healthcare is bright with the introduction of digital technology that can reduce the risk of errors but also increase the speed and simplicity of healthcare processes. The introduction of AI is set to streamline productivity, drive efficiency, and revolutionise healthcare further. These advancements not only help healthcare professionals improve patient care and productivity, but also have the potential to lead to quicker, earlier diagnoses and more effective treatments for a range of conditions, all while reducing costs.
Author: David Wilkinson
Chief Technical Architect, Telefónica Tech UK&I
This article was originally published in Ambition Magazine, published by Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce