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General Healthcare Technology Trends
Technology is becoming more advanced in healthcare and is contributing to improved patient outcomes. Some technology trends that are spreading in my current organization are the Voalte and Rover app on the new mobile smartphones and the Electronic Health Record (EHR). EHRs are real-time, patient-centered records that make information available instantly and securely to authorized users (HealthIT, 2019c, para. 1). Having access to patient records digitally saves time and allows all interdisciplinary and intradisciplinary team members authorization to the patient records creating opportunity for adequate patient care and improved patient outcomes. Voalte is an all-inclusive HIPAA-compliant platform that provides an end-to-end communication via direct calling, alarm and alert notifications, and secure text messaging (The Loop, 2020). Rover is an app that joins forces with EPIC an EHR system and allows healthcare workers to record documentation in real time and administer medication at patient bedside (HealthIT, 2019c).
Potential Challenges Associated with These Technology Trends
A big challenge with EHRs would be lack of interoperability. The inefficiency of data sharing can create a challenge for clinicians and patients to access patient information in a timely manner. This challenge leaves clinicians without information they need to make key decisions, follow up with patients, and develop strategies to improve overall outcomes (Bresnick, 2017). As for Voalte and Rover, security issues could be a potential challenge. More specifically, 91% of medical apps had mishandled and/or weak encryption, putting them at risk of exposing IP and patient data (Muncaster, 2020, para. 5). Healthcare is a popular place for cyber hackers and unfortunately, 2 out of 5 healthcare organizations are troubled with application security concerns (Muncaster, 2020).
Benefits and Risks
Benefits associated with EHRs are enabling quick access to patient records, aid clinicians to more efficiently diagnose patients, reduce medical errors, and provide safer care, enhance privacy and security, and improve productivity and work-life balance (HealthIT, 2019b). However, a breach in security can be a risk to the EHR system because healthcare organizations are a prime source for cyber hackers. A legislation benefit for EHRs is the HITECH ACT which provides the Department of Health and Human Services with the authority to establish programs to improve health care quality, safety, and efficiency through the promotion of health IT like EHRs (HealthIT, 2019a). Benefits of the Voalte platform can reduce miscommunication that the Joint Commission has reported as the top root cause for sentinel events and allow more direct communication via healthcare team members to promote patient safety, improve quality of care, and provide a quiet hospital environment (Miller, 2016).
Technology Trends Will Make an Impact
Technology is advancing daily and will continue to grow and develop. Technology trends in healthcare allow less risk and more reward. Technology and todays society accommodate one another. This day and age everyone uses social media and mobile devices that contain mobile apps. Voalte and Rover mobile app will impact patient satisfaction, engagement, and health outcomes (Skiba, 2017).