With the ever-increasing improvements in all aspects of technology and the impact of integrating technology into the healthcare environment, the Kahler Slater Research Team implemented an exhaustive review of both our own recent projects as well as a review of over 100 recently published texts and documents to identify the impact of technology on patient experience. Here are three key themes that emerged:
1. Transparency Technology can be used to create transparency throughout healthcare organizations. EPIC, Cerner and Athena are examples of Electronic Health Record (EHR) platforms that can seamlessly connect providers within and across organizations. As patients, we know that portals allow us to see and access our medical records and test results, while allowing us to make appointments and send messages to our providers.
2. Efficiency New technologies in the clinic setting improve patient flow and reduce wait times. Check-in kiosks for appointments, as well as a friendly face at reception, improve the experience for all generations. Additionally, self-rooming technology provides an ideal hybrid solution to improving efficiency.
Interactive Patient Technologies (IPT) empower patients and provide them with a sense of control during stressful times and vulnerable situations. With IPT, patients can easily gain access to education on disease processes, diagnostics, and medications. For staff, a bedside telephone candouble as a barcode scanner to enter patient records into digital files, and organizations can streamline processes to give clinicians more time with their patients. IPT also minimizes the demand on maintenance and support for technology resources.
3. Access Telehealth allows patients access to specialists outside of in their area, or contact with their caregiver from home. With the telehealth equipment on a cart, providers can efficiently move it to a critical patient. Technology is also impacting behavioral health. For example, the TalkSpace service provides users with access to licensed therapists through the website or mobile app.
Finally, in many areas, patients can look up the wait times for Urgent Care online or register for urgent care or clinic appointments in advance of their arrival.
By continuing to incorporate technology into healthcare design and operational practices, providers can improve workflow and efficiency, create a better patient experience and increase access to care.