April 23, 2021
How technology can streamline and lower healthcare administration costs in the wake of COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has stretched healthcare organisations to near breaking point, not just in the UK but worldwide.
To respond to an unforeseen international health crisis with tight budgets and staff shortages (often due to coronavirus itself), healthcare bosses have had to think creatively. Traditional ways of working have in some cases been put aside, in favour of leveraging new technology.
If the right tools and automation can be utilised in the right places, it’s possible for healthcare systems to become more efficient and streamlined. Crucially, it can also cut costs.
New innovations in healthcare
There have been lots of examples of brilliant technological innovation during the COVID-19 crisis. Many care providers have been trialling cloud-based or technologically enabled electronic medical record (EMR) systems. Plus, payment portals and new app-based tools to communicate more efficiently (and remotely) with patients.
The results from some of these projects have been fantastic. Not only have they eased the burden on healthcare providers, but there are plenty of benefits for patients too.
According to a report from the US in MedCityNews.com, the number of people accessing healthcare using ‘telemedicine’ (healthcare provided at a distance) increased from 13,000 a week to 1.7 million. And this isn’t only because of COVID-19. It has been suggested that ‘telehealthcare’ removes barriers for people who may not otherwise seek medical treatment, improving access to healthcare for many millions more people.
According to a report in Harvard Business Review, Virginia Mason Medical Center in the US has been able to reduce doctor prescription order errors (caused by illegible handwriting or misunderstandings of verbal orders) from 50% to close to zero. This happened almost overnight, thanks to a system linking bar codes on patient wristbands to labels on medication – all linked to electronic patient records.
How simple innovations can streamline healthcare
Of course, the application of tech in healthcare environments needn’t be complicated, or require the rollout of sophisticated integrated systems. Even simple tools can help healthcare staff to streamline time-consuming processes and improve the quality of their work.
Take WeType, for example. Our tools can be used almost as soon as their installed. This allows busy healthcare staff to dictate and submit clinical notes, meeting minutes and other voice recordings for professional transcription – all in just a few taps.
Apps like VoiceMaster utilise ubiquitous technology such as the smartphone, re-tooling staff devices to effectively turn them into portable Dictaphones.
Using simple tools like this, there’s no need for training or expensive digital transformation projects. Practically overnight, healthcare staff will be given the opportunity to save hours on notetaking and admin. This saves money, speeds up processes and gives medical professionals more time to spend with their patients.
A tool like this, and the time-saving benefits it can offer, could make all the difference in an unprecedented health crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic.