Patient care and safety are paramount when it comes to health care. And they always must remain at the forefront no matter how the industry changes.

The shift in how patients access care through technology is one such change — and it is showing considerable potential in improving the ability of patients and providers to better manage health.

  • It empowers patients to become more involved and proactive in their own health.
  • It enables remote monitoring of chronic conditions as well as ongoing maintenance care.
  • It provides similar levels of care compared with traditional in-person office visits.
  • It extends access to real-time care for distant, underserved and homebound populations.

When incorporating technology into patient care, there are unique considerations to take into account. There must be a conscious effort to understand its capabilities as well as its limitations. Toward that end, the industry will need a common standard for evaluating quality and safety of current technologies. Further, thought must be given to how to handle remote technology upgrades and failures, especially when it affects the immediate well-being of a patient.

What can we — from a cross-industry perspective — do to foster continued quality of care and positive patient outcomes, especially as capabilities continue to evolve and new technologies and innovations are introduced?

  • We need standard ways to determine and measure the kind of care a patient receives through the various emerging modalities.
  • We should outline what new, specialized skills and knowledge health care workers need in order to provide care in a rapidly evolving environment. And then we must translate them into educational programs that support these required competencies.

Looking ahead, it is clear that emerging modalities are positioned to transform health care. But we have to ensure that this transformation ultimately benefits the patient first and foremost — through improved outcomes, quality of care and safety.

 

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I’m compensated by University of Phoenix for this blog and as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.


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