By Michael Morgan
Healthcare providers today rely on a mix of technologies to address clinical and business challenges in their practices.
These solutions were designed to make their lives, and their patients’ lives, easier. But, in reality, quite the opposite has occurred. Disparate solutions not designed to work together have created more work and added complexity to their daily lives.
The majority of healthcare providers use at least four to five different solutions to manage critical business functions, according to a recent survey from Updox. These include reminder systems to ensure patients keep their appointments, online portals for completing forms in advance, and text and email solutions for secure communications with patients.
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These tools are designed to increase business revenue and support more effective patient engagement strategies. However, having so much technology available at their fingertips can be overwhelming, taking providers’ focus away from patient care by wasting time on administrative tasks. In terms of time and dollars, there is a hard cost related to the added time that comes with requiring staff to log in and out of numerous systems, multiple times a day.
Technology is also impacting the satisfaction of both patients and providers — and not always for the better. Patients are frustrated by having to repeatedly share the same information through different platforms. And providers, already suffering burnout from larger patient loads and other job stressors, are spending more time in front of a computer, whether in the office or after hours, trying to manage technologies.
Understanding healthcare’s top frustrations
There is a significant demand to change the way technology is used in healthcare. But to ensure we can solve the problems, we need to understand where users experience the greatest frustrations.
In the Updox survey, out-of-hospital providers indicated that their top challenges included:
● Lack of integration between systems
● Service downtime or interruptions
● Multiple logins in different systems
● Poor design of systems
● Lack of features
The truth is that some of these challenges are related, and often, they play off each other. At the root of the problem is technology that has been patchworked together and doesn’t work cohesively the way providers need.
Rather than creating more work or stress, technology should free healthcare teams to spend more time with patients — which is the reason they got into healthcare in the first place.