Technological advances have changed the way medical care is practiced and delivered. Many healthcare facilities have acquired different resources that have been brought about by the technological advances as a way of enhancing a change in the medical sector (Hackney, 2012). Despite the acquisition of new equipment among other resources that are modern, there is also a need for people with the necessary skills and knowledge in operating and using the latter precisely to cater for the costs that might be incurred as a result of poor usage. This paper aims at identifying and describing three of the most significant clinical and information technological changes seen in the last five years; and the influence of these technological changes on a specific aspect of healthcare. The identification of the technological changes is with consideration of the influence on the decision making and ethical choice from the patient and the healthcare provider/professionals perspective.
The development of the electronic medical record (EMR) which is a digital means through which the patients medical history records are kept for future reference is one of the technological developments that has been experienced in the medical care sector (Thomas Hess, 2011). The initiation of the EMR has reduced the rate at which patients medical records are lost through the means of paperwork; this has also made it easier to access the latter. EMR has made the appearance of the medical institutions to be neat due to the reduction of paperwork which had a lot of work and brought about untidy scenarios and appearances. The patients have a positive reaction towards the facilitation of EMR as this has helped many of them to access medical services without any issues which they had to deal with in the past such as carrying their medical records around whenever they went for medical checkups or treatment.
It takes a more skilled person who has sufficient knowledge in record keeping according to the current standards as far as modern technology is concerned to help in running an EMR (Mostashari, 2014). Therefore, the managers of the medical institutions have to see to it that they acquire the best record keepers in the market to help them in managing their patients' medical records through the EMR. It is costly to access the modern equipment which is used in record keeping such as the computers, storage devices, the printing and the photocopying machines. Most medical practitioners have a hard time to work with the modernized equipment due to the complications experienced while using the equipment (Thomas Hess, 2011). The advantage of using the electronic medical record is that the medical records of the patient can be easily accessed at whichever medical institution the patient goes for diagnosis or treatment.
Development of streamlined laboratory testing is another technological advancement in the healthcare sector that has brought about a whole new experience. In the previous years, many medical practitioners had a rough time dealing with multiple lab tests; the lab tests thus ended up being time-consuming and very expensive at the expense of the medical institutions. The streamlined laboratory tests have enabled the lab technicians to handle many tests according to the amounts of samples at their disposal without worrying about time. Initially, patients used to queue long lines waiting for their laboratory results to be provided before accessing treatment; but with the implementation of streamlined lab tests, the long queues are no more.
Just as the EMR, the streamlined lab tests also require an experienced individual to carry out the lab tests accurately at the least time possible. The patients are delighted with the way in which they receive their laboratory results as soon as they go for diagnosis. Many patients can now be diagnosed in a single day through the initiation of the streamlined lab tests unlike in the ancient times when patients would even lose their lives while waiting for the results of their laboratory tests.
The initiation of new screening and assessment tools in healthcare institutions is another benefit brought in by technological advancement in the medical sector. Equipment such as x-rays, stethoscopes, and chest typographs among others have helped in diagnosing patients who have issues with their respiratory systems and other body systems that can be assessed or screened. The expenses incurred by the medical institutions managers in purchasing these items is high due to the market prices of the equipment. Patients highly benefit from the utilization of these tools when they go for diagnosis and treatment.
Just like any other form of business, healthcare provision is also regarded a competitive economic activity. The world is turning into "a global village," and this requires that any business entity in a certain economic environment to devise ways through which it can access the modernized technological equipment in the production and offering of its services and gain a competitive advantage over its competitors. Healthcare professionals are still coming up with other new technological advances to help in effectively executing medical services to the medical consumers. The confidence of the medical consumers has been restored due to the technological advances that have come along in the medical sector. The enforcement of technological advancement in the medical care sector is beneficial, but it also comes with a cost which has to be incurred to acquire the modernized equipment. However, it has been hard convincing other people who are so much bent in dealing with the past to adapt to the new technological way of doing things.
Hackney, T. (2012). PRACTITIONER APPLICATION: Coevolution of Patients and Hospitals: How Changing Epidemiology and Technological Advances Create Challenges and Drive Organizational Innovation. Journal of Healthcare Management, 57(1), pp.33-34.
Mostashari, F. (2014). Health information technology and Healthcare. Healthcare, 2(1), pp.1-2.
Thomas Hess, C. (2011). Your Electronic Medical Record Training Checklist. Advances in Skin & Wound Care, 24(6), p.288.
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