By World Healthcare Journal-
The global healthcare market is still largely manual, paper-driven, and currently at the very beginning its own digital revolution.
As we already see in the fields of retail, banking, insurance, and travel – the benefits of going digital are limitless. Consumers in these sectors are already enjoying the lower costs, increased efficiency and improved customer satisfaction brought by digitisation.
Just like these sectors, healthcare needs to evolve in the same way.
This means organisations must:
1. Move from organisation-centric to patient-centric thinking and systems
2. Enable patients to directly manage their own services
3. Create digital, life-long service records for each patient
Healthcare organisations need to start developing comprehensive, life-long, personal care records for every patient, in order to ensure that patients receive access to transparent care history, personal data management, and accessible services provided to them. What is more, is that the market for a digital, personal care record is almost empty worldwide. Today, almost no one has access to one – the growth potential in this market is limitless.
How a personal care record works
Firstly, a personal care record needs a platform from which to function. As many of us carry around a computer in our pocket every day in the form of smartphones, the most obvious platform for a personal health record to sit on is an app.
With internet connectivity, the care record data which is accrued and uploaded from healthcare providers (which do not necessarily have to be a single provider), enter a secure cloud-based system which the app functions from.
Then, the digital patient care record provider analyses the incoming data from the provider and incorporates that data into directing the patient into evidence-based care pathways.
These pathways are specific to the needs of each patient, creating proactive action items and alerts - such as appointments to attend and amend, prescriptions to collect, and daily targets to hit to optimise their outcomes – such as exercise, food and water intake, or even social goals and activities.
Furthermore, these targets are managed and attuned to patient-generated data, such as from wearable or IoT based devices which are incorporated into the online patient record through the internet, Bluetooth, or failing that, direct patient entry.
With the patient record continually updating and interfacing with the information provided by the healthcare provider and patient input, the record is always up to date, and the patient is always informed.
But a next-generation healthcare record is not only going to vastly improve the quality of life for patients – it addresses many of the major issues facing healthcare today.
How lifelong patient records can fix the healthcare system
1. Cost reduction
One of the foremost challenges in healthcare is rapidly rising costs. In the UK and the USA, 45 per cent of the population has a long-term healthcare condition, and this proportion consumes an approximate 75 per cent of their healthcare budgets – which is on the rise.
As many systems are realising, the key to reducing costs is through proactive, preventative measures, such as regular screening and health checks – as opposed to reactionary, treatment-based methods.
By analysing incoming data from the patient and provider, and identifying red flags, patients are automatically supplied with alerts, reminders, and nudges to address what could be the early signs of issues. This removes the need for clinicians and staff to remind patients to attend appointments – and is the most cost-effective way of achieving higher screening rates.
“Only personal care records are lifelong, comprehensive, proactive, and accessible worldwide. No other form of healthcare record achieves these four targets. ”
- Stan Shepherd, CEO, Instant Access Medical
2. Increase healthcare productivity
The global healthcare workforce is facing an enormous shortage of healthcare workers. No country has the ability to afford or accommodate the training of enough professionals in the required time frame to close the gap. This problem will not go away if we continue managing our health in the same way.
As such, healthcare must use new, innovative, digital technologies to increase the productivity of the healthcare professionals that we have to help ease the burden.
At present, healthcare professionals spend far too much time reviewing test results, which are often non-problematic. Through personal care records, test results are automatically monitored – alerting clinicians and professionals when results are abnormal or need addressing. This relieves the healthcare workforce of the massive burden of the call, recall, and follow up the process when addressing scans.
3. Enable mass population behaviour change
Around the world, lifestyle-based diseases dominate healthcare costs – fatty liver, heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, etc.
Whatever the healthcare system, even with the best efforts of healthcare professionals, without population behaviour change, costs will only continue to rise.
Mass population behaviour change can only be achieved through mass personal behaviour change. Personal care records support self-care and self-management with unique care pathways, wellbeing programs, healthy lifestyles, health promotion, and information resources - to empower and enable patients to manage as much of their own care as they can or as they choose.
Only personal care records are lifelong, comprehensive, proactive, and accessible worldwide. No other form of healthcare record achieves these four targets.
With personal care records harnessing the potential to be the richest, most comprehensive healthcare tool, taking the place of the pre-eminent, definitive health and care record in the world, the future of healthcare lies in incorporating whole-life personal care records.
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