Why The Healthcare Industry Needs The Best Technology
Robo-nurses, blockchain medical records, and post-acute care with AI sensors and real-time updates. The medical industry is rushing full-force into technology and there is no looking back. The advantages to patient care and the necessary augmentation to the workforce have created the perfect environment for all of these new technologies to find their place.
Additionally, the healthcare industry is one of experimentation and research. Newer and better is the goal, with very little aversion to change—both in terms of healthcare professionals and patients.
However, sometimes healthcare organizations can forget about the core technology that supports every technology that is layered on top: The internet. The following dives into why the healthcare industry so desperately needs the best technology and how a strong internet connection is foundational to these advances.
New Patient Acquisition
A healthcare organization is just like any other business. It relies on customers (i.e. patients) and their purchases (i.e. consultations, procedures, etc). And while excellent care and top healthcare professionals will likely get a patient through the door, it is other aspects of their experience with the organization that will make them stay.
These aspects include their entire experience from hearing about the facility to making an appointment to attending their first consultation. This means that the organization's website should offer robust technology, such as an appointment booking application, a chatbot, and more. It means that the office should have a strong phone connection so that when potential patients call in, the phone system is clear and they never get cut off when they are speaking with an office employee, waiting to be forwarded to a different department, or trying to leave a message.
To accomplish this, healthcare organizations need to have a provider that can offer them a comprehensive phone, cable, and internet package. They also need to know that these services will not suffer from downtime and that when problems do arise, they can get immediate assistance to resolve the issue. This is nonnegotiable—if the office's internet or phone system is down, potential patients will quickly move on to a competitor.
Investing in these services is worthwhile. With 81% of patients unhappy with their healthcare experience, many of them are looking to change the organization they are currently with. In fact, close to half of both Millennials and Generation X are open to switching providers in the next couple of years. With these two generations, and Millennials in particular, technology is a quintessential aspect of any relationship to a brand, business, or service provider. Healthcare organizations must ensure that they are using an internet and phone connection that lay a strong foundation for additional technologies.
Enhanced Patient Experience
The statistic mentioned above is important to keep in mind. If 81% of patients are unsatisfied with their healthcare experience, this means that healthcare organizations need to step up their efforts with patients. A good deal of this experience depends on technology.
Patients expect the healthcare professionals that they work with to use the best technology. Just seeing a nurse with a tablet instead of carrying around paper files can help give the impression that the organization is progressive. But not only should these technologies be visible to the naked eye, patients should also feel how the organization is improving their experience. Technologies like blockchain medical records should allow them to move their medical files much more easily from the general practitioner at one hospital to a specialist at another clinic. Hospital visits should be more streamlined, with reductions in patient waiting times and an ease of use with the billing aspects of medical visits.
Two of the key areas to improve for patients is the ease of scheduling and the waiting room experience. When it comes to the technology involved, these two factors are simple to address. With scheduling, healthcare facilities must have a robust phone system. This means a phone connection that is reliable, never cutting out or adding white noise that makes it difficult to hear. With the waiting room experience, there are two essential offerings: Guest Wi-Fi and cable. Both of these provide entertainment or the ability to accomplish tasks. It gives patients something to do while they wait, reducing frustration if the healthcare professionals are delayed.
Healthcare cybersecurity is unique when compared to financial cybersecurity or intellectual property cybersecurity. The latter two protect data that, if stolen, can quickly be sold or used for financial gain—or financial loss on someone else's part. Healthcare data can of course be used for similar reasons, but it could potentially be used to physically harm individuals (i.e. hacking into a patient's medical device). Additionally, due to the fact that medical histories are some of the most sensitive types of data that exist, the liability associated with stolen data is exhorbitant.
What all of this means is that healthcare organizations, for myriad reasons, must take all possible precautions in order to protect data and strengthen their cybersecurity. Year after year, cyberattacks on the healthcare industry grow. In 2015, more healthcare records were compromised or stolen than in all of the prior six years combined. In 2016, there was a record number of healthcare cyberattacks. 2017 set a new record. And while 2018 saw a decline in ransomware attacks, more bad actors started hacking into healthcare organization systems and rerouting the network to mine cryptocurrency, making this a common issue that many organizations are struggling to deal with.
This is why organizations have started investing in technology that protects their network. These technologies include everything from software that provides a network with strict access control to highly secured management platforms. However, while this technology is necessary for comprehensive protection, healthcare facilities and organizations need to provide additional support by relying on a strong internet provider—a provider that can offer not only network management, but also IT support that augments the organization's own IT department.
As has been mentioned multiple times, the healthcare industry and its data falls under strict regulations, including HIPPA, GDPR, and more. For this reason, many healthcare organizations have been hesitant to make the move to the cloud. There are just so many factors involved and the risk of non-compliance is just too high—but not anymore. The variety in cloud options, such as public, private, and hybrid, make at least a partial move to the cloud a good option for every healthcare entity.
Cloud-based solutions have a number of big benefits. Consultations with patients are simpler, patients and providers have easier access to records, and additional patient-doctor engagement options become available (i.e. video consultations, messaging systems, and more). The complications that are associated with these features and benefits, such as safe collection and storage of ePHI data during telemedicine consultations, is now more straightforward with specialty cloud hosting providers becoming available. These are specific providers who solely work with healthcare organizations, comprehensively understand the regulations, and have thorough policies and systems in place to cater to these compliance needs.
Due to the lessening risks and mounting benefits, healthcare has become the industry that is adopting cloud technology fastest. In fact, more than a third of healthcare organizations are storing over half of their data and infrastructure in the cloud. This growth is only predicted to continue. In 2018, the global healthcare cloud computing market was valued at over $19 billion and by 2023 it is expected to more than double this figure.
This means that healthcare organizations that are not using cloud-based applications or are only slowly starting to adopt the technology need to speed up their transition—in the next few years it will be the industry standard. Another industry standard will be reliable internet that guarantees access to the cloud at all times, enabling significant data usage and fast upload and download speeds.
MaxxSouth Broadband can support your healthcare organization as an internet, cable, and phone provider. We guarantee fast, reliable internet, which is essential in supporting cloud-based applications. We can increase your current upload speed, empowering you to share the large data files that are critical for patient care. We can increase your data allotment, offer a wide variety of television entertainment options, install a comprehensive phone system, and provide deeply skilled and available IT support.
This IT support is one of the most differentiating offers that we provide. Unlike many internet, cable, and phone service providers who can force customers to wait on hold for extended periods or miss out on profits from service downtime, our IT team offers support around the clock. We are available 24/7. We can come to you and your business or we can provide assistance over the phone. Our goal is to provide you with the services that will help your business succeed and offer exhaustive and extensive support for these services.
It does not matter whether you only have a handful of people in your organization or your workforce numbers in the hundreds, we have the right internet, cable, and phone plan for you. Please contact us for more information or to get a quote.
Contact the Marketing Team.