With these healthcare software solutions, care continuity, patient engagement, and streamlining processes are possible. For inclusion in such a category, the technology should enable easy access to patient data, provide visibility through the entire care delivery cycle, and support communication and collaboration among providers and those they treat.
Patient care software products focus on managing interactions between healthcare teams and patients. Organisations use these platforms to optimise care coordination throughout the patient’s experience. It provides a centralised hub for patient care, including scheduling, charting, treatment plans, communications, medical history, and billing.
The market has many options with varying features and functionality. Some are out-of-the-box solutions, while others are custom software applications.
To identify what your practice or hospital needs in this category of healthcare technology, you’ll need to define your patient care goals. Some examples include:
Each of these is likely on your list of objectives. If you have patient care management software, you can realise these goals. They’ll also point you towards the features that will be most valuable.
Here are some example features and how they align with these initiatives:
Patient portals are a vital feature in patient care software. They offer a means for someone to access their information and communicate with providers. Their adoption is growing, with 40 per cent of patients using such a feature to review medical records.
Patients use these platforms for much more, with 44 per cent expecting to use them to make appointments and 40 per cent desiring the ability to communicate online.
When individuals use these after hospitalisations or procedures, it can enhance care by ensuring they have post-care instructions, get reminders about follow-up appointments, and have a direct line of communication. As a result, this engagement could reduce the risk of readmissions or adverse outcomes.
The most essential feature of patient care software is that it’s where medical data lives. This functionality is usually an EHR (electronic health record). It provides one source of truth for all healthcare data. Providers have access to track and monitor conditions. Patients can also view it in the portal, and it’s shareable with other care team members.
The charting modules should include records, updates, notes, medications, prior diagnoses, surgeries, test results, chronic issues, and more. Whether in the portal or transferring information, sharing relies on interoperability. Not all patient care software products make integration and sharing easy, so be sure to understand the capabilities and limitations.
All this data is vital to enhancing patient care. A provider with a complete picture of information can improve the accuracy of diagnosis, avoid medical errors, and understand underlying factors contributing to a condition.
Interacting with patients can occur in different settings. There are traditional doctor visits, telehealth appointments, and inpatient services. You may see patients in one or more ways, so the technology you select should track and manage the encounters.
For traditional visits, the software can accelerate check-in processes and streamline initial visits. It’s feeding more data into the EHR that will help the physician in care delivery. It can work similarly for telehealth and telemedicine solutions.
In inpatient encounters, it can support the admission process and track that person through surgery or hospitalisation. Such software can manage things like medication dosages, bed availability, and more. When it’s time for the patient to go home, the software will provide the discharge instructions.
Improving encounters, gathering more data, and tracking the process are all contributors to enhanced patient care.
Another crucial element of patient care management software is the ability to coordinate care and ensure it’s consistent across providers. Many people have multiple doctors, from general practitioners to specialists. Keeping all parties in tune with treatments, diagnoses, symptoms, and other data is critical. In fact, it could be life-saving. A study found that increased continuity of care by doctors was associated with lower mortality rates.
The challenges of care continuity include lack of communication and not sharing necessary medical information. When these things are absent, medical errors can occur. For example, two different clinicians may prescribe someone medications that, when taken together, could cause an adverse reaction. Not coordinating treatment between doctors can also lead to unnecessary tests and failure to take preventive measures.
It’s a relevant feature that any practice and healthcare system would want as part of their initiatives to improve patient care.
In any healthcare technology decision, you must ensure that the software has privacy, security, and compliance features. Protections are in place for patient data, and since healthcare is a huge target for cybersecurity attacks, your platform has to make this a primary component.
Privacy, security, and compliance may seem unrelated to improving care, but there is some synergy here. Consumers are more aware of data privacy and security. They expect that their data will be safe. If they have assurances of this, they could be more engaged and have a better perception of their healthcare team.
By understanding your goals for patient care software, you can define the functionality most crucial in improving care. Technology should be a bridge to patients, keeping them engaged and informed. If you’re seeking a solution for patient care software, you can find it with our services.
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