A certified, efficient EHR System
The one piece of health technology that has received more attention than any other over the past several years is the EHR. It's understandable, since the central government is providing stimulus payments to hospitals and the ambulatory settings for providers implementing a certified EHR as quickly as possible.
Surgical and Service Line Technologies
When it comes to surgical technologies within a hospital, the administration needs to work in conjunction with its physicians and nurses to determine the best strategy. It may be instinctive to purchase the latest and greatest technologies that hit the market, but surgical equipment has high upfront costs, so it must be properly utilized and have a productive reputation.
Smart-phones, Tablets and Applications
Over the past several years, the omnipresence of smart-phones, tablets and their applications has been one of the biggest cultural shifts in the hospital setting, as well as society at large. They provide a wealth of information for physicians and other clinicians - and all within a fingertip's reach.
Hybrid Operating Rooms
While hybrid ORs may seem like a newer technology, the concept has actually been around for more than 20 years. In the early 1990s, Juan Parodi, MD, an internationally renowned vascular surgeon in both the United States and Argentina, pioneered the first endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm procedure, which led to the eventual creation of hybrid Ors.
There are several necessary components for a viable telehealth infrastructure. Certainly, there needs to be the right connectivity and support from the government — especially in rural areas — but hospitals have to be willing to take on collaborative telehealth tools of their own
Ultrasound Imaging Devices
Physicians, especially those within the ED, have become more adept at using ultrasound imaging devices over the past 10 years.
Infection Detecting Technologies
A high-quality hospital infection control program keeps a hospital competitive on several fronts. First, it keeps the hospital compliant with all regulatory patient safety issues. Second, low rates of infection are able to be publicized to patients to tell them, "You will be safely treated at this hospital." Effective infection control hospital programs also have the right technology to detect if and when there is a problem.
Healthcare Staffing Management Technology
Staffing and labor costs can consume more than 50 percent of expenses at most hospitals. In order to keep those costs in check, hospitals can implement staffing management technology to keep scheduling at an optimal state without sacrificing patient care.
Social media technologies such as Facebook, Twitter, CaringBridge, Podcasting, Wikis, Blogs and others are not new (Facebook has already been around for eight years), and the services are all extremely accessible. However, not all hospitals utilize the technology — or at least utilize it in a well-structured manner.
At the end of the day, hospital reputation is a major factor with regard to patient volumes. Health IT, surgical technology and the like help to shape the reputation, but how a hospital accommodates its patients directly with technology is just as critical. "Competition for patients in many markets is fierce, so the smart hospital is the one that leverages IT that directly impacts the patient.
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