The transformation from treatment based organizations to healthcare systems has changed the relationship between the citizenry and healthcare providers. The first change is in the populace who would prefer to remain healthy rather than only seeking treatments whenever the need arises. This populace would also need to make informed healthcare decisions as and when the need arises. The second change is with the government and other stakeholders including employers who look at healthcare from a macro-based perspective to wit; how healthy the population or workforce is as opposed to individual health (Davis, 2016). Finally, there is the preponderance of healthcare schemes and programs whose bottom line is determined by the overall health of their clientele in general rather than just their individual clients. This transformation has in the last few years developed into a revolution whose fundamental element is information. The information issue has then developed to freshness of information which is the basis for the current concept of the need for real-time information, a kind of constant touch relationship between the healthcare provider and the populace.
One of the biggest problems relating to this issue is privacy. Whereas health is a fundamental issue in the life of an individual, the current trend has seen patients and healthcare clients being more interested in ensuring the privacy of their health records than they are in ensuring the sanctity of their health itself. EMC's Chief Technology Officer Dave Dimond has been quoted saying that if the amount of energy, technology, and finances spent in securing patient data was spent on improving patient-healthcare interaction, the information divide would have been handled already (Davis, 2016). This is an issue of misplaced priorities as we live in a period when all personal information is exposed on social media, leading to developments of acronyms such as TMI (too much information) yet the same populace is seemingly worried about exposure of medical records. As the legal situation stands however, patient information privacy is paramount and any medium so used must inculcate this factor.
Delegate your assignment to our experts and they will do the rest.
One of the easiest means of patient-heath care provider interaction is social media, perhaps the most powerful information technology (IT) tools of our times. So powerful that it saw several decades old regimes fall in the Arab Spring and has also recently seen corporations all over the world spend millions of dollars in advertisement and customer interaction programs with great success. Among the advantages of using this system is availability, it is already tried and tested, and it is easy to use and operates on a 24-hour basis thus ensuring that the real-time element is achieved. Most social media platform providers including Facebook have specialized services for paying customers. The healthcare stakeholders can approach these providers for a specialized platform with a simple online user interface that allows for information to pass securely from the patient to the healthcare provider in real-time. This is already being used by social media users and they are able to communicate all the elements of their lives in real-time to their friends and group members (Davis, 2016).
A second probable example of how this real-time data sharing can be achieved is through the popular android system ‘apps’ that have become so popular in contemporary usage. The most important element of these apps is their personalization, privacy, and ease of use. Albeit most of the beneficiaries of healthcare are predominantly of a slightly advanced age, research has shown that the smart phone has cut across the generational divide with even the senior citizenry learning how to use it with little effort. The motivation to make this effort to learn can be enhanced by the knowledge that the patient’s health and life may depend on this application. The system would entail a simple program that can be installed in any computerized device and would enable the constant interaction between patients and health providers. The program so developed can have the ability for password protection and personalization to enable ease of use by different types of users from the young intellectuals to the elderly (Davis, 2016).
For the workforce teams, an interactive yet personalized and well secured online database can be used in the same way that big organizations interact. This program can be owned and managed by the specific healthcare provider with a simple graphic user interface (GUI) for the patients to use on a computer and a mobile version for use in phone related gadgets when out of the work place. Among the major advantages of this example is the relative low cost on the part of the health-care provider which is in part enabled by the fact that most of these workforce clients were computer literate and will be able to properly and securely operate using the GUI based system. Algorithms can also be input into such a system to analyze and organize the data so fed into the system to enable ease of access and prioritization of responses. The system is however, susceptible to security issues but the general IT aptitude of the current working generation can safeguard against this (Davis, 2016).
Finally, capitalization will always ensure that the availability of demand will always create a specialized supply for that demand. Leading software manufacturers are already working on several specialized systems that can both take advantage of the available software in a manner that enables and eases real-time health-care quality report but also creates new and better systems to facilitate the same. Considering that the current healthcare industry is worth billions of dollars, there is enough incentive for innovation and creativity in ways and manners to both find new ways and also perfect the available ones. However, something needs to be done about the biggest hindrance to better healthcare, being the fundamental need for privacy; as the healthcare industry transforms, perhaps this element regarding the patients should change along with it (Davis, 2016).
Davis, J. (2016). Data-analytics gap: How real-time strategies can improve care quality and efficiency . Retrieved from< http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/data-analytics-gap-how-real-time-strategies-can-improve-care-quality-and-efficiency/>