For years now, automation has been growing in terms of development and application across almost all industries. Automation can be defined as the use of control systems and information to decrease and minimize the need for human intervention in the production of goods and services.
Although automation has been around for a while, the healthcare industry has been lethargic in comparison to implementing the technology. However, healthcare reform has brought the technology in the spotlight and led to increased interest and implementation in various areas of the industry.
As the global population ages and new viruses and concerns come to light, the healthcare system continues to feel the strain of handling too many patients and not enough staff to deal with them. For instance, nursing staff has experienced considerable shortages over the years and it is only expected to continue. Bearing this trend in mind, eliminating a few of the redundant and manual tasks done by nursing staff and hospital workers is a vital consideration as it will allow them to better manage their time among patients and thus provide better care.
Generally, automation has been associated with job losses across many industries, which is a major limitation and why many are hesitant in implementing the technology. However, including automation in healthcare jobs like pharmacy work has proven to be extremely valuable. Shifting their focus from mundane and menial tasks like counting pills allows workers to focus on more productive and rewarding tasks during their work hours.
Automation cannot replace doctors and nurses, but it can be incorporated into their current workflows and operations to instill higher efficiency and less monotony.
How Applying Data Automation is Improving Healthcare
There are several benefits to be gained from including automation and data processes within healthcare. Let’s look at a few examples:
Saving on Labor
For tasks that require a lot of attention and time, automation can be used to complete the same task in a much shorter span of time. This does not lead to the elimination or loss of jobs for healthcare employees, rather; it frees them up to focus their efforts on more important tasks throughout their shift. Doctors, nurses and EMS can work in higher-functioning roles and work to their maximum potential capacity by using their training and expertise.
Increased Waste Reduction
Discovering new methods of reducing waste is, in many ways, a never-ending pursuit as there is always something to improve upon. Paper and spreadsheets are most commonly over-printed and distributed in healthcare, leading to a lot of unnecessary waste.
There is also a considerable amount of wasted time throughout the day in healthcare. Instead of placing nurses and administration staff to get regular updates on discharged patients, the implementation of automation procedures takes care of the process entirely. Allowing the staff to spend more time proving care as well as enabling patients to connect to their required information more efficiently.
Emergency Care is Improved
There are decreased complications and difficulties when EMS software is implemented within healthcare institutions. Emergency services tend to be the first point of contact for a patient before they reach a medical facility. Implementing new technology and software enables quicker and easier communication with the hospital’s emergency department.
For instance, when an EMS agency is allowed to communicate via telehealth software or voice technology, the ER doctor and staff can be prepped and ready for the patient before they even arrive, saving valuable time and being ready for immediate response. This also leads to better patient outcomes.
Data Automation Benefits: Order Entry Provides Better Consistency
Human error and fatigue are frequently the cause of many aspects of healthcare mishaps. The implementation of automation tools facilitates the elimination of human error which enables a more consistent pattern of patient care and fewer errors leading to adverse effects.
For instance, research has proven that areas that use more automation applications that are capable of organizing medical records, decision support and order entry, experienced fewer deaths and complications. They also experienced significant cost savings in the long run.
Staying on Track With Predicted Outcomes
When a care pathway is supplemented with automation technologies, there are increased chances that they will reach the predicted medical outcomes. Automation can also enable healthcare professionals to be notified if the patient skips or doesn’t adhere to their care plan. The application also notifies hospitals of these changes and allows them to intervene. Ensuring that the predicted outcomes match with actual outcomes with automation makes the entire system run seamlessly.
Data Automation Benefits: Handling of Higher Patient Volume
When a healthcare provider has access to automation tools, they are capable of handling a larger amount of patients at once. Instead of being forced to scale patient headcounts according to the number of patients increasing or decreasing, automation systems enable flexibility in terms of work for all patient groups. This increases the overall capacity in hospitals and other healthcare institutions without compromising on the quality of patient care. This also ensures that nurses are not overworked and are better equipped to treat their patients.
Conclusion: Data Automation Benefits
When implementing automation within the healthcare industry, it is crucial to start by ensuring a standardized and simple process. Hospitals are perfect for implementing new automation procedures as they are responsible for managing large groups of the population on a daily basis. As technology develops and progresses, automation procedures and applications will only improve, resulting in a system that is streamlined, error-free and focused on patient care.