The Use of Clinical Systems to Improve Outcomes and Efficiencies
The healthcare system of today is rapidly changing to include technology that combines both communication and exchange of information between providers. Technology use in everyday healthcare practice is just the beginning of the integration of communication tools with existing clinical applications (McGonigle & Garver Mastrian, 2018). The exchange of information encourages better patient care, safety, and satisfaction. McGonigle & Mastrian, 2018 state “by integrating communication and clinical applications a real-time approach facilitates interactions and a flow of communication among the entire healthcare team, patient, and their families to enhance care (p. 191). This paper will present five peer-reviewed research articles that incorporate technology into clinical applications within the healthcare realm.
The articles reviewed for this paper represent the merging of technology with clinical applications with the goal of creating a merging of information that is accessible to individuals and providers. The five papers are:
1. Deep Patient: An Unsupervised Representation to Predict the Future of Patients from Electronic Health Records (Miotto, Kidd, & Dudley, 2016).
2. Role of Telehealth in Pre-anesthetic Evaluations (Schoen & Prater, 2019).
3. The Benefit of the Smartphone in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery: Smartphone Use Among Maxillofacial Surgery Trainees and iPhone Apps for the Maxillofacial Surgeon (Carey, Frederick Brakkan Payne, Ahmed, & Goodson, 2015)
4. Healthcare Information Technology, Work Organization, and Nursing Home Performance (Hitt & Tambe, 2016).
5. Conceptualizing smartphone use in outpatient wound assessment: patients’ and caregivers’ willingness to use technology (Wiseman et al., 2015).
In the first study, the researcher’s goals are to create quantitative models that predict the health status of patients with the intention of finding ways to put an end to preventable diseases and disabilities (Miotto et al., 2016). By using the data collected from the electronic health record (EHR) computerized technology can initiate algorithms to discover which patients are at risk for disease. The authors presented a concept of a “deep patient”. Essentially the “deep patient” concept is used to “represent patients by a set of general features, which are inferred automatically from a large-scale EHR database through a deep learning approach”(Miotto et al., 2016, p. 2). Essentially, this article found that deep learning applied to EHR’s offer enhanced clinical predictions resulting in improved clinical systems and outcomes.
The second study, utilized telehealth to assess patients prior to elective surgical procedures. Telehealth can be defined as a method to distribute medical information and treatment to individuals and other healthcare professionals over a distance using technology (Schoen & Prater, 2019). By accessing patient’s medical records and merging it with telehealth visual technology physicians are able to assess airway, review history, lab data and prior tests with the goal of determining the patient;’s readiness for the surgical procedure (Schoen & Prater, 2019). Utilizing telehealth medicine provides an alternative for traditional brick-and-mortar facilities while providing care that is efficient and cost-effective.
The third study, combines smartphone technology and clinical learning for surgeons. A study was done to examine the use of medical apps and smartphones and the benefits for students training to be oral surgeons (Cary et al., 2015). With the introduction of medical applications and the trend toward smartphones, students and providers are able to be prepared for interactions with clients. Smartphone use among healthcare providers is said to be over 80% (Carey et al., 2015). Benefits of this for clinical practice include access to health information, teleradiology, photo documentation, telecommunication, and internet accessibility for reference material (Carey et al., 2015). The use of smartphones for medical convenience and cost will continue to rise in the next few years.
For the fourth study, the authors sought to show that the use of information technology increases the performance and productivity of nursing home services over a time period. The article sought to prove initiating healthcare information technology (HIT) in nursing homes was beneficial for costs, quality, efficiency, and productivity (Hitt & Tamble, 2016). When health information technology is assimilated into existing practices in nursing homes improvements can be seen for patients and staff.
Lastly, information technology and smartphones are making a difference in wound assessment and care. The older patient population who are willing to adopt smartphone practices show increased health related to proper documentation of wound healing and instant access to providers (Wiseman et al., 2015). Accessibility and convenience for this population increase compliance. Wiseman et al., (2015) state, “using smartphones to remotely monitor incisional wounds via digital photos as well as collect postoperative symptom information has the potential to improve patient outcomes and transitional care (Wiseman et al., 2015, p. 245). The possibility of this type of technology in the future is remarkable.