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Streamlining Clinical Guidance: Why Technology Is Important in Healthcare Today

Tech-based solutions can give healthcare professionals access to important information in an instant. Here's how.

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By Ido Zamberg, MD
Jessica Ross editor profile photo
Edited by Jessica Ross
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Fact-check by C8 Staff

Published December 18, 2023.

a doctor and a patient looking at clinical guidance on a tablet

Technology is fundamental when you're looking to make quick calls and save lives. It provides clinical teams with solutions like AI-powered predictive analysis, cloud-based information systems, electronic medical records, and access to data that drives decision-making.

This translates to improved clinical guidance with faster diagnoses, more personalized care plans, and reduced errors, ultimately leading to better patient outcomes. Here are eight ways that technology is important in healthcare today:

  1. Easy retrieval of patient information
  2. Better access to medical guidance
  3. Simplified digital integration
  4. Enhanced clinical practice
  5. Streamlined medical procedures
  6. Remote consultations
  7. Prediction and profiling
  8. Coordinated care

Let's take a closer look at each of these benefits of technology in healthcare.

Meet the Expert

Ido Zamberg M.D. is a board-certified physician (General Internal Medicine and Anesthesia), currently a Fellow at the Division of Experimental Medicine, McGill University Health Center, Montreal, Canada.

1. Easy Retrieval of Patient Information

Technology enhances patient care by simplifying access to information. From experience, I can emphasize how important it is when dealing with patient data.

EMRs, for instance, provide a quick and efficient way to retrieve a patient’s medical history, including their comorbidities, recent tests, lab results, and more.

Switching from paper to digital records makes it easier to access information and search data efficiently. Imagine how much time that can save when you're trying to gain a deep understanding of a patient’s medical history and make informed decisions about their care.

2. Better Access to Medical Guidance

The same efficiency we see in retrieving patient data can be applied to how we access medical guidance. Technology is the bridge that connects healthcare professionals with the information we need so we can deliver the best possible care.

It could be understanding how to treat a patient or how to operate necessary medical equipment.

A platform that's tailor-made for healthcare, like C8 Health, puts knowledge in your hands when and where you need it, no matter what role you play in the healthcare ecosystem.

Learn how anesthesiologist, Max Feinstein M.D., uses C8 Health for easy access to medical guidance

3. Simplified Digital Integration

In recent years, the use of cloud computing has been a major trend, simplifying technology implementation in hospitals. Cloud services operate on remote servers, which means hospitals don’t need to maintain local IT infrastructure. This not only reduces the cost but also the complexity of managing local servers.

Startups like C8 Health can then introduce new technologies more easily, reducing barriers and taking hospitals' technological capabilities to new heights.

» Looking to make smart budget decisions? Check out how you can reduce healthcare costs.

4. Enhanced Clinical Practice

AI is being used in radiology to enhance image recognition, particularly for managing strokes. The latest trend in this space is generative AI, which is capable of transforming unstructured data into actionable insights.

This not only makes it easier for healthcare professionals to interact with and understand the information, but it also leads to more informed decision-making in patient care.

We’re excited about this development and are in the process of incorporating generative AI into the C8 Health platform. The aim is to enable users to ask questions in natural language and receive quick, accurate answers base on locally best practices, making medical information more accessible and easier to understand.

5. Streamlined Medical Procedures

Healthcare is filled with extensive documentation, but it lacks a central system to manage it all. The real challenge is making unique, approved guidance easily accessible. Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and knowledge management platforms are tackling this with a central knowledge base.

These solutions give healthcare professionals a single, updated, and approved source of knowledge. It removes the risk of outdated or conflicting information, providing a reliable resource for patient care. Technology is key in setting up and maintaining this central knowledge base, enhancing the trustworthiness and efficiency of healthcare procedures.

6. Easy Remote Consultations

Telemedicine relies on health professionals with varied experiences treating diverse patients. It’s like running a mobile ER—dealing with unpredictable cases in different locations.

Having access to relevant guidance in real-time is vital, particularly when handling suspected conditions like heart attacks.

Telehealth professionals need to direct patients to the right location with the necessary facilities, stick to guidelines, and follow strict protocols. This ensures accurate triage and prevents medical errors when direct patient interaction isn’t possible.

7. Prediction and Profiling

As both an internist and anesthesiologist who has worked in various hospital departments, I find that AI doesn’t add much value in diagnosing patients. Diagnosis is based on experience, and accuracy is generally consistent among professionals.

The real challenge is in the next steps: treatment and follow-up, which involve monitoring of the patient, continuous physical examination.

AI excels in predicting diseases and profiling patients. By compiling data from many patients, AI, through machine learning can forecast a patient’s likely journey in the hospital based on factors like comorbidities, age, and medical history. This predictive capability, seen in areas like sepsis care in ICU settings, is promising, though not fully operational yet.

AI, is used to identify patterns in patient data, aiding in predicting outcomes and detecting conditions like sepsis earlier than standard care.

8. Coordinated Care

Healthcare technology serves two main purposes: patient care and provider support. The success of these technologies hinges on the resources available in each hospital and the training of the personnel. For patient care, state-of-the-art technology is beneficial, but it’s equally important to have well-trained staff.

At C8 Health, we're on a mission to democratize access to vetted best practices. We do this by breaking down silos in hospitals, making knowledge accessible to all healthcare professionals, regardless of department or level of training. We also facilitate knowledge-sharing between hospitals, enabling large institutions to share guidance with smaller ones.

For instance, one hospital was able to share its knowledge on pediatrics, gynecology, and COVID-19 management with physicians in Madagascar, a region with limited resources.

We also have initiatives where larger hospitals share their knowledge with smaller ones, standardizing care in certain regions. This strategy ensures that patients receive consistent, high-quality care that aligns with established guidelines.

» Want to work like a well-oiled machine? Check out how to boost adherence to healthcare protocols.

Tailoring Technology to Healthcare's Unique Needs

Healthcare’s slow tech adoption often comes down to clinicians sticking to what they know—manual and paper-based practices. They’ve got enough on their plates already, so change can seem impossible. But here’s the thing—if we get clinicians involved in developing healthcare tech, we can bridge this gap.

It’s all about creating tech that fits into their workflow, like a search function that gives them one specific, vetted result, not a million. This way, we’re reducing their workload, not adding to it. And that’s how we make sure tech meets the unique needs of healthcare.