Find out how technology can be a powerful ally in hospital management
It is unquestionable how much technology transforms society in a profound and definitive way. It affected the way of getting around, communicating and even relating. Health is no different: technological advances have always been essential for the development of medicine, enabling improvements in diagnoses and treatment of patients. Digital health, also called e-Health or Health 4.0, is an inevitable path to the future of medicine, in which it provides a series of impacts on patients' quality of life and information management. Hospital management is nothing more than the management of all the processes that take place in the hospital, from materials and people to systems and equipment that, when integrated, facilitate the flow of information. The better the management, the better the experience that the patient has at the site and, consequently, the greater the income generated.
Team management in the health area is no exception and needs to be modernized to keep up with this global trend, in addition to meeting standards in accreditation processes such as transparency, corporate governance, paperless operation, protection of personal data and tax compliance. An efficient and innovative hospital administration also includes putting into practice the new concepts that reach the Health sector, such as preventive medicine or value-based remuneration, or even to achieve the seal of Digital Hospital.
Enabling people's well-being is the main objective of any health institution. However, for this purpose to be achieved, it is not enough to just have a qualified technical team and have a good infrastructure suitable for the provision of medical services and nurses: it is essential that there is a focus on administrative processes, through efficient hospital management . The technology in hospital management must be constantly evolved and updated to offer quality clinical care, with diagnostic and therapeutic resources that facilitate the decision-making process. In addition, the insertion of technological tools must be guided by the growing need for utility, combined with the necessary financial investment and the facilities to incorporate these functionalities into daily life. The improvement of backoffice processes has a direct impact on the quality of care, increasing patient satisfaction and safety, which is more respected with simple and transparent management procedures, which reduce waiting and errors.
Although hospital management is one of the pillars of support for the proper functioning of a hospital, due attention is not always given to the area, which, if relegated to a lower level, can compromise the entire provision of services made by the health institution . The management of hospital processes can be done through the use of several tools, the use of technological resources being one of its main ones. For hospital management, modern processes reflect a decrease in expenses, as they increase organizational intelligence. The professionalization of hospital management is the first step towards achieving this efficiency in which it is possible to rationalize costs and reduce waste. More and more hospitals understand that management is essential to build solid and referral care. Although digital health is a segment of provision of essential services to the population and, therefore, with great demand for work, the health sector has housed a large number of clinics and hospitals, which compete with each other to offer care to patients. In this scenario of market dispute, technology can be a differential in favor of the health institution that employs it efficiently.
Among the important technological tools for hospital management are software, communication platforms, digital and cloud storage, applications, as well as telephony resources. Considering the specificities of each of the tools, they streamline the organization of information and its access to them, optimize space, provide security for data and allow fast communication. By having an efficient integrated information management system for its patients, which is able to organize and associate different data, the hospital or clinic optimizes its activities, which saves time and avoids rework. In addition, this form of management contributes to the proper direction of the professionals' duties, who, based on accurate information, can act more effectively.
Among the important technological tools for hospital management are software, communication platforms, digital and cloud storage, applications, as well as telephony resources. Considering each of the tools, they streamline the organization of information and its access to them, optimize space, provide data security and allow fast communication.
Digital data storage has numerous advantages, such as: space saving; reduction of paper costs, possibility of cloud storage (making the data can be accessed anywhere). Therefore, using an electronic medical record system, which can work in the cloud or on physical computers, and its due backups, there is no risk of losing documents, such as health insurance or medical history guides, for example.
The use of platforms is important both for the communication between the team of collaborators and with the patients, since they send information about exams or consultations via text message on the cell phone or email. Schedules also become more agile and efficient, since, with the scheduled appointments gathered in a base, the secretary can easily check and relocate them, when necessary.
There is also an increase in the level of performance of professionals in the administrative sector, mainly from working with platforms, which automatically fill receipts, covenant guides, etc. Data search also becomes much faster, allowing the entire clinical and administrative team to search with agility and speed, and can integrate information. The use of these tools favors an increase in the productivity of professionals, which, consequently, translates into a continuous improvement in the quality of service to the user of the services provided. Together, all these innovative conditions help the health institution to remain competitive in a market characterized by competition, which is increasingly growing today.
The public increasingly demands a differentiated service
Access to information and the evolution of technology has made the public increasingly critical and always keeping an eye on what happens both around them and in contexts other than their own, given the reach of social networks and different media. People are becoming increasingly demanding with the provision of contracted services This increase in the level of demand is no different in the hospital domain, from which patients require more individualized and effective care.
The differentiated service that users of medical services require consists of the association of quality clinical care with agility, efficiency and objectivity in the provision of administrative services. This second type of demand depends, to a large extent, on the technological resources available to maintain the processes related to hospital management. In this perspective, technological innovation does not leave only the most competitive hospital and clinic on the market, but it is also a differentiator for its customers, who are satisfied with the services provided. . The level of satisfaction of patients with the service provided is important both for themselves and for the institution that offers it. In addition to being a stimulus for the restoration of the patient's well-being, who feels at ease with the service, satisfactory service provision is fundamental for maintaining the competitiveness of the establishment in the market context of health.
Open Communication Channels
With the emergence of several information technologies, communication between patient and hospital has undergone sudden changes, which may occur through various channels, whether or not they use the internet. Among them are phone calls, sending cell phone messages and via WhatsApp, the use of specialized applications, the use of e-mails and even contact via social networks. The telephone, however, remains the main channel of communication with the public. In general, people prefer to use it mainly because the phone transmits reliability and credibility to the user, and allows for a closer interaction, with less possibility of misinterpretation and incorrect information, and is the most accessible to the population as a whole.
In this scenario, it is essential that the hospital institution has a quality telephone service to offer its users. In addition to having a telephone base with adequate infrastructure for the demand for calls and that works efficiently, it is necessary that the hospital or clinic prepare its employees to provide the appropriate telephone service to the patient.
Consultations are one of the main activities carried out inside a medical institution, be it a hospital or a clinic, due to its diagnostic and assistance nature. In administrative terms, scheduling is one of the most important factors of the consultation, since it is the one that makes it possible to organize and manage the time and spaces allocated to care in the hospital. Therefore, it is essential that the management team gives full attention to this type of practice, which must be planned and structured from a technical point of view, as well as from an administrative perspective.
Scheduling is also essential for the user of the services provided, since it consists of guaranteeing their service in accordance with their availability and needs.
Thus, the management of the agenda must be structured in such a way as to enable the effective integration of information and the agile handling of data, so that the scheduling of consultations is done quickly and efficiently.
The traditional scheduling process, that is, using paper, pen and calendar to mark, unmark, reschedule, fit and confirm appointments, is slow and takes precious time from the people who deal with it. To resolve this situation, streamline scheduling procedures and relieve employees in the sector, it is essential to computerize the entire process. There are several types of software specialized in scheduling appointments automatically. These programs manage all the information available in the system, organizing dates, times, patients, as well as making relocations. To visualize the importance of using an appointment scheduling software integrated with a confirmation system, just think of an institution that attends about 30 patients daily, a low number, inclusive. Searching for times and dates, organizing patients on them and calling each of the users who will have an appointment the next day are activities that will take all the employee's time.
Sharing information about exams and diagnoses
The use of hospital management software is important for the appointment scheduling process, but also for the integration of other data such as information about exams and diagnoses.
This is possible because each patient has his electronic medical record stored in these programs, which contains all of his health history at the institution and which is reported to him.
In an electronic medical record, information is recorded regarding diagnoses made about the patient, with indications of medication administered, prescriptions dispatched, number of consultations made, among other relevant information. This continuous sending of information is essential for the updated control of the health of the service user, allowing the functioning of clinical intelligence.
The work with hospital management software also speeds up the scheduling, dissemination and delivery of exams. If in the traditional model, the patient or family member needs to face queues and go to different places for examination procedures, in computerized management, the user is able to access and store their data in a simplified way.
Strengthening the institution's image
The updated use of technologies applied to the market context favors the quality and professionalism of the provision of services, and the establishment of standards in terms of internal organization procedures, customer service and communication channels.
Taken together and combined with the excellence of the institution's technical staff, these elements in proper functioning are the basis for strengthening the institution's image. Having a good image is a prerequisite for the hospital or clinic to act competitively in the market, after all, health is an important and delicate subject, and the citizen who has the opportunity to choose will never leave their health in the hands of an institution with little credibility, which has structural and organizational problems visible to patients or their families.
Even more than other market segments, the hospital sector needs to have a strong, reliable, solid image, which gives the patient safety. And this quality standard must exist not only in clinical procedures, but, and in the entire service chain that the user of the system needs to go through during their contact with the institution.
There are still some challenges in the implementation of industry methodologies in Health organizations:
- Mindset:the change in mentality is a fundamental step, but more traditional organizations may face difficulties to accomplish it;
- Engagement:it is necessary to make it clear to Health professionals that methodologies and technology are not intended to replace them, but to optimize their routines and give more quality to patient care;
- Technology:the level of digital transformation can become a barrier to the implementation of more modern processes. Hospitals must understand that funding for technology is an investment.
The application of models imported from the industry, together with the adoption of technology, will take the administration of hospitals to another level. In it, efficiency and waste reduction are reflected in the quality of care, in patient safety, and in the institution's image, factors that will guarantee the sustainability of organizations.
Main technological trends in hospital management
3D printing allows you to view organic structures with the richness of details that would not be possible with traditional equipment. In addition, it allows making replicas very close to the organ in question to facilitate surgical intervention. With the 3D printer, it will be possible to recreate patients' organs and study them before the surgical procedure, develop drug models to adapt to the individual's biological structures or develop prostheses for the most diverse clinical indications.
Applications are part of the population's daily life as they allow tasks to be carried out in a more practical way and without the need for mobility. This influence was also assimilated in aspects related to health care. Thus, the insertion of health applications is growing. In this sense, we can mention the applications related to health promotion, which notify about adequate water intake, medications, heart rate, symptom monitoring, evaluation of food intake, among others.
There are also health apps designed for specific functions, such as blood glucose measurement, blood pressure analysis, heart rate determination and others that monitor already installed diseases. These devices are typically available on smart watches or cell phones and can send information, in real time, to clinical professionals who assist patients.
In the face of so much information and necessary documentation, keeping them organized and easily accessible and searching is not an easy task, even if it is in the virtual environment. With that in mind, hospital management technology should include cloud storage as one of the viable options. It is a virtual platform with the limits of bytes to be extended according to the need and the type of file to be stored. In addition, documents can be accessed from any computer with internet access.
This strategy facilitates data access, forwards information to other professionals who also take care of the patient's health and optimizes the impressions of laboratory and radiological exams.
Big data in healthcare
The technology in hospital management through the big data tool allows the integration of clinical, drug and laboratory data, reconciling with the epidemiological data of the most common diseases in the localities close to the clinical companies. With this, it is possible to draw a profile of the patient seen at the health institutions, to elaborate personalized therapeutic interventions and to constantly monitor the clinical indicators of the region. In addition, the integration of information on different platforms is an excellent opportunity to build and publish relevant scientific articles, increasing the credibility of companies.