Computers have revolutionized the way health care is delivered. Mobile hospital carts with computers allow easy access to patient data and electronic medical records. Computers also speed up the diagnosis and treatment process, improving health outcomes. This allows doctors and nurses to provide better patient care while reducing overhead costs.
Why Computer Technology is Vital in Healthcare
Health care facilities now digitize medical records and make them accessible online. Doctors and patients can share information more efficiently. This increased transparency has led to better communication between providers and patients and has also helped to improve the quality of care.
Computer technology has made it possible for providers to offer more personalized care by tailoring treatment plans to individual patients. As a result, computer technology is playing an increasingly important role in health care and is likely to have even more impact in the years to come.
Medical Carts and Computers
Using computerized medical carts in health care settings offers several potential advantages. Perhaps most importantly, these carts can help improve medication administration accuracy.
Medication errors occur in approximately 5.07% of hospital patients every year. This can dramatically reduce patient health outcomes and potentially leave health care facilities liable for damages caused by medical malpractice.
By documenting each step of the medication-dispensing process, computerized carts can help reduce the risk of errors. They also decentralize pharmaceuticals in medical facilities. Research suggests that hospitals with decentralized pharmaceutical distribution systems had a 45% decrease in medication errors.
These carts can help streamline the medication-dispensing process, freeing nurses and other clinicians to focus on other tasks. Computerized medical carts can be equipped with barcode scanners, which can be used to verify that the correct medication is being dispensed.
This additional level of safety can be critical in high-risk situations, such as when dispensing controlled substances.
Advantages of Computers in Health Care
There is no denying that computers have transformed the health care industry. Here are some key ways computers have improved health care:
Electronic Health Records (EHRs)
Paper files, a paper chart, and other paper medical records are things of the past with electronic health records (EHRs). EHRs help store and organize patient medical history, making it easier for doctors and nurses to access and update information. Immediate access to complete health records can lead to better patient care and fewer errors.
The widespread adoption of EHRs could transform the U.S. health care system. Electronic records offer several advantages over paper records, including improved accuracy, efficiency, and patient safety.
Electronic health record systems allow clinicians to instantly access a patient’s medical history, making it easier to provide accurate diagnoses and high-quality care. In addition, EHRs allow sharing of information between different care providers, which can help care coordination.
Computers can help automate administrative tasks, freeing time for nurses and doctors to focus on patient care. Hospital staff across the country are under immense pressure to provide high-quality care while meeting stringent budget constraints. One way to help alleviate some of this pressure is to automate health care tasks with computer software.
Hospital administrators can use software to schedule appointments, track patient records, and manage hospital finances.
Computerized physician order entry systems can help doctors more accurately and efficiently prescribe medications. By automating routine tasks, hospital staff can focus on providing direct patient care and enhancing the overall quality of care.
Computerized Order Entry System (CPOE)
A computerized order entry system (CPOE) is a hospital information system that enables providers to enter and track patient orders electronically.
CPOE systems can help improve care quality by reducing errors, improving communication, and increasing efficiency.
One of the significant benefits of CPOE is that it can help to reduce medication errors. By requiring providers to enter orders into the system, CPOE can help to prevent accidental overdoses, allergies, and other mistakes.
CPOE systems can improve communication between providers and pharmacists. By electronically transmitting prescriptions to pharmacies, CPOE systems can help ensure patients receive the medications they need promptly.
CPOE systems can help to improve hospital efficiency by reducing the need for paper records and phone calls.
Overall, the advantages of CPOE systems make them an essential part of any hospital’s efforts to provide quality care.
Computers can be used for telemedicine. Telemedicine uses telecommunications to provide health care services from a distance. This can be particularly beneficial in rural areas, where patients may travel long distances to see a doctor.
With telemedicine, health care providers can provide checkups of patients, online treatment, and consult with patients via video conferencing, email, and even social media. This allows for more timely and efficient care and increased access to specialists.
Telemedicine can help to reduce hospital costs by reducing the need for patient transportation and overnight stays. Computers have allowed hospitals to deliver health care to patients regardless of location.
Patients can use online portals to book appointments, request prescription renewals, and view test results from the comfort of their homes. In recent years, many hospitals have implemented online portals that allow patients to access their medical records and communicate with their providers.
These portals can be accessed from computers, tablets, and smartphones, providing a convenient way for patients to stay up-to-date on their health.
In addition to viewing test results and appointment information, patients can also use the portal to request prescription renewals and message their doctor with non-urgent questions. Some portals even allow patients to schedule appointments and pay their bills online.
Diagnosis and Evidence-based Decision Support
Doctors can use evidence-based decision support tools to make more informed choices about treatments and diagnoses. Computers are increasingly being used to support clinical decision-making in various domains.
Evidence-based decision support tools use computers to help identify, collect, and analyze data to support decision-makers in making more informed decisions about patient health. These tools can assess the costs and benefits of different options and identify and track key indicators over time.
Evidence-based decision support tools have been used in various areas, including healthcare, education, energy, and environmental policy. Computers offer many advantages in supporting decision-making, including storing and manipulating large amounts of data and accurately carrying out complex calculations.
Computers can be used to create 3D models of patients’ bodies. These models can be used for various purposes, including planning surgeries and providing a way for doctors to communicate with one another.
3D models can also educate patients and their families about their condition. Computers have reshaped how hospitals operate and continue to play an essential role in improving patient care.
Robots are increasingly being used in hospitals to provide medical care. Computers can rapidly process large amounts of data and make precise calculations, which can be extremely useful in medicine.
For example, robots can plan surgeries, calculate medication dosages, and provide diagnostic information such as blood pressure and heart rate. Robotic surgery allows the performance of operations with greater precision. Robots can also operate for extended periods without tiring.
As a result, using computers to assist doctors and other health care professionals in hospitals can help to improve patient outcomes.
Disadvantages of Computers in Healthcare
Despite the many advantages of technology and computers in health care, there are also some potential disadvantages of technology to consider:
EHRs can lead to information overload for doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals who may have to sift through large amounts of data to find relevant information.
Computers can crash or experience technical difficulties. These crashes can disrupt patient care in many ways.
- Hospitals may be unable to access critical medical records, which can delay or prevent treatment.
- Hospitals may be unable to communicate with other hospitals or health care providers, which can hamper efforts to coordinate care.
- Hospitals may be unable to bill for services, leading to financial difficulties.
While hospitals have contingency plans to deal with computer crashes, these disruptions can still cause significant problems for staff and patients.
Using computers in a hospital environment can sometimes foster a feeling of distance between providers and patients in the hospital setting. Patients have privacy concerns, too, with computers and access to their medical conditions.
Some patients may feel intimidated or uncomfortable using online portals or other computer-based services. Patients may feel uncomfortable being monitored via computer, or they may be concerned about the privacy of their medical information.
Hospitals may also use computers to control access to certain areas or limit visiting hours. This can lead to feelings of isolation and anxiety among patients.
There is always the risk of hacking and cybercrime when storing sensitive medical information electronically. Hospitals increasingly rely on computer systems to store and manage patient data, schedule appointments and perform other critical functions.
However, this increased reliance also makes hospitals more vulnerable to computer hacking.
Hackers who gain access to hospital computer systems can wreak havoc, disrupting operations and putting patients at risk.
Choose Scott-Clark Medical Computer Carts
Scott-Clark Medical uses the latest medical technology in all our computer carts. Scott-Clark Medical computer carts are multifunctional, storing and transporting medication and supplies. Using a computer, medical carts enable health care staff to review patient records, diagnose conditions, and more while keeping everything organized and secure during a busy shift.
For more information about Scott-Clark Medical mobile and computer carts, contact us at (512) 756-7300 to discuss mobile computer carts for your medical facility. Our carts can help you achieve better operational efficiency and patient care.