During the height of the pandemic hospitals were faced with an unprecedented demand for their services. At the same time, they were also forced to make do with fewer personnel than they were accustomed to as nurses and doctors resigned from their positions en masse.
For many hospitals, data implementation, and processing was a key aspect of staying afloat during Covid-19.
Since then, the relationship between digital technology and healthcare has only expanded. From digital healthcare records to data processing, and even AI-generated automation, there are now more ways than ever for people in the healthcare industry to weave tech skills into their professional life.
In this article, we take a look at five tech-related skills that people hoping to accelerate their careers in the healthcare industry should have.
Health Information Technology (HIT) Literacy
Healthcare-related records have been transiting into cyberspace for the last couple of decades. This development has had many positive impacts both for the patient— who can now access their health data any time they want it— and the hospitals, which can share relevant data in real-time as needed to expedite processes.
But there’s a flip side. Isn’t there always? When healthcare records were a physical thing, keeping them safe was straightforward. They lived in a protected room. Only authorized personnel were able to see them, and even then, all interactions were guided by HIPAA regulations.
How can you replicate that same level of security for something that exists in the vagueries of cloud-based technology?
Well, for one thing, it’s important to understand the new rules. Healthcare professionals are now expected and required to fully comprehend and comply with HIPAA regulations as they relate to digital technology.
By understanding the rules and general practices surrounding digital health, healthcare workers are able to streamline their workflows while boosting patient outcomes in the process.
Telemedicine and Remote Patient Monitoring
Telehealth is the practice of treating patients remotely. Naturally, it isn’t a perfect fit for every situation. However, there are many circumstances in which it can be beneficial both to the patient and the hospital serving them.
On the patient end, telehealth technology makes it easy to get quick answers to simple questions. For the hospital, it allows professionals to treat a larger number of people in a shorter amount of time. Considering how bottlenecked the healthcare system is, this is an enormous boon for everyone.
However, it does require additional training and effort on the part of healthcare professionals. Modern doctors and nurses should be well-versed in the unique requirements of remote patient monitoring and telehealth consultations.
Administrators, meanwhile, should understand the world of virtual health, and be able to facilitate the needs of caregivers and patients alike.
Data Analytics and Health Informatics
We talked about the importance of data in the modern medical landscape at the beginning of this article. However, the value of having healthcare networks that are able to comprehend and leverage large datasets is difficult to overstate.
Hospitals that understand their numbers are able to maximize the impact of their resources. During Covid, this meant figuring out how to best prioritize care in the face of an enormous influx of patients. During ordinary times (such as they are in the context of a hospital) data access can help improve everything from community outreach to specific patient recommendations.
Naturally, the more specific and precise caregivers are, the better the patient outcomes are likely to be. But there is a problem. Traditional doctors and nurses aren’t necessarily well-versed in digital technology. Are there professionals out there who are adequately literate in data and health?
The answer to that question is yes. Informatics nursing combines both disciplines to equip hospitals with the skills they need to adequately serve their communities.
Administrators are also being trained in how they can use data to maximize the effectiveness of their resources and improve general workflows.
The healthcare industry is frequently the target of cybercriminals. Patient data has a significant resale value on the dark web, and cyber terrorists are also quite aware that they can create a great deal of fear with a few well-chosen healthcare-related targets.
This was made clear in the spring of 2019 when Ireland’s entire digital healthcare network was brought day for months by a group of Russian hackers.
While most people feel they are well-equipped to handle themselves safely online the reality of the situation is usually not quite so promising. It takes a significant amount of effort and training for healthcare workers to stay safe online.
Mobile Health (mHealth) and Wearable Technology
Wearable health technology has proliferated in recent years as IoT-powered wearables have grown in prominence and accessibility. These days, a significant portion of the population has access to some form of wearable health technology.
Even a Fitbit can produce meaningful health-related data that medical professionals can use to offer more precise patient care. And of course, that’s far from all that is out there. From heart monitors and pacemakers to glucose monitoring systems that hook up to smart devices, there are more ways than ever for healthcare professionals to view their patients’ information in real-time.
Mobile health monitoring is a vital skill that not only elevates the marketability of healthcare professionals but also vastly improves potential patient outcomes.
With a Bachelor’s in Health Science along with an MBA, Sarah Daren has a wealth of knowledge within both the health and business sectors. Her expertise in scaling and identifying ways tech can improve the lives of others has led Sarah to be a consultant for a number of startup businesses, most prominently in the wellness industry, wearable technology and health education. She implements her health knowledge into every aspect of her life with a focus on making America a healthier and safer place for future generations to come.
Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.