From old hospital corridors riddled with small rooms and big machines, bustling with nurses in starched white scrub uniforms, to today’s bright and airy medical centers happily humming with nurses who can carry all of the tech and tools that they need in the pockets of a modern scrubs uniform in any pattern, color or style you could imagine — it’s safe to say that a lot has changed.
Along with the natural innovation that comes with time, the worldwide pandemic and a constant state of emergency have pushed the strength of and strain on our healthcare system into the spotlight. Proactive changes in workwear and virtual healthcare development and revaluating our culture of coming into work sick have all been appropriate responses to this. Technology is considered to be one of the main driving forces behind these changes and improvements in the world of healthcare and, when you look at the most recent innovations that have had the biggest impact such as the ones discussed below, there’s no doubting that!
More Effective and Accessible Service and Care
Improving the effectiveness and accessibility of healthcare services has been a priority for some time. What’s changed here is that both the medical field and the information technology field have been attracting more highly skilled workers than ever before and, in turn, we’ve been able to drive new levels of innovation than ever before. The ways that medical professionals can provide services and care have been revamped through technologies that allow for things like remote check-ups, less invasive diagnostics, more personalized care and more accessible treatment planning and implementation.
Software for Situational Awareness and Disease Control
Reporting and processing real-time data during times of emergency created a challenge for healthcare facilities in the past, but, with specially designed software hitting the scene, this is beginning to change.
New technologies can display helpful trends and information that allow healthcare professionals to keep track of outbreaks, understand vaccination percentages, note patterns to accidents, figure out possible contributing factors to outbreaks and so much more. Though they’re not the most precise or intricate just yet, specially designed software solutions for situational awareness and disease control have quickly proven their worth, and we’re likely to see major improvements and development in this area in the years to come.
Improved Worker Safety and Support
Hospitals are some of the most hazardous places to work. Resources to help hospitals assess their health and safety needs, implement their health and safety programs and protocols and improve their patient handling and safety procedures are all readily available these days. By being proactive in all areas, from having staff utilize an antimicrobial laundry additive to help reduce the risk of spreading unwanted contaminants to having support systems in place and resources available for anything that staff may need, want or envision, it’s possible to ensure worker safety and support not only to help workers but to help patients, drive positive changes and save resources for the hospitals themselves.
Accelerated and Accessible Communication
One major way that healthcare has changed for the better is the development of telehealth solutions, which play a more essential role in the landscape than ever before. An efficient and improved method for low-risk or predictable appointments, an effective and important tool for high-risk or remote cases and a way to connect patients to families, patients to medical professionals, medical professionals to other medical professionals and more, innovations in telehealth continue to prevail as the traditional in-person care model becomes less and less common.
Majorly Innovated Medical Records Storage
Organization and preservation of a patient’s medical records and history are crucial to the quality of service and care that can be delivered. Not so long ago, managing and maintaining medical records was a fairly straightforward process where information could simply be recorded on paper charts and organized and stored in-house.
As our healthcare system continues to improve and innovations in medical IT continue being developed, though, so do our solutions for medical records storage and management. Today’s electronic medical records practices are more safe and secure than traditional methods, while also allowing for easier to navigate access for the people who should be accessing them, whether it’s the medical professional or the patient. Though there have been significant improvements in this area, ongoing attention to protecting patient privacy and sensitive data is undoubtedly going to encourage further improvements.
Reimagined and Revamped Work-Wear
The days of starched white nursing gowns and hats have been reimagined entirely, and a shift in focus from these traditional gowns to more sterilization-friendly and comfort-driven workwear has revolutionized the standard uniform in terms of both form and function. Today’s scrubs uniform is all about short sleeve scrub tops in appropriate fits and fabrics and quality drawstring scrub bottoms designed to hold up and stay up, no matter what. In addition to these improved scrub designs, the world has also seen (and rejoiced in) revamped styles, patterns and certain protective features such as antimicrobial and stain-repellent technologies.
With patients and providers alike benefitting from real-time health information and communication, improved records management and storage, higher quality and convenience of care and so much more, innovations in both the medical and information technology fields show no signs of slowing down.
It’s hard to imagine how much further we could progress, having seen so many major changes and improvements to our healthcare system just in the last couple of years — but it’s impossible to discover everything all at once, and there’s no doubting that we will continue to see new discoveries, advancements and improvements being made every day!