Why you should invest in a digital platform at the healthcare center
by Louise Wahlström
The healthcare sector is an example of a business that is fundamentally changing through digitalisation, new tools are being developed for both routine healthcare and more specialized advanced healthcare. At the same time, there are signs that digitalisation as well as the new digital tools and systems that are available have not only contributed to better healthcare.
The role of digitalisation in healthcare
Healthcare was one of the first sectors of where the new computer technology came into use. Already in the late 1950s and early 1960s there were many examples of computers in healthcare. It was mainly about pure technical applications, for example laboratory medicine and physiological measurements. A more interactive use in care work came much later. Today virtually all parts of the healthcare units are computerized. The digitalisation of healthcare has so far been about computerising existing processes. Increasingly, hopes are being linked to a revolutionary digitalisation in healthcare. At the same time there are signs that so far it has not only contributed to better healthcare. A more or less general view of the healthcare professionals is that administration and work in different IT-systems today take far too much time. The real potential of digitalisation lies instead in the possibilities for more effective working methods, direct communication with patients and the use of large data in management, guiding and unit development that can be realised when new technology is used wisely and coordinated.
Challenges with a digital work environment
Nurses need to handle several tasks under time pressure, including documentation and telephone calls, which can affect patient safety. Experienced nurses believe that one must learn to handle high workload in order to cope with the work. However, the quality of nursing work can be adversely affected by a high workload. Another challenge is documentation which is a large part of the nurse’s tasks. It is perceived as more time consuming because the nurses usually have to document in several places in the medical record system. This causes patients to suffer because the time nurses spend on documentation results in less time for nursing.
Digitalisation is more than computerisation
In order for the healthcare resources to meet the increasing needs of more and more people, smarter ways of working are required. Digitalisation opens up new opportunities, but today the development is far too slow. So far, however, digitalisation has largely been about computerising already existing amounts of information and processes. Digitising healthcare is complicated, it involves many employees, and it requires time and clear goals with the healthcare unit.
In the area of digital healthcare meetings, it has begun to change faster which contributes to improved availability. But it does not solve the basic problem of healthcare as the major challenge lies in improving availability without it being at the expense of efficiency or medical quality and at a reasonable cost. Solutions that are adapted to existing healthcare providers are needed. Those who live in the reality where all visits do not end in a diagnosis or prescription, where comfort and care are an equally important part of the treatment and where not all care contacts in a patient journey can be digital.
Healthcare was one of the first sectors of working life where the new computer technology came into use. Today, virtually all part of the healthcare operations are computerized. Digitising healthcare is complicated, it involves many employees, and it requires time and clear goals for the healthcare unit.