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From Flip Charts to Data Charts: The Role of Technology in Healthcare Networks

Flip Charts to Data Charts

Healthcare communications have come a long way since the days of pen and paper and walls of thick file folders. Today, we are as interconnected in our healthcare information systems as we are in other parts of our business and professional lives. But, in the medical world, the technology for healthcare communications can mean the difference between life and death.

Bridging the Gap

In our highly mobile world, information is shared across systems, and traditional communication practices must be “bridged” for an easy flow of information to make real-time decisions without the traditional waiting times. By simplifying the workflow process through a convergence of shared systems, time and resources are reduced resulting in cost-saving actions for the hospitals and other healthcare systems.

Just as your nervous system is the control system for your body, so is the Infrastructure Convergence or Pathway Convergence which utilizes the foundation of a shared infrastructure. Within its scope are the other three types of convergence: Operational, Data, and Network; all of which are the organs and organ system of healthcare information systems. This type of shared data system allows for optimized information flow, duplication reduction, command simplification, and lower overall operational costs.

Keeping Personal Data Private

With the advent of fraud and identity theft, a patient’s willingness to give information is tantamount to their feeling secure that their information will be protected. But, having accurate information is vital to healthcare. The best way to store, monitor, and transmit such data is by using Ethernet-enabled medical equipment.

The paper flip chart has grown up. Now, network-enabled medical devices with a port can transmit data quickly and accurately over the Internet. Easily accessed from anywhere by nurses, doctors, or patients, the real-time transfer of data without human intervention or error makes diagnosis faster, reduces loss of revenue due to automatic billing, and extends the life of medical equipment rather than replacing it.

Remote Monitoring

There are a number of groups, organizations, and individuals involved in the lifespan of a medical device. To keep things on target, the network links back to one point of contact. Operating dedicated servers which allow equipment to be constantly monitored, any alert issues come into one dedicated hub allowing personnel to easily fix the problem ensuring safe, quality products. This type of preventative care saves time, money, and potentially lives.

Conclusion

We are a data-driven world, and the importance of data and technology in the healthcare industry is no different. From Doctors Without Borders to your local family doctor, the heart of the industry is data. Information is shared across systems, stretching from the patient’s bedside to the medical device vendor allowing everyone the opportunity to participate in their own care; including patients.

While the benefits of improved care, reduced errors, increased productivity, protocols and shorter billing cycles are many, the technology of these systems goes beyond the individual patient. The role of information technology to gather, store, and communicate data is imperative to decision makers. Not only is it important at the individual level, but also at the population level allowing immediate dissemination of vital information to the masses.

As vital to your health as your organs and organ systems are to your body, so too is health care communication. Both systems communicate in a shared network infrastructure. The ease of navigating Ethernet-enabled devices is similar to your body’s central nervous system. It controls your actions and reactions and keeps the rest of your system in check. Healthcare workers are embracing this technology ensuring success in keeping everyone healthy and well-informed.

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