The following is a guest article by Molly True, Worldwide Healthcare Marketing for Lenovo Health.
The goal of Health IT is to make the healthcare experience simpler, faster and better, for both patients and providers.
Simplicity comes in many forms. Sometimes it means using technology we already have to just make things easier. Other times, it means deploying advanced technological solutions to make delivery of care faster and more efficient.
Recently, I had two healthcare experiences that illustrated those two ends of the continuum. They were very different experiences, but they showed me how simple solutions can make a big difference.
Simplifying an Inefficient Process
Not long ago, I made a routine visit to my doctor’s office, which happens to be a hospital-based outpatient clinic. Following the usual process, I walked up to the reception desk, expecting to be asked to sign some forms.
The forms, which are updated yearly, acknowledge that I would be responsible for payment for both physician and hospital facility expenses. In the past, after initialing the forms, I was given a copy for my records.
I had no use for a copy of the forms and never knew what to do with them. Inevitably, I always wound up shredding them. I always considered this to be such a waste of paper, resources, and of course time.
But on my most recent visit, the process was different. Instead of giving me the forms to sign, they gave me a laminated copy and a dry-erase marker. All I had to do was initial the form, and then they used the insurance card scanner to scan in a copy.
No copy to make. No paper to take home. No time to find later to shred the form.
To make this process a reality, the office manager must have worked with their legal department to get it approved. Then they implemented it flawlessly.
Sometimes such simple technology can be applied to make a great difference in the patient experience as well expand the efficiency of clinical workflows.
Innovators are everywhere. Even in reception and check-in, where process and status quo reign supreme.
Virtual Care Rescues Me
The other healthcare experience I had was not as pleasant, but it nevertheless strengthened my love for innovators in Health IT.
The experience involved a Telehealth solution. I have always been aware of this option being available to me since becoming a part of the Health IT community. However, like many consumers, I was never fully aware of all my care options or how well the service worked.
I woke up in the middle of the night with a burst eardrum, caused by an ear infection. It was very painful and I needed medical care immediately.
I had three options. The first was to go to the ER, but with a sleeping family, that was far from ideal.
The second would have been to wait for an appointment to see a doctor. That would have meant more suffering and a longer healing time. I also had a business trip coming up, and an ear infection is the last thing you want during air travel.
My other option was to use my Telehealth solution for the first time.
So that’s what I did. Quickly, I was connected with a doctor who was able to prescribe the medicine I needed. My husband went to pick it up and was back before he had to take our children to school.
This experience showed me the benefits and the possibilities of virtual care. I am fortunate to have access to such a helpful system. But not everyone is so lucky.
There is a lot of work to be done.
A Bold Vision
Educating employee populations and expanding access with Telehealth options is about getting care to the most vulnerable. It’s also about identifying those that can get care cheaper and more efficiently.
The goal we’re working toward is healthier communities. We already have the tools we need, but we need to apply those tools in new ways to expand access to virtual care.
As an example, I know there are innovators working hard to apply virtual care to the homeless population.
Medical access doesn’t need to be limited to the four walls of the hospital or doctor’s office and expanding access will build healthier communities.
Thoughtful community investment in services that help facilitate virtual care is needed to expand access to virtual care. Especially the part of the population that needs regular chronic care.
I love Health IT. As an industry, we’re constantly looking for ways to expand access to virtual care. We’re working to expand virtual care to the chronic disease population.
Learning more about new innovations is important so you are aware of all the tools at your disposal. It’s an investment we should all make to build healthier communities.
Click here to learn more about Lenovo Health innovations and our bold vision to deliver smarter, transformative computing technology to empower clinicians and the patients they serve.
About Lenovo Health
Lenovo is a trusted provider of healthcare technology with a 20+ year history of world-class innovation, industry leading partnerships, and more than a decade of proven healthcare experience. Lenovo Health powers tailored care delivery in 160 countries and 1,600+ healthcare organizations worldwide.
Lenovo Health’s vast computing portfolio supports the administrative, clinical, and remote care needs of healthcare facilities with cloud, security, and mobility solutions and accessories that streamline workflow and bring data closer to the patient and clinician.
Learn more about Lenovo Health at Solutions.Lenovo.com/Health