4 Ways Technology Improves Patient Care in Hospitals & ASCs

Arthur Trapotsis
Written by: Arthur Trapotsis

MS Biochemical Engineering, MBA, Consultant

When you think about patient care, what comes to mind? Perhaps it’s a team of doctors coming up with a course of treatment or a clinician providing emotional support for patients. While treatment plans and a warm bedside manner are both important, patient care encompasses much more. Today, technology plays an important part in providing exceptional care to hospital and ambulatory surgery center (ASC) patients across the country.

From offering telehealth appointments to investing in the latest medical equipment, there are many ways for healthcare facilities to use technology to their patients’ advantage. Here, we’ve rounded up the top four — read on to find out what they are.

What Does Patient Care in a Hospital Look Like?

Patient care comes in many different forms in hospitals and ASCs. In addition to administering treatments, care can consist of:

  • Keeping patients’ well-being top of mind by making sure they’re kept comfortable and happy
  • Maintaining thorough records so doctors have the most up-to-date information on hand when they speak to patients about their cases
  • Balancing a patient’s physical and emotional well-being through accurate diagnosis and comprehensive treatment plans while treating them with compassion and dignity
  • Taking proper care of medical equipment by following sterilization protocols for medical instruments and devices

How Is Technology Improving Patient Care Overall?

From the development of the first vaccines to the digitization of patient records, technology and the medical field have shared a close relationship throughout history. Today, technological advances continue to shape healthcare by equipping hospitals and ASCs with new resources, tools, and processes that allow for improved patient care. Some examples include:

When possible, this service enables patients to meet with their doctors from the comfort of their own homes, making appointments more time efficient and less stressful than in-office visits. During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth appointments saw a 766% increase in occurrence year-over-year, and data suggests that the demand for these kinds of visits isn’t slowing down.

Online Patient Portals
These types of online hubs enable patients to access their medical records and any information related to their care at any time and from anywhere. Providing easy access to this information is a great way for medical facilities to build trust and increase engagement with their patients. Furthermore, studies show that healthcare facilities see better patient outcomes when patients feel actively involved in their care.

More Efficient Device Processing
As sterilization technology becomes more efficient, healthcare facilities are able to process larger volumes of equipment more quickly and without compromising safety. This leads to an increase in the number of surgeries that hospitals and ASCs can fit into their surgeons’ schedules, meaning patients aren’t left waiting for time-sensitive procedures.

More Effective Sterilization
In addition to efficiency, some newer sterilizers are designed to include healthcare-specific features such as the ability to safely decontaminate more complex devices or parts. This means a reduction in the risk of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).

4 Ways to Use Technology to Improve Patient Care in Hospitals

So how can hospitals and ASCs use technology to improve patient care in their facilities? These four ways are a good place to start.

By Implementing Care Management Software
Care management platforms offer many benefits for both patients and the medical institutions that serve them. This type of software centralizes all components of a patient’s care — from logging notes directly onto their record to ordering lab services — which means that all providers involved in a case can easily stay up to date on the latest developments.

Care management software also enables healthcare facilities to eliminate expenses such as unnecessary or redundant testing and prolonged hospital stays by enhancing organization and coordination.

By Investing in the Latest Equipment
The medical technology field is constantly advancing to find new and improved ways of treating patients. And while it may not be feasible to acquire each new piece of equipment that comes to market, it’s important for hospitals and ASCs to regularly upgrade their existing lineup of equipment.

Some of the types of equipment that medical facilities rely on include:

  • Diagnostic equipment such as X-ray machines, ultrasound machines, and imaging technology
  • Surgical equipment which can include everything from robotic surgery systems to 3D printers
  • Sterilization equipment including medical-grade autoclaves

By Using Teleconferencing Applications
Even something as simple as a Zoom call can help to improve patient care. The use of teleconferencing software enables doctors to quickly collaborate on difficult cases across state lines (and sometimes even international borders), supports telehealth initiatives, and makes continuing education and training opportunities for physicians more accessible.

By Enhancing Instrument Traceability
Thanks to the use of Universal Device Identifiers (UDIs), instruments and other devices can be attached to a patient’s electronic health record. The UDI itself is a unique code that’s either printed directly onto the tools themselves (if they’re multiple use) or on their packaging, which makes it easy for each piece to be accurately identified and tracked throughout its lifecycle. These identifiers also come in handy in the operating room and lower the chances of mistakes such as leaving an instrument inside a patient, accidental disposal, and sterilization errors.

Is Your Healthcare Facility on The Right Track?

Sterilization technology plays an important role in providing excellent care by preventing infections and keeping patients safe. Ready to put your ASC sterilization setup to the test? Take our free self-assessment to see whether your current setup sufficiently meets your needs.

Ready to Make Your Next Autoclave Purchase? Read This, First

An autoclave — especially a large capacity one — is a major investment, one that requires careful consideration. We’ve created this buyers’ guide to help you ask the right questions and make an informed decision.

Get the Guide
Ready to Make Your Next Autoclave Purchase? Read This, First