How Can Health Care IT Transform the Experience of Patients?

In many small ways, health care IT can transform our experience of health care delivery. Here are two simple examples.

  • While shopping in town a mother receives a call from her son’s school to tell her that he has been taken to the local A&E department. She rushes to the local hospital, where the receptionist at the A&E Department locates the injured boy on the health care IT tracking system, allowing the worried mother to find him easily in Radiology.
  • Steve’s mother is unexpectedly admitted to hospital. He calls the hospital for news of her, and the receptionist checks the health care IT inpatient index and puts Steve straight through to his mother's ward.

To make a real difference, however, requires a deep knowledge of health care processes and organisational culture and a toolbox of proven techiques. Many consultants will tell you that they have all of these—in reality few have.

These two examples show how health care IT can change the patient experience in simple, yet important ways. Patient benefits such as these appear as soon as health care IT is implemented. More profound patient benefits need to be planned and realised.

“Health care IT must not be seen as an optional addition to care, but as an integral part of it ”

Some likely benefits of health care IT to patients are:

  • More rapid access to care
  • Smoother transitions between primary and secondary care
  • Definite appointment slots at convenient times and shorter waits
  • Rapid diagnosis and discharge
  • Seamless support in the community after discharge

Click to transform the experience of patients using health care IT.

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