Published on June 16th, 2023 | by Bibhuranjan0
The Role of Technology in Healthcare Cost Management
Technology has revolutionized almost every field to be more efficient and cost effective over the years. Healthcare is one of the fields that is heavily influenced by technology. Over the past 20 years, bio-technology has had some major breakthroughs like 3D printing, telemedici.ne, robotic surgeries, and wearable technology etc. These inventions have not only improved the quality of healthcare, but have also helped in improved the cost management process in healthcare.
There was a time when doctor’s office had excessive staff to deal with all the paperwork, and patients had to spend heavily on transportation to just visit the doctor. Organ replacement lists were extremely long and the process was so expensive that most people could not afford it. Hospitals spent heavily on surgical tools, and if a special case occurred, the cost of ordering surgical equipment forced the hospitals to refuse surgeries.
Even thou the initial cost of introducing technology into the healthcare system is high, it pays off in the long run. Not only does it shorten the process and saves significant cost, but it also improves the quality of healthcare, reduces risk, improves diagnosis and access to medical information. Here ae some examples of hoe technology has improved cost management in healthcare:
Telemedicine has allowed patients to receive healthcare services remotely. This has cost management process in healthcare. Telemedicine allows patients to eliminate the transportation cost of visiting a doctor and also saves time. As for healthcare providers, telemedicine has reduced the cost of facility, patient care, customer care staff and hospital readmission. Telemedicine has even enabled healthcare providers to practice in remote areas without bearing the expense of opening facilities and traveling to these areas.
3D printing has truly been one of the biggest breakthroughs over the past years. It has enabled doctors and surgical staff to achieve wonders with its invention. Earlier hospitals had to invest heavily on importing surgical instruments, organ replacements, and surgical accessories. With 3D printing, it is possible to design prosthetics, implants, surgical instruments, organs, and even veins and tissues for a surgery. This has also allowed surgeons to take on more difficult cases and reduced the cost for both healthcare facilities and patients.
Electronic Health Records (EHRs)
With the help of EHRs, it has been possible to digitize patient records, this has reduced the amount of paperwork for healthcare staff and providers. With the help of EHR, a lot of processes like appointment scheduling, patient calling etc. have been automated. This has streamlined the whole healthcare process, resulting in minimal administrative costs. EHRs have also enable healthcare providers to outsource medical billing services, front desk calling and appointment setting to get improved account receivables.
Robotic surgeries are surgeries performed by surgeons, with the help of robotic technology. The surgeons can control this technology from a console. Robotic surgeries have improved the surgical process resulting in reduced risk in patents. This results in quick recovery of patients. Facilities have been able to increase their patient turnover with the help of robotic surgeries, leading to better stats. It also reduces the amount of surgical staff, accessories, and after-care physicians, leading to reduced overall cost.
Over the past year, biotechnologists have improved medical imaging to a point of accuracy. This has significantly reduced the cost in overall healthcare of patients. With state of the art medical imaging, doctors have improved the accuracy of their diagnosis. This reduces the cost and time of treatment plan for a patient, with eliminating additional testing and consultations.
Wearable technology like fitness bands, have reduced the cost of healthcare for patients as they are able to constantly monitor their health. Any health issues that occur are caught on earlier stages and treated in time. Wearable technologies like fitness band, constantly monitor your physical health by monitoring blood pressure, heart rate, and the amount of physical activity. Cardiologists report that the patients who use wearable technology have better treatment and reduced cost as they don’t need a lot of medical screening and tests like ECG.
Data analytics and AI
Data analysis and artificial intelligence have improved the cost management in healthcare by streamlining a lot of processes. The data is used to increase the efficiency of resources, patient care and coordination and improved results. Techniques like predictive analysis are used to improve treatment plans for patients. Big data is used to predict patients with a high rate of risk and predict the most effective treatment plan.
Precision analysis can be done to analyze a patient’s medical history, current condition and genetic makeup to develop customized treatment plans. AI has now automated a lot of administrative tasks in a healthcare facility like scheduling, billing, processing and managing patient records. This has reduced errors in billing and improved the efficiency of hospitals and clinics resulting in reduced costs.
Overall, technology has streamlined a lot of healthcare processes to make them more efficient and effective. This has also improved the quality of healthcare. Even thou these technological advancement require initial investments, they result in a cost effective and quality oriented healthcare system in the long run.