Technology has been a crucial component of the medical industry for many years, and this has only increased since the onset of the pandemic. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that the $6.7 billion in funding for the digital health sector is a driving force behind its success. Expenditure alongside qualified practitioners both play a large role in bringing innovative technological advances from the testing to implementation phase in patient care.
This lack of funding often does not translate to brick-and-mortar health care institutions such as hospitals and community-based clinics. The most recent relief package, the American Rescue Plan, was promoted as a panacea for fiscal losses that hospitals were experiencing due to a decline in emergency department utilization and general inpatient admissions. Yet, this plan was found to overlook small, rural health care facilities, which were among those hardest hit by the pandemic.
The scarcity of funding for such health care institutions means that the successful adoption of new technology is in danger of slowing. Assistive technology, digital health, and other tech is only as useful as the infrastructure that it is part of. This means that almost all of these devices and programs will need continued support through funding and general staff (not just providers) who are dedicated to successfully integrating such technology within their practice.
Successful implementation is key for patient outcomes, but also provider job satisfaction. When used appropriately as part of an overarching health care program, digital health and other forms of health technology have been found to decrease provider burnout levels. Burnout among health care providers is often attributed to providers struggling with inflexible hours, obstructive organizational policies, long hours spent on documentation, a lack of autonomy, and tight schedules that do not allow for patient-centered, integrated care practices.
While it may be a fairly obvious choice for health care institutions to flock toward new technology for their practice, it is clear that organizations should diligently prepare beforehand. This means focusing on positive outcomes, which will lead to cost savings and an increase in patient users. Health care managers should first and foremost create and implement a sound patient experience strategy to ensure they are remaining true to their mission while providing the standard of care that patients need.
In summary, it is important to remember that technology adoption is a journey and not a destination. Aspects of the product or program and its implementation will need to continually be changed based on testing and feedback. Organizations should be sure that they secure enough funding and staffing to realistically achieve their technology goals.
Staffing shortages can impact technology and network security alike. Contact TOG Network Solutions today to ensure your network is strong enough to weather the storm.