How Technology Can Deliver Broad Improvements in Health Care

“We can design innovative ways to tailor health care to someone’s individual needs and lifestyle,” says Kenneth Kizer

Technology is vastly changing the way Health Care  providers interact with large groups of people, and we are seeing the positive influences technology has had on the Health Care System. Dr. Kizer sat down with The Wall Street Journal to discuss a couple of the new impacts technology has had on Health Care.

Dr. Kizer is a seasoned physician who is board certified in a number of specialties and was accredited as California`s top health official, before serving in the Department of Veteran Affairs. While serving at the VA, Dr.Kizer was made famous by adopting one of the most preeminent electronic health system, as well as modernizing and streamlining the nations largest health system. Later in his career, Dr. Kizer became founding president and chief executive of the National Quality Forum. The NQF works to set high quality standards as well as monitor performance for U.S. health-care providers.

Kizer shares that technology has had a huge impact on population health throughout the years. Population health can be defined as the health status and or outcome, of a group of people who share a common characteristic. This could be patterns such as age, gender, race, and ethnicity, and could be any number of characteristics and is not limited to one.

Various new information and communication technologies are being introduced everyday, and use of these devices and tech are still in their early years. Which gives a lot of hope and optimism of what is yet to come.  A couple of these contrivances being used today are electronic health records, health information exchanges, telemedicine, and other wearable devices as well as mobile health applications.

All these technological advances allow patients and caregivers to connect in ways previously thought impossible. No longer does a patient have to meet face to face with a caretaker for treatment. This also provides a solution to transportation, language, and any other barriers that may arise within a face-to-face meeting. This makes health care more organized, accessible, and convenient for patients. Information can now be exchanged and shared between patients and caretakers in the blink of an eye and in a number of ways. Health care is being designed to specifically cater to a patient’s individual needs and lifestyle.

There are also some barriers when using technology such as those mentioned above. The health care`s conservative  culture has been slow to adopt and utilize new ways of doing things. The other issue is the lack of payment for these virtual care methods. Telemedicine was hurt for years by lack of funding, and is only recently seeing improvement. This lack of payment can make a lot of  virtual care ideas economically nonviable. Additional barriers include interoperability problems  amongst technologies, which could affect the process of collecting and analyzing data as well as information security and privacy cases. All of these barriers and concerns will require group thinking and collaboration amongst vendors, health care providers, and the government.

With the emergence of new technology within the health care system we have seen vast improvements in the way health care providers reach and care for Population Health. Telemedicine, social media, and wearable devices are the way of the future and they are having immediate impacts on accessibility and convenience, there are errors to address and solutions to be found, but Dr. Kizer believes that technology will change health care, and have an everlasting positive affect.

About the Author: Brady Brehm is an intern at HPC Solutions. He is studying Marketing at High Point University.

Sources:

Landro, Laura. “How Technology Can Deliver Broad Improvements in Health Care.” WSJ. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 July 2016.