The medical sector may be using software and tech in the diagnosis of patients but as far management of hospital records and patient history is concerned, many hospitals and clinics are far from using a single standard. One wonders why such a vast field has no methods for data communication between hospitals and a uniform format which is acceptable in different hospitals for a patient.
Cloud Computing presents a solution to this problem and taking into account international bodies like HL7 and their proposals in this particular domain, hospitals with the help of independent software contractors may be able to integrate these solutions and digitize their processes and workflows. In the years to come, the result of this integration will be reduced paperwork and instant access to a patient’s history, even if he or she first came years ago.
Let’s take a look at how Cloud Computing can be paired with simple tech to digitize hospitals:
Medical card (RFIDs)
A medical card for both employees and patients connected to a central cloud repository either hosted on Firebase, Azure or Amazon Web Services can help the hospitals better manage the data records. This will not only facilitate the Human Resources department but also help receptionist sitting in front of the computer quickly pull out the patient history from the database and create a printed or soft copy report which will be presented to the specialist. This patient history and data once created, can be easily used for the years to come and may even be distributed to other branches of the same hospital, regardless of them being in different states or cities.
Cloud Computing effectively solves the problem of carrying reports from one place to another. With just a single card with the patient, he or she can easily visit any hospital and get a checkup done by any doctor as the patient history and the previous specialist remarks would be available there as well.
By using a cloud server, your hospital can also develop mobile apps for Android and iOS for the patient and doctors. This will allow data sharing and communication on the go as well as allow a patient to remotely download a test report rather than visiting the hospital and then receiving it. This scenario will not only decrease the patient visits to a hospital but once again decrease the paperwork which is a huge expense in the medical sector.
Considering if a patient test report doesn’t show any indications of a subject disease, the patient can also remotely coordinate with the medical specialist for any further action. This could be done through the app or another means as necessary.
Continuing on from the mobile apps, by digitizing the workflows in the hospital, doctors can also diagnose patients remotely rather than having them visit the hospital. Common diseases which have simple cures can be addressed via a mobile or web portal in which the doctor can take the patient history via a video chat and advise about a prescription accordingly.
In such a case, a patient profile will be created on the cloud server which can be done by the doctor or the patient. The details required would be the biodata and the symptoms of the disease which the patient is suffering from. This data can be used by the doctor for accurately identifying the cause of the disease and even take help from a cloud medical repository for suggesting the prescription for the cure of the disease.
Central patient data repository
A central patient data repository stored on the cloud can help you migrate data from one place to another with a single click if you are considering to open new branches of your hospital. Whether the database is in SQL or others, once the fields and attributes are set and connected with an admin portal, your day to day operations will be digitized. The advantage of this is that you will be better able to judge how many patients per day are coming into the hospital and what is the most common disease for which people are coming to your hospital.
This repository can also be used for keeping track of medicines in your hospital pharmacy. From storing the price as well as having a record of the most purchased medicine, this information can later help you make important decisions as we will explore later in this section. The digitized record-keeping not only helps in keeping a check and balance of the affairs in the institute but provides real-time update which you can use if the hospital is looking to raise funds.
These statistics are also useful if you are promoting the services of your hospital on social media. It can help you judge which doctor catered to how many patients in a week or a month and hence give out bonuses. Patient feedback of the doctor after every appointment can also be stored in the same repository as well.
Using Predictive Analysis for decision making
Since you now have such a large dataset which revolves around your patient history and disease information, you can use Machine Learning methods to help you make informed and better decisions as to where you will be spearheading your hospital in the future. Whether it is deciding if you want to open a cancer treatment unit or purchase a new X-Ray machine, predictive analysis can help you make a decision by using the existing patient influx data and highlighting all possible options you have to expand your medical business.
Doctors can also use Machine Learning methodologies for easy and early diagnosis of diseases in patients. Predictive analysis analyzes a large amount of current and historical data to learn the outcomes of different symptoms. This approach can dramatically reduce the chances of misdiagnosis as the data of a previous patient can be applied to predict the condition of a new patient. This can help doctors in making decisions based on concrete evidence and can be taken as a second or third opinion.
Using cloud computing provides significant benefits to patients, doctors, and staff of the medical field. Cloud storage and computation not only allows for better organization of patients’ data but also better communication and better medical services. Thus, cloud computing can certainly help us better maintain a healthy society.