Information overload tends to increase as the number of people working in a particular sector increases. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the healthcare industry.
According to some reports, over 12 million employees work at some 5,600 hospitals in the US alone. Each of these employees has to be trained whenever they start a new job or get transferred between different facilities. This makes dealing with information an almost insurmountable challenge.
However, a solid healthcare knowledge management system can help to assuage this problem to a large degree. Even the most modest investment in IT infrastructure can enable healthcare organizations to reap huge benefits.
How a Knowledge Management Database can Revolutionize the Decision-making Process
Healthcare professionals are constantly overwhelmed with a huge influx of new data. At the same time, they find it hard to access a single piece of information when the time comes that they need it. If professionals have the ability to get exactly what they need when they need it, then they can literally save lives with this information.
Physicians and surgeons generally base their decision on personal knowledge and experience instead of time-tested information. Knowledge management in healthcare can radically redefine this paradigm.
When doctors first treat a patient that has symptoms they might not be familiar with, they’d have the ability to research these through a database. While searching consumer-grade sites can provide some usable information, it would be far more practical and safe to have a dedicated knowledge management system that laid out all of the best practices for a specific organization written in a professional manner.
Many physicians will see around 40 patients a day, so they seldom have time to track down and consult with other experts. In fact, other specialists might be working with their own patients. Instead of consulting, doctors will simply make an educated guess and then write out a prescription based on their previous experiences. In some cases, they could be making use of the wrong therapy.
Nevertheless, doctors are often pressed for time and that makes them likely to make these kinds of medical mistakes. Hospitals and private ambulatories that have invested in this kind of technology are often in a better position to make the kind of decisions needed to provide a high level of care to patients.
Improving Patient Care with Technology
One infamous study found that artificially intelligent agents were on about equal footing with human physicians when it came to diagnostic accuracy. While the mainstream media might have taken this study somewhat out of context, the fact remains that digital technology can parse information much faster than humans can.
Sophisticated knowledge management databases are free to compile a virtually unlimited number of patient histories and use this information to notify medical professionals which therapies work best in any given situation. They’re also free to send out alerts whenever it looks like someone is being given the wrong dosage.
There’s no room for errors in the healthcare industry and medical malpractice suits are on the rise. At the same time, it’s becoming more difficult for medical professionals to collaborate while still protecting the confidence their patients are entitled to.
Smart decision-making systems can solve both of these problems by ensuring that doctors are able to leave each other messages while relying largely on automated technology. All patient records are immediately anonymized when they’re stored in this kind of system, so users won’t have to worry about data leaks.
A number of recently minted digital health startup companies are helping to lead the way. These firms are designing completely new solutions that don’t rely on any legacy technologies. As a result, they’re not encumbered by anything that hospitals currently have in place.
Unlike older solutions, the products that these firms ship offer end-to-end encryption and utilize developments like binary trees to sort data. That makes them more efficient than even blockchain-based solutions.
While it might require a substantial amount of retraining to ensure that doctors and other medical professionals are able to use this technology, it will certainly save quite a bit of time in the near future. It might also save quite a few lives in the process.
This is a sponsored post
Digital Health Buzz! aims to be the destination of choice when it comes to what’s happening in the digital health world. We are not about news and views, but informative articles and thoughts to apply in your business.