How are new generation physicians adapting to healthcare industry changes?

Embracing mobile technology in their everyday working life seems to be second nature for the new generation of physicians – especially the ones who have graduated post 2000. It has provided them with the privilege of staying connected with their work outside the medical premises. It has given them the flexibility to access patient charts through their Electronic Health Records (EHRs), use clinical decision support systems, refer online drug information, take relevant notes, check references and do many more things on the move. The biggest benefit has been in terms of the improvement which has happened in terms of provider-patient communication.

healthcare software development, healthcare software maintenance, healthcare software testersWith the healthcare norms incentivizing the push towards use of EHRs, mobiles have enabled the young generation of physicians to have a better work-life balance than their older peers. One cannot gainsay the obvious benefit this generation has over the older ones – for having been born in an era in which the use of technology in medicine has been the most pervasive. However, this does not mean that all young physicians are upbeat about their nature of work or life. It is common to hear about the medical school debt being quite a burden for the first few years of their lives. Seems like they have a few more points added to the list. Feedback received from surveys indicates a certain percentage wish they had not taken up this profession. Their concerns include:

  • Unhappiness with third-party interference
  • Lack of adequate insurance coverage for patients
  • Lack of time to adequately educate patients on better health strategies
  • Inability to provide quality care to patients amid the demands of a convoluted billing and coding system

Although the ease of adoption is higher, their overall analysis of the healthcare reforms and the push for EHR use also has had mixed feedback. The positives cited are as follows:

  • Ability to remotely access patient information
  • Improvements in quality of care
  • Improvement in their ability to provide guideline-based care and track patients’ markers of disease control over time.
  • Better provider communication as a result of having everyone on the same EHR system

The main concern however is that EHRs are more expensive than expected, threatening the financial sustainability of their practices. Other negatives shared are :

  • Poor usability
  • Time-consuming data entry process
  • Less time availability for face-to-face patient care
  • Degradation of clinical documentation by trying to force it into structured fields
  • Information overload, as having more EHR functions–such as reminders, alerts, and messaging capabilities leads to lower professional satisfaction

Amidst all this, one area which has seen a lot of enthusiasm amongst the young generation of physicians in the use of smartphones and apps. Although the debate for how much real value apps bring to the table continues, its use has been on the rise. From using them to attend medical education training online to prescribing them to patients as an alternative to a face-to-face meeting, most of them do not seem to have any hesitation is trying out various available possibilities. Infact there is a strong belief that judicious use of smartphones and apps will result in saving millions of dollars otherwise spent in unnecessary hospital visits and surgery.

As Healthcare industry undergoes major changes, for the better, physicians are also required to develop new skills and acquire new competencies so as to not fall behind expectations. With the push of healthcare financing more towards value-based payments rather than volume based, clinicians will have 3 major objectives.

  • Improve quality of care
  • Promote greater efficiency in care delivery
  • Improve Patient safety

In order to achieve the above, they will be required to better utilize evidence-based practices, work in inter-professional teams and coordinate care across settings which would also include other providers. Hence moving forward, the need of the hour is to have physicians who are excellent in interpersonal and communications skills and an penchant towards collaborating with others to provide cost effective care. On the part of the hospitals, it has become imperative now to invest in the training of their existing staff in order to address the gaps and avoid the risk of becoming redundant. To leverage maximum benefits of healthcare software development, it is highly essential to spend proportionate amount of budget and efforts in training.

We provide healthcare software maintenance services. With a large team of certified programmers & healthcare software testers, working with us with ensure near-zero training costs. To speak to one of our developers, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.

4 Factors contributing to mHealth adoption

mHealth and broadly speaking e-health is proving to be a boon to low and middle-income countries because it offers a suitable solution to two of their most compelling issues in healthcare delivery – reach and cost. People in these countries for all these years have been deprived of access to valuable healthcare information because of where they live. It is upto the governments of these countries now to figure out ways and means to hasten the adoption and removal of all possible roadblocks – the chief among which is proving to be lack of adequate expertise in the area.

Healthcare IT Services, Healthcare software developer, mHealth software developmentInspite of all the concerns related to privacy and regulations, reports indicate that mHealth market is expected to reach around $9 billion by the end of 2014. For the subsequent 6 years, the market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 40 percent. The biggest thrust to this growth will come from the following factors:

  • Increased penetration of 3G and 4G networks
  • Better engagement and awareness of chronic diseases
  • Push for cost efficiency
  • Higher adoption of smartphones

Besides the above four factors, mobile network operators also see a lot of business opportunity in mHealth as the field allows them to offer a range of services over and above the basic ones which they provide.

mHealth software development projects for hospital setups create applications which are found to be highly effective in tracking valuable equipment, managing inventory, tracking patients and hospital staff, as well handling medical emergencies. A latest breakthrough has been in the area of handling combative patients – through devices which can be used by the hospital staff to alert their co-workers in the event of their confronting such a situation. New solutions are also finding ways to address temperature monitoring, hygiene compliance etc.

Many countries with an aging population find mHealth a commendable platform to reduce the cost of treatment and increase convenience and reach. However, in order to achieve this, the population has to be trained so as to enable them to manage their condition independently. Also, devices have to be more to sophisticated to handle a range of conditions effectively. Efforts towards developing capability to handle the second factor have already had its inception. Moving forward, the market for using wearable devices connected to smartphones is expected to grow. These devices are going to be expected to handle a host of functions in a stand-alone manner or in conjunction with third-party platforms. Since internationally the population of diabetic people is increasing rapidly, diabetes management devices market is expected to grow and so is the market for accompanying healthcare applications.

The applications market for Healthcare is shared between medical apps and health apps. The former includes segments medical reference, disease specific apps etc. whereas the later includes ones for weight loss, meditation exercise to name a few. The Healthcare apps market is currently dominated by exercise apps and moving forward the download volume in this category is expected to increase multifold. But the same cannot be said about the impact it will have on revenue. So the fitness app market is expected to reach maturity quicker than the rest and only those apps in this category which are significantly innovative might make a relatively better revenue contribution.

FDA, in the meanwhile, has released its latest guidance which it expects to provide clarity and predictability to manufacturers of mobile medical apps. Quite a lot of these companies/developers were holding on to their development work which were risky. These apps are termed so as they can pose a risk to the patient’s safety if they do not work as they are expected to. The delay in releasing the guidelines was acting as a deterrent since they weren’t sure how the final draft would affect the outcome. Although industry stalwarts have expressed their personal opinions to the outcome, there is a consensus on the fact that apps involved in direct patient care need regulation and having a set published guidelines is a step in the right direction.

We provide Healthcare IT Services. If you would like to talk to a software tester or certified Healthcare software developer from our team, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.