The pandemic has placed institutions around the world under a heavy burden. Except for national governments, no other institution or workforce has taken the full force of the effect of the COVID virus than hospitals. The immensity of the response needed, saving lives in addition to those that are infected while protecting their own care teams is unprecedented possibly since the post World War.
But we are, by no means still in the industrial age.
Technology has advanced to the point that people can stay in touch with families and workmates while physically apart across continents. What this also means is that systems can be serviced and operated remotely while interfacing with other systems in order to provide valuable data and/or service that workers need to perform their jobs. At its core, most if not all businesses, institutions including hospitals, require software systems in order to run their operations and coordinate the disparate but dependent functional parts.
We have at our disposal the use of magnificent machines that we’d never thought would be smart enough to turn on and off and operate by themselves. Inside the modern hospital, we’re used to seeing nurses carry tablets instead of paper charts, programmable infusion pumps instead of IV drips, and patients viewing lab results from the mobile phone instead of reading them on paper.
Yet all this may not be enough and the situation right now and post-crisis demand that healthcare upgrade and become more digital.
It has been said that the web is the future and along with it, is the use of cloud computing. But this isn’t true at all because the future is upon us already!
The window for getting by with anything manual or use of outdated software applications that require complicated installations and effort-intensive management has just about closed. The current crisis just illustrated how fragile are the systems that are highly dependent on onsite physical support. Unless, you’re a care provider – a doctor or nurse or medical team member, any function that can be performed remotely can mean lives being saved and less burden on medical services.
To believe that this is temporary and that things will return to normal soon is to remain in denial. The world has changed and expectedly, so will the tools.
One can bet that this crisis will spur innovation that will bring about better technology for hospitals, businesses and other industries than what we have right now. The kind that allows people to focus and invest on work that is truly valuable like bedside care and directly saving lives.
But until that time comes, it is best to perform an honest audit of what keeps your business up and running. Heaven forbid that IT systems experience downtime and can’t help hospitals stay afloat. Because every medical personnel’s fervent wish is for people to stay home, expecting the hospital systems and processes running efficiently (from admissions, discharge, orders, billing and cashiering among others) while they do their jobs is probably high on their wish list, too.