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Future Trends in Health Care

Autor:   •  April 4, 2012  •  Research Paper  •  1,202 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,347 Views

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“Thirty-five percent or more of the procedures provided in hospitals today will shift into outpatient or home settings within the next half-decade -- with the remaining services directed to increasingly acute patients and housed in bulging emergency departments, imaging and interventional suites, and more complex ICUs.” (Coye, 2007). Health care is an ever-changing industry. As Coye stated above more and more procedures will be moved out of the traditional hospital setting and into outpatient or home settings. The development of technology will be a key factor in where the health care industry goes.

With the development of technology there is more awareness within the population. Patients are becoming more informed and no longer need to see a doctor to diagnose what is going on. A simple search of WebMD and you will be able to see all of the symptoms of a certain health problem. This is both a plus and a negative. People are no longer coming in for every bump and bruise but also they are not always taking some illnesses seriously enough. As Hatcher and Heetebry (2004) stated, “Technology advances have changed the face of health care. This paradigm shift blurred the boundaries between public health, acute care, and prevention.”

Existing technology is already changing the appearance of the health care industry. Email, telemedicine, and electronic medical records (EMR) are having a profound effect on the delivery of care. Each of these sources are allowing for the delivery of treatment and information without visiting a traditional hospital setting.

Technology is becoming more and more prevalent in the health care industry. Most hospitals are now using EMR that they are able to share with their entire organization over the Internet. A physician working in the ED of a hospital can access the same patients chart that a physician can in the outpatient clinic. This sharing of information within an organization is allowing for safer and more efficient patient encounters.

Current trends are indicating that in the future EMR’s may be part of a national database that will be accessible to health care professionals no matter where the patient is located. This will allow for improved patient care and the sharing of information between health care providers. With this change patients would no longer need to visit the same physician in the hospital setting when they can be seen in an outpatient setting. Both physicians’ would be able to see both current and previous problems and be able to assess the patient for further issues.

Telemedicine is the use of telecommunication and information technologies in order to provide clinical health care at a distance. (Wikipedia, 2011) This form of treatment is allowing patients to be seen without physically visiting a hospital. This is creating less traffic in the traditional hospital setting and creating new opportunities within health care. As stated by the National Committee

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