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At the core of medical decision-making is always the good of the patient. With the recent rapid increase in the intelligent use of data, the good of the patient has become more dependent on technology-based solutions. Yet, integrating a wide variety of data from clinical, radiological, laboratory, pathological and observational sources is a challenge. In addition, healthcare providers must organize data in a way that promotes the highest possible quality standard for decision-making.

Inaccessible patient data that is too extensive or unstructured can create decision bottlenecks and information overload. Healthcare providers must employ digital technologies that can facilitate improved decision-making and respond to diagnostic and therapeutic questions. This requires the efficient use of resources, acetaminophen use in dogs and coordination and sharing of information with all concerned parties — all of which require the support of a flexible digital platform.

Data quantity is not the only challenge

Vast amounts of data are indeed never used because medical professionals do not have time to sift through them. The inability to leverage that data into meaningful insights renders this data practically meaningless.

In addition to “information overload,” “filter failure” can occur because physicians cannot transform this data into actionable insights without help. Innovative medical technology providers can help healthcare institutions by providing advanced digital solutions that automatically analyze patient data and present it in a user-friendly, clinically meaningful way.

A ready-made, suitable selection and processing application in an integrated digital platform can properly prepare and structure the information in an intuitive manner. This can support physicians in making better decision more quickly for their patients while following disease-specific treatment guidelines. Moreover, this can help decrease the risk of complications, costs and length of hospital stays.

COVID-19 makes digital solutions more urgent

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus and its related disease COVID-19 demonstrates just how urgent the expansion of digitalization for healthcare is. For example, NYU Langone Health, a large academic healthcare system in New York City, increased the number of video-based emergency consultations between the beginning and middle of March 2020, from about 80 to more than 1,300 visits per day. The increase was even larger in non-urgent care, where virtual visits represented more than 70 percent of all ambulatory encounters at the beginning of April. Patients of all ages quickly became used to sharing their biometric data via a patient portal. This data was then integrated into the network’s electronic health record.

Spanish healthcare providers have also led in the promotion of telehealth solutions. For example, Onkologikoa, a cancer center in the Basque Country in Spain, deployed Zoom for video consultations at each of its 30,000 workstations shortly after the pandemic began. Similarly, the Hospital of Dénia in the Valencia Region in Southern Spain also introduced Zoom to manage patients at home, with 80 percent of them agreeing to virtual visits and finding them easily accessible.

It is likely that the positive experiences will raise future expectations among patients regarding the comfort and digital accessibility of healthcare services. Providers, for their part, could make greater use of telemedicine as a triage instrument to avoid unnecessary treatments and channel patients more effectively.

Staying flexible through the process of digitalization is critical

IT innovations continue to drive progress in business and in the healthcare environment. Innovative medical technology companies can supply healthcare providers with digital solutions that are simple, versatile and adaptable.

Intelligent applications that deliver meaningfully prepared, integrated data for operational and clinical questions are required. The rate of digitalization is also changing the way medical decisions are made. As a result, all newly developed solutions have to match the pace of this new expansion of data and data management solutions.

Integrative, interoperable system- and vendor-neutral solutions provide ideal support. This digital suite of solutions minimizes the isolating effects of data silos and promotes holistic decision-making that benefits patients and improves the efficiency of healthcare services. Through the implementation of such solutions, healthcare providers and physicians can achieve the goals of holistic decision-making both to benefit patients and improve the efficiency of healthcare services.

To learn more about holistic decision-making in a digital world, read the full whitepaper here.

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