What Healthcare Technologies Have Significantly Improved Day-to-Day Practice?

What Healthcare Technologies Have Significantly Improved Day-to-Day Practice?

In the fast-evolving landscape of healthcare, we've gathered insights from nine medical professionals, including medical directors and physician assistants, to shed light on technological advancements. They discuss how innovations from telehealth services to EHRs are revolutionizing patient care. Dive into their expert opinions on the technologies that are significantly improving their day-to-day practice.

  • Telemedicine and EHRs Enhance Accessibility
  • Virtual Platforms Revolutionize Training
  • Robotic-Assisted Surgery Improves Precision
  • Digital X-Rays Elevate Chiropractic Precision
  • Wearable Devices Enable Proactive Care
  • Ultrasound-Guided Injections Increase Precision
  • Digital Dental X-Rays Ensure Timely Diagnoses
  • 3D Imaging Transforms Surgical Planning
  • Telehealth Services Boost Patient Compliance

Telemedicine and EHRs Enhance Accessibility

The top two technological improvements our team has seen are telemedicine—especially highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic—and electronic health records (EHRs). Telemedicine has allowed us to reach patients in remote areas and provide consultations and follow-ups without needing physical visits. This increases accessibility and significantly reduces the strain on healthcare facilities. We see thousands of patients a month globally and remotely with Welzo's telemedicine service, which would not have been possible previously.

Additionally, EHRs have been a game-changer. The shift from paper-based records to EHRs has streamlined our operations, making patient data more accessible and improving coordination among healthcare providers. It reduces errors, enhances the quality of care we provide, and helps with AI training models.

Adonis Hakkim
Adonis HakkimMedical Director, Welzo

Virtual Platforms Revolutionize Training

Video-assisted teaching-learning through virtual platforms is an absolute game-changer when it comes to fast-shifting specialties like wound care and nutrition. Pulling team members out of practice for upskilling is tedious and time-consuming, and, quite frankly, a national nursing shortage means most hospitals and care facilities are not able to offer PTO for this kind of constant updating. The result can be catastrophic as protocols turn stagnant and best practices lag.

Visual training through virtual platforms is the next best thing to hands-on learning and is a great substitute that ensures team members stay up-to-date. Not only is training time reduced, studies have shown that workers are more likely to ask questions and offer feedback when the course is online. Those unwilling or unmotivated to speak up in person achieve a deeper knowledge when upskilling goes semi-anonymous.

Carlos da Silva
Carlos da SilvaPhysician Assistant, PA Career Hub

Robotic-Assisted Surgery Improves Precision

One piece of technology that has significantly improved my day-to-day practices as an OB/GYN is the use of robotic-assisted surgery, specifically for minimally invasive procedures. I was the first certified robotic surgeon at South Lake Hospital and have performed more robotic procedures than any physician in Lake County. Robotic-assisted surgery offers unparalleled precision and control, which is especially beneficial for complex gynecological procedures.

For instance, the use of the da Vinci Surgical System allows me to perform hysterectomies, myomectomies, and other pelvic surgeries with minimal invasiveness. This technology provides a magnified 3D view of the surgical area and articulating instruments that mimic the movements of my hands with greater precision. As a result, patients experience significantly less pain, reduced blood loss, and faster recovery times compared to traditional open surgery. This has led to higher patient satisfaction and quicker returns to daily activities.

Moreover, the integration of advanced minimally invasive techniques in my practice has significantly reduced the risks associated with surgery. Patients have shorter hospital stays and lower chances of hospital-acquired infections or complications like deep vein thrombosis. The robotic system's ability to minimize tissue damage also results in minimal scarring, which is an important aesthetic consideration for many of my patients. This has been transformative in providing high-quality, patient-centered care.

Matthew Casavant
Matthew CasavantPhysician & Owner, South Lake OB/GYN

Digital X-Rays Elevate Chiropractic Precision

Digital x-rays have revolutionized chiropractic care by providing immediate, high-resolution images crucial for accurate diagnoses and effective treatment planning. This significantly improves patient care and workflow efficiency. Their enhanced image clarity detects subtle issues that conventional film x-rays might miss. The immediate nature of digital imaging enables real-time review and discussion with patients, fostering a more collaborative and informed treatment process.

Also, electronic storage and quick retrieval of patient records streamline administrative tasks, allowing us to focus more on direct patient care. Integrating this advanced technology into our practice has elevated the precision and efficiency of our services, leading to better patient outcomes and satisfaction.

Dr. Peter Hinz
Dr. Peter HinzFounder, Chiropractor, and Certified Acupuncturist, Cool Springs Chiropractic

Wearable Devices Enable Proactive Care

One piece of technology that has significantly improved my day-to-day practice is the integration of wearable devices for remote patient monitoring. At Erez Functional Medicine, we utilize devices like continuous glucose monitors and fitness trackers to proactively manage and optimize patient health. These tools provide real-time data on patients' vital signs, activity levels, and other important health metrics.

For instance, remote monitoring allows me to track trends in a patient’s glucose levels and physical activity without them needing to visit the clinic frequently. This data enables us to intervene early if we notice any outliers, significantly improving preventive care. As a result, patients feel more connected and supported, leading to higher engagement and better adherence to treatment plans.

The benefits extend beyond individual patient care. These devices also streamline operations, reducing the need for reactive, face-to-face consultations. This proactive approach enhances the patient-clinician relationship and allows us to expand our reach to underserved communities, offering more comprehensive and accessible care. Utilizing wearable technology has transformed the way I practice medicine, ensuring higher efficiency and improved health outcomes.

Dr. Aaron Erez
Dr. Aaron ErezOwner, Erez Functional Medicine

Ultrasound-Guided Injections Increase Precision

One piece of technology that has significantly improved my day-to-day practice as an orthopedic surgeon is the use of ultrasound-guided injections. This technique has revolutionized how we administer therapeutic injections, such as cortisone, PRP, and viscosupplementation, for conditions like arthritis, bursitis, and tendinitis. By enabling real-time visualization, ultrasound guidance ensures that the medication is delivered precisely to the affected area, which enhances the efficacy of the treatment and reduces the risk of complications.

For instance, in cases of knee arthritis or shoulder bursitis, ultrasound-guided injections allow me to navigate complex joint spaces accurately, ensuring the medication reaches the intended target. The precision this technology offers has significantly improved patient outcomes. In my practice, I've observed quicker relief of symptoms and a higher rate of successful treatments compared to traditional “blind” injection techniques. Patients report reduced pain levels and improvements in functionality much faster, which is critical for their quality of life.

Moreover, the use of ultrasound guidance minimizes the discomfort associated with injections. Patients often express relief knowing that the procedure will be more accurate and less painful. This technology has improved clinical outcomes while enhancing patient trust and satisfaction with their overall care experience.

Robert McLaughlin II, MD
Robert McLaughlin II, MDPresident, Boston Concierge Orthopedics

Digital Dental X-Rays Ensure Timely Diagnoses

One piece of technology that has significantly improved my day-to-day practice is the integration of digital dental x-rays at Capitol Dental. Digital x-rays provide remarkably high-resolution images within seconds, allowing us to quickly assess and diagnose dental issues with precision. This immediate feedback is crucial for making timely decisions, whether it's identifying cavities, assessing bone loss, or planning surgical interventions. By reducing radiation exposure by up to 90% compared to traditional X-rays, digital X-rays also significantly enhance patient safety and comfort.

For example, digital sensors like the DentiMax Dream Sensor, which offers a theoretical resolution of 26.3 LP/mm, enable us to detect even the smallest cavities and abnormalities that might be missed with traditional methods. This high image clarity ensures that we can address problems at their earliest stages, leading to more effective treatments and better outcomes. Using advanced imaging tools such as 3D Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) further allows us to capture detailed three-dimensional views of the teeth and surrounding structures, which is invaluable for complex procedures like dental implants and orthodontics.

Additionally, the workflow integration of these digital technologies has streamlined our practice operations. The immediate availability of x-ray images means we can avoid delays in diagnosis and treatment planning. Moreover, by leveraging AI-supported tools in teledentistry, we're able to extend our services to remote areas, providing consultations and follow-ups without the need for patients to visit the clinic. This not only makes dental care more accessible but also enhances patient engagement and satisfaction by making the process more convenient and efficient.

Dr. Ryan Doyle, DDS
Dr. Ryan Doyle, DDSOwner, Capitol Dental

3D Imaging Transforms Surgical Planning

One piece of technology that has significantly improved my day-to-day practice is the 3D imaging and simulation software used for preoperative planning in plastic surgery. This technology allows me to create precise, customized surgical plans and visualize the potential outcomes with my patients before they go under the knife.

For example, when performing rhinoplasty, using 3D imaging, I can take detailed scans of the patient’s nose and structure a tailored surgical plan. This not only enables me to set realistic expectations but also helps in achieving precise results that align closely with the patient’s desired look. The accuracy and customization this technology provides have noticeably increased patient satisfaction and surgical outcomes.

Furthermore, this technology is invaluable for breast augmentation procedures. Patients can visualize different implant sizes and shapes in a simulated 3D environment, aiding in their decision-making process. By involving patients so intimately in planning their procedures, the simulator directly impacts their confidence and satisfaction with the results.

In my practice, incorporating 3D imaging has transformed consultations and operations, leading to more precise surgeries and higher patient contentment. It's a powerful tool that bridges the gap between patient expectations and surgical outcomes.

Shlomo Widder, MD
Shlomo Widder, MDPresident, Widder Plastic Surgery Center

Telehealth Services Boost Patient Compliance

One piece of technology that has significantly improved my day-to-day practice in physical therapy is the implementation of telehealth services. Telehealth has made it incredibly convenient for patients to receive high-quality physical therapy from the comfort of their homes. I've seen how this accessibility translates into better patient compliance and faster recovery times.

For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, many patients benefited from telehealth sessions where we conducted ergonomic assessments of their work-from-home setups. By identifying and correcting poor posture and workstation setups, patients experienced relief from pain and discomfort without needing to visit the clinic. This not only kept them safer but also kept their treatment plans uninterrupted.

Moreover, telehealth has proven to be almost as effective as in-person visits. Through guided exercises, functional movement tests, and detailed discussions, we were able to achieve significant improvements in patient outcomes. Insurance companies have also recognized its value, and most now cover telehealth physical therapy sessions, making it a viable option for maintaining continuous care.

In addition, the convenience factor cannot be overstated. Setting up a telehealth appointment is simple; all patients need is an internet connection, a device with a camera, and some space to exercise. This ease of access has lowered barriers to care, enabling more people to get the treatment they need without the hassles of travel, significantly enhancing both my practice and patient satisfaction.

Bryan Wright
Bryan WrightCEO, Wright Physical Therapy

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