Improved Patient Safety with Digital Advances

This month, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and Center for Patient Safety will team up to celebrate Patient Safety Awareness Week from March 13-19. The annual recognition event is designed to inspire action, grow awareness, and recognize the work already done surrounding health care safety.

The importance of patient safety in today’s healthcare environment cannot be understated. The IHI cites studies that suggest as many as 400,000 deaths occur in the United States each year because of medical errors, and even more injuries are reported related to preventable harm. They call preventing harm in health care settings a “public health concern.” The need to reduce these incidents drives the importance of Patient Safety Awareness Week. Plus, with every person needing quality care at some point in life, IHI wants patients and providers to be fully invested in ways to advance patient safety in health care.

Patient safety is a broad topic and encompasses multiple efforts to improve safe care throughout healthcare. Hospitals are increasingly implementing strategies to address patient safety to save money, to improve efficiency, and increase patient satisfaction across the board. Many of those efforts rely on an increased use of technology to ensure patients remain safe while they’re under care. For example, providers are increasingly accepting the idea of monitoring the health of their patients through apps and wearables. These devices facilitate awareness and better understanding for the patient about their health. This allows them to make better health decisions between visits with their doctor. Metrics related to blood pressure, sleep, and heart rate are readily available on these devices

In turn, healthier individuals are easier to manage via telemedicine. That means shorter wait times for specialists and fewer unnecessary emergency room visits. By making it easier for patients to understand their own bodies and work toward managing chronic conditions like hypertension, diabetes and asthma on their own terms, technology can reduce overall costs associated with preventable illness. Medical professionals can focus on treating patients who need urgent medical attention rather than those who could avoid adverse events simply by learning self-care skills.

Many patients regardless of their age are accustomed to conducting transactions online. A digital upgrade in healthcare is expected by patients. As more patients demand easy-to-use health care options, hospitals will need to invest in applications that can be easily integrated into the tech landscape already in use at hospitals.

For example, TroyRx solutions offer digital and printed solutions without complicating provider workflows. Existing EHRs and printers already in use within a health system allow for a seamless transition to now provide affordability options directly to patients at the point of care. Plain paper prescription printing is another bonus with the TroyRx platform for those rare situations where a patient needs a script in hand to go to the pharmacy. These are the types of digital options that support awareness of holistic patient safety in and out of the hospital