People’s lives have changed a lot in the past years, making room for information and communication technologies which have been created with the purpose of improving their lives. When it comes to healthcare systems, technology is extremely important. For example, technology is used to electronically store and access patient information.
However, there are still people and places who don’t know about modern technologies and how they can impact the quality of public health service. Therefore, it is very important to understand how eHealth systems can be implemented, and how society can benefit from these innovations.
1. eHealth puts patient as a first priority
When we think of eHealth, we think of innovative methods which can accurately deliver healthcare services, enhance prevention efforts, ensure a correct diagnosis, and contribute to permanent monitoring, and effective management of the patients’ health and wellbeing. Moreover, eHealth introduces the philosophy of putting the patient in front of the authorities’ priorities through innovation. Therefore, eHealth systems manage to use technology to reach their patients, by acting in a timely manner and using the patients’ stored information to deliver the best treatment solution.
Furthermore, thanks to eHealth systems, the risk of error when it comes to prescription and processing are significantly diminished. What is more, technology helps overcome two significant barriers: trustworthiness and comprehensibility in healthcare. Therefore, medical information becomes available in multiple languages, reaching a wider population and being always available for them. On the other hand, eHealth systems take care of data security, putting maximum responsibility into delivering accurate and confidential data to patients.
2. eHealth systems facilitate care at a distance
A recent study developed by the World Health Organization showed that 60% of developed countries and 30% of middle and low-income countries started to use technology and eHealth systems to improve treatment compliance for patients. For instance, the low and middle-income countries have used mobile health tools to raise awareness and provide solutions for a variety of topics like HIV infection, vaccination, or H1N1 virus.
The impact of eHealth systems is amazing as they showed improvements in the population’s health behavior and psychological income. Some of the benefits worth mentioning include diagnostic accuracy, reduced waiting time for patients in need, improved referral management, and increased satisfaction with healthcare services. In
addition, eHealth systems had an impact on reducing the number of in-person visits as patients are able to find the information they need via online or mobile tools. What is more, eHealth systems can represent the foundation of developing policies against some of the major causes of morbidity and mortality in several countries.
3. Equal treatment for all patients
eHealth systems represent an important instrument in health policies, which manages to offer equal treatment to patients, as well as safety and access to healthcare systems and tools. Moreover, eHealth systems help people gain confidence in the national healthcare systems, by bringing also legal clarity and protecting the patients’ health information. On the other hand, eHealth systems represent an influencing factor in market development. On top of that, eHealth systems have an important contribution in ensuring fast and accurate patient data exchange between hospitals.
Therefore, patients can receive immediate access to information and improved treatment for their health issues. eHealth systems can become a lifesaving tool for patients in remote areas. Healthcare professionals can use webcam conferencing to communicate directly with patients from different locations, evaluate their health status, or even transmit the results to analysis. For example, for patients living in various islands or in hardly accessible places, eHealth systems can become an important tool of communication which can help them find immediate solutions to their problems and stay in contact with their doctors.
4. Improved effectiveness
It has become clear that the implementation of eHealth systems ensures a better, faster, and more efficient access to healthcare services. Even though it might seem hard to believe, eHealth is actually a magic solution for today’s healthcare systems. The success of eHealth systems is the result of a joint effort from both society and healthcare professionals. On one hand, citizens should be responsible and provide accurate data to be stored in the systems.
What is more, they should use eHealth systems for serious matters and not consider it as a non-professional tool. On the other hand, clinical professionals should use technology and these systems to create broader teams for various categories of patients and provide more personalized and personal care. In addition, in order for eHealth systems to provide improved effectiveness, they should be accepted as a concept and stakeholders should recognize its practicability. Thus, patients, healthcare professionals, and governments need to collaborate to transform society’s mentality and have a more flexible approach to the implementation process.
The implementation of eHealth technology offers a different perspective over patient information and healthcare economy. It is clear that eHealth systems need further investments in order to have a serious impact on the quality and well-being of society. eHealth system puts the patient as a first priority, facilitating clinical professional’s job to improve the quality of overall healthcare systems. Thus, it is necessary to train healthcare professionals and develop awareness campaigns for patients to show the effectiveness of eHealth systems and tools, increasing the patients’ acceptance.
On the other hand, despite the openness towards technology and new media, stakeholders should pay attention to ethical values and mind data privacy criteria. Furthermore, even though eHealth systems can provide efficient solutions for patients, professionals should see them as a lifelong learning opportunity, requiring permanent updates and improvement to satisfy citizens’ needs.
Moreover, apart from the openness and will to implement these systems, healthcare professionals should also have the necessary hardware and software tools at their disposal, which will help them do their work in a modern way. Finally, eHealth promotes a social dialogue and exchange of information between patients and professionals, helping authorities identify new risks and develop sustainable policies to mitigate them.