Patient Data Concerns Grow as Facilities Add Technology

While emerging technologies add value to healthcare facilities, top executives are concerned about patient data.

By Mackenna Moralez
February 18, 2022

Since before the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, hospitals and other healthcare facilities began ramping up the use of emerging technologies within their organizations. Some organizations aren’t in such a rush, however. While digitization efforts are underway, some healthcare facilities are still reluctant to implement new software and technology because of past challenges they have faced. Because of this hesitancy, clinicians have spent more than twice the amount of time on administrative work, such as updating electronic medical records, rather than seeing patients, according to a report by Research and Markets.  

Whether these facilities are ready or not, technology is going to play an important role in their daily operations. A report from MobiDev found the top healthcare technology trends that are likely to impact the sector this year.

They include:  

  • artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning  
  • telemedicine  
  • extended reality  
  • Internet of Things (IoT)  
  • privacy and security  
  • bioprinting 

AI is being developed and used to not only automate tasks but to assist doctors in making diganoses and treatment-related decisions. More than 33 percent of tasks that are performed manually by clinicians can be automated, according to the report by Research and Markets. AI solutions can carry out specialized functions without human supervision.   

“Hospitals are looking for ways to increase their HCAHPS score by implementing various technologies,” says Mario Sanchez, associate principal with CRTKL, referring to Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems. “Some of these technologies are emerging solutions new to the market, and other are simply integrating existing technologies to better take advantage of systems affecting a patients’ stay.” 

Despite the promise that these new solutions bring, healthcare executives are concerned that the software can result in inaccurate patient data, further impacting care quality and the bottom line. 

Low satisfaction and confidence in the accuracy of patient data has compelled a majority of executives to consider patient identity to be valuable to function and initiative within the organization, according to a report by Verato and Sage Growth Partners. The report found that 75 percent of respondents believe patient identity is important to improve care management, while 88 percent of respondents believe that patient identity is important to improving the patient experience.  

“Patient experience and access to care will play a crucial role in healthcare in 2022, especially as organizations evaluate their digital capabilities,” says Audrius Polikaitis, CIO and associate vice president of health information technology at the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System. “There is a direct correlation between the strength of patient identity data and the efficacy of digital tools. Using a few basic matching criteria isn’t enough to create a complete patient record. If these solutions don’t use stronger matching algorithms or enrichment data like social determinants, it’s likely that data accuracy is low, which will have an impact on how well both new and existing digital solutions perform.” 

Mackenna Moralez is the assistant editor for Healthcare Facilities Management

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