Healthcare services have gone from traditional to technological advancement. Only a few healthcare service institutions rarely use technology. Meanwhile, big and modernized healthcare institutions need technology to keep their performance at its peak.
These technologies have changed healthcare services in many ways. They use technology from keeping records to monitoring patients, providing a diagnosis to prescriptions, and many others. Both patients and healthcare professionals benefit from these innovations. That's why more developments are being made to keep healthcare services accessible and more efficient.
Technological Advancements in Healthcare
Throughout the decades that have passed, medical practitioners and other professionals have joined forces to merge healthcare and technology. As a result, more technological advancements keep surfacing to facilitate the needs of healthcare facilities such as the following:
●Digitization of Records - Known as electronic health records or EHRs, these records replace paperwork that tend to get lost or misplaced. Nowadays, records of healthcare practitioners, patients, and other employees in a healthcare facility are now stored electronically. In a central and digitized system, all relevant information of patients is entered for easy access to authorized personnel. This information includes medical claims, diagnostic codes, and other updating of patients' records.
●Information and Communication Technology - ICT—which encompasses telemonitoring systems, telemedicine, smartphones, and email—links patients and healthcare professionals. Sharing information is one of the best advantages of using ICT, especially for rural areas.
From a remote location, a healthcare professional can monitor the vitals of a patient with cardiovascular issues. On the other hand, telemedicine is a consultation done through a two-way video.
●Mhealth - Also known as mobile health, Mhealth uses mobile technology to support medical and healthcare information when providing patient care. As a result, a healthcare professional can access the details of a patient and complete a diagnosis using a mobile device.
Importance of Healthcare IT Support
Without network access, healthcare facilities may not meet the demands of their clients. That's why their technology needs to operate 24/7. One mistake can shut down the whole system of the healthcare facility. As a result, this interruption may cause many losses, from services to the lives of patients.
That's why healthcare facilities employ in-house or outsourced Healthcare IT Support. Healthcare IT support or Information Technology Support acts as technical support for healthcare facilities. They're responsible in all areas involving computer technology, mainly to fix and keep the healthcare facilities' system running without glitches or technical difficulties.
When to Call For Healthcare IT Support
Healthcare IT support or Information Technology Support acts as technical support of healthcare facilities. They're responsible in all areas involving computer technology, mainly to fix and keep the healthcare facilities' system run without glitches.
If your system or computer experiences any of these signs, then hurry and call your IT support:
1. Your Computers Are Running Slow
From operating rooms, laboratories, nurse stations, medical carts, and patient bedsides, healthcare professionals use computers in every part of the facility. Not only are computers used for administrative functions but also for other medical purposes nowadays. That's why a simple slow-down of a computer can affect the healthcare facility's performance.
Especially for administrative functions, your computer may slow down because of the following factors:
●Apps Automatically Open - When starting up your computer, some programs or apps also automatically open. That's why you have to wait for minutes before your computer stabilizes and runs normally. Throughout the day, these programs may drag the speed of your computer as they're still running.
●Unnecessary Updates - One of the most significant innovations in technology is the automatic functions of programs and apps. Just like updates that automatically run when you start your computer, pre-installed automatic updates are also present for most programs and apps on your computer. You may not know it, but these updates may be running on their own every now and then. As a result, it'll take up too much of your hard drive space, which in turn affects the speed of your computer.
As a healthcare professional with no background in IT, the situations above may seem like a big problem. These technical problems can get in the way of your work, which is why you need an expert to make sure your computers run smoothly. Don't wait before your system or computer crashes; call your healthcare IT support immediately. Especially when you don't know how to properly fix the causes of your slow computer, calling your IT support may save you from delays or problems with work.
To speed up or restore the speed of your computer, IT support can do these fixes for you:
●Assess The Problem - IT support won't just close your apps to simply bring back the speed of your computer. They know that the programs you use are vital for medical purposes, so closing it all down may mean disrupting your job. So before they take any necessary steps, they'll have to do a thorough assessment to find the actual cause of the problem.
●Uninstall Unnecessary Programs - Healthcare IT support experts are knowledgeable on the vital apps for medical facilities. That's why they'll only uninstall programs that are not used for the facility. You may have unintentionally installed some programs when you opened or clicked a link, so they'll remove these unnecessary programs.
●Stop Unnecessary Startups And Updates - These automatic updates of apps and programs can gradually affect your computer. Without uninstalling or disrupting the function of these apps, your healthcare IT support takes the necessary steps to turn off or remove these features. IT support will manually update your programs or apps when needed.
●Disk Clean-up - One of the built-in computer tools is a disk clean-up. Your healthcare IT support will use this only when they think it’s necessary. They'll clean your system by removing unnecessarily large files.
●Dust Clean-up - For manual and regular cleaning, your healthcare IT support can also do a physical clean-up of your computer. Accumulated dust in your computer's cooling fan can affect your computer's performance. Without a clean cooling fan, your computer might overheat, which can slow down its performance. Assembling and disassembling your computer becomes risky when you don't know how to do it properly. Thus, your healthcare IT support ensures proper assembling and disassembling of your hardware.
2. Your System Is Breached
Healthcare facilities are commercial companies that need to protect their data and system against malicious attacks. With so many ways to attack an organization's network, it'll be hard for a healthcare facility to immediately detect if they've been breached.
Data breaches in healthcare facilities have the most significant impact on patients. Healthcare breaches usually happen in the form of providing medical care to a different person, identity fraud, and prescription fraud. Social Security numbers, birth dates, names, and other personal information of victims, when exposed by data breaches or cyber attacks, allow criminals to use these data to commit crimes related to medical services. Don’t make your patients suffer more as they’re already having health issues. Keep them stress-free by securing their data against malicious attacks.
However, cyber attacks and data breaches may be hard to detect during the ongoing infiltration of data. That's why you have to be wary of these warning signs and immediately call your healthcare IT support:
●Tampered Device - Remote or on-site tampering of your computer makes it possible to access your computer or system. For instance, if you come back and find that your computer, programs, or apps are open, this may indicate that someone else has accessed them. What’s more, when suspicious browser toolbars, fake antivirus warnings, or pop-up messages suddenly appear, call your healthcare IT support before doing anything.
●Locked User Accounts - If you can't access an app or program using your valid credentials, someone may have already obtained your account.
●Unusually Slow System - Healthcare facilities have systems that they regularly use. Thus, these systems are updated periodically to maintain the overall performance of the facility. However, if your network or computer device suddenly runs slow, this might be because it’s being accessed elsewhere.
●Unusual Downloads - If you see the presence of suspicious downloads on your network, someone else may have done them, especially when the downloads involve critical data that should only stay on your system. Your healthcare IT support can verify where these downloads came from so they can take the necessary steps when data is breached.
●Unusual Activities - Although a healthcare facility operates 24/7, especially medical hospitals, many system activities that happen at unexpected times are suspicious. For instance, if you see signs or history of heavy system activities at times when there is a low influx of patients, someone outside the system may have accessed it.
●DDoS Attack - If Distributed Denial of Service is occurring, immediately call your IT support. Flooding your network or service with Internet traffic may be a hacker’s way to cover up that they're breaching your data. Your healthcare IT support may stop the DDoS attack while preventing the attackers from accessing or stealing your files.
You may be wrong with the cyber attack or data breaches, but it's better to be careful. If your healthcare IT support doesn't detect ongoing cyber attacks against your system or network, then the better.
The worst part is not calling your IT support to verify your suspicions. Ignoring the signs may result in damages if your system is actually subjected to cyber attacks. Thus, it's still best to call and let your healthcare IT support check your systems. If you’re experiencing a data breach, then IT support can prevent the ongoing attack or lessen the damages from these attacks.
3. You Need To Upgrade Systems
To smoothly run a healthcare facility's programs or apps, a health IT infrastructure exists. It comprises mainly of an operating system, storage server, and wireless networks. From time to time, this infrastructure needs upgrades and updates to keep up with the latest innovations of technology.
For instance, think of your patient monitoring software that hasn't been updated since the time it was installed. It may still be working but experiencing a lot of issues. If your software keeps on crashing, it may need a system upgrade.
System upgrades exist to fix problems that may not have been anticipated from its previous version. Similarly, that's what happens to healthcare IT infrastructure when not periodically upgraded.
If you regularly update your healthcare IT infrastructure, you'll have the following benefits:
●Better Security - One way to combat cyber attacks is to keep your system updated. Cybercriminals continuously keep themselves savvy on how to infiltrate a system, so you also need to constantly update your system's security measures.
●Higher Level of Productivity - Healthcare professionals can complete their job efficiently if they're not disrupted by slow and outdated systems. If they can finish their tasks without disruptions, then they can do more.
●Decreased Repair Costs - If you periodically upgrade your system, you can prevent it from crashing. Repairing a crashed system is more expensive than regularly updating it.
Although updates have a schedule in your healthcare IT infrastructure, you may need to call your healthcare IT support for upgrades when these signs occur:
●Slow Apps - Despite restarting or removing automatic startup features of your programs, an update may be required when it's still running too slowly.
●Crashing Computers - Aside from viruses and attacks, you need to upgrade your system when it keeps crashing, especially if it's not only happening on your computer but to most computers in your healthcare facility.
●Needing Different Systems to Do One Task - When completing a task requires using more than one or two systems, then something's not right. Your system may be outdated since most systems nowadays have features that can be used for various tasks.
●Breached System - One of the solutions of your system being subjected to cyber attacks is to upgrade your healthcare IT infrastructure. This way, you can prevent more attacks and strengthen your system's security.
●Full Storage Space - Over time, your storage space can get full. If you want to save your documents or records smoothly, your system should be upgraded from time to time.
Although you can try fixing some of the warning signs mentioned above, healthcare IT support is still the best way to fix these problems. Not only do they know how to fix them, but they know how to keep your data backed up before doing anything. Their expertise in IT is also crucial to prevent your system from crashing when a cyber attack is ongoing. So instead of enduring technical inconveniences or trying your luck to fix these problems, call your healthcare IT support.