How Will the COVID-19 Pandemic Impact Healthcare IT for the Long-Term?

It’s been about one year since the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a pandemic. Since then, health information technology has played a crucial role in tracking cases, managing COVID-19 tests, and helping other healthcare services like teletherapy continue to support patients in need. Interoperability in healthcare has also played a crucial role in tracking COVID-19 vaccinations. 

But how will this carry over after the pandemic ends? Many experts agree that telehealth services are here to stay. Big data analytics, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence may also play more prominent roles in the future. Let’s explore them now. 

How IT is Helping Healthcare Providers Manage the COVID-19 Pandemic

Interoperability in healthcare is more important than ever. 

Healthcare Colleagues Discussing Notes in Hospital Corridor
Health IT is rapidly advancing and growing.

During the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has seriously challenged the United States healthcare system and pushed it to its limits. To help manage the outbreak, healthcare organizations have begun monitoring potential cases through early surveillance programs, engaging in active contact tracing, and reporting COVID-19 test results to their respective state registries. EHR integration has also helped organizations stay on top of the pandemic. 

The Rise of Telemedicine

During all this change, telemedicine has significantly accelerated by a decade. Many healthcare experts even agree that telemedicine is here to stay for the long-run. For one thing, it’s way more convenient to schedule a video call with your physician than traveling miles away to see them at the office. Some hospitals also offer online patient portals where they can check on test results, schedule appointments, refill prescriptions, and ask any medical questions. Together, these new platforms can help patients become more engaged with their healthcare treatment than ever before. 

That said, telemedicine does come with its challenges. Members of older generations are not as familiar with technology and may need some extra assistance with navigating these new technologies. Safety can also be an issue. Video platforms like Zoom have exploded in popularity over the past year. But they are extremely vulnerable to hacking and other security hacks. That’s why it’s crucial for organizations to consult IT experts for extra assistance and guidance when implementing these new tools. 

The Future of Information Technology in Healthcare

Advances in healthcare technology are only just beginning.

healthcare worker holding tablet
We are just starting to explore the possibilities of healthcare technology.

Some other technologies that have accelerated and grown during the pandemic include:

  • Big Data Analytics
  • Cloud Computing
  • Artificial Intelligence

Together, these technologies can revolutionize healthcare. 

Big Data Analytics

Big data analytics is already being leveraged for severa luses, such as filtering massive amounts of data to find appropriate treatment options for patients and identifying high-risk patients for different diseases. This is especially important for advancing the practice of precision medicine.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is another technology that is significantly impacting healthcare. Cloud applications make EHR integration easier than ever and can help improve current telehealth platforms. Remote accessibility also allows users to access these platforms from almost anywhere. 

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence won’t be completely replacing traditional healthcare workers anytime soon. However, AI is already dramatically improving the accuracy of radiology tools and brain-computer interfaces. 

API Integration for Public Health Registries

The Pub Hub 2.0 by Iron Bridge continues to lead the way in improving interoperability in healthcare.

blue map of the united states
Pub Hub 2.0 connects hundreds of organizations through seamless point-to-point connections.

Because of the pandemic, public healthcare reporting has become more important than ever. Under a new provision by the CARES Act, all testing labs that operate under a CLIA certification must report COVID-19 test results to their state registries. With the help of  Pub Hub 2.0 by Iron Bridge, healthcare providers can seamlessly facilitate the flow of information between testing centers and state registries through hundreds of point-to-point connections. 

Iron Bridge offers several other health IT solutions such for:

  • Data Integration
  • Data Aggregation
  • Patient Access

Together, these tech solutions can help propel your healthcare organization to the forefront of the medical industry.

Organizations That Are Connected to the Pub Hub 2.0

Dozens of electronic lab reporting registries across the United States are connected to the Pub Hub 2.0, including:

  • Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH)
  • GDPH Epidemiology Section
  • Delaware Division of Public Health
  • California Reportable Disease Information Exchange — Electronic Lab Reporting
  • OSDH Acute Disease Service
  • Ohio Department of Health
  • Tennessee Department of Health
  • Michigan Disease Surveillance System

Technology is advancing at warp speed. Thanks to this rapid advance, the healthcare industry is continually growing and improving day by day. Leading companies like Iron Bridge are helping these companies advance with their cutting-edge IT solutions for data integration, public health management, and patient access portals. Does your company need an IT upgrade that improved interoperability in the healthcare sector? Contact the experts at Iron Bridge today to learn more about our innovative health IT solutions!

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