Doctors still waiting at the letterbox
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Doctors still waiting at the letterbox

Legacy clinical electronic messaging systems can sometimes feel like you’re sitting and waiting by a letter box, but there’s now no better time to make the most of better interconnected solutions, MedicalDirector’s CEO, Matthew Bardsley, writes.

Do you remember the time you used to sit by the mailbox waiting for that very important letter? Maybe it was your university results, a birthday card or even a medical result!

The medical system still predominately operates in this “mail” paradigm. Most health systems today still send health information via electronic message as the base communication infrastructure has not moved forward. Systems are built with concepts such as “inboxes” and heuristics are used to determine who the message is for, or what result relates to what order.

All of this has cost the health industry an inordinate amount of money as people scramble to locate results, or chase up where a message is at as it moves through 10+ systems to get to the intended recipient.

The reason for all this is because systems were built in an intermittently connected world, causing these processes to exist and systems were built to become tolerant of it.

If systems can guarantee that they are ‘always on’, then we no longer need to extract data from one system at a point in time and move this data to another system, only for that data to instantly become dated and inaccurate the moment this is done. When systems are ‘always-on’ we can request of that system, access to the information to help inform the other systems at that specific time….and avoid overuse of the word ‘systems’.

Now, we end up in a world that can transact in healthcare at any time, reducing human intervention and creating a new world of efficient and effective health care.

Imagine a world where a person can go to the GP and get their HBa1C test performed, go home, test themselves with their own glucose monitor. At 10pm the new baseline result is available from the lab, the ordering system validates a normal test and lets the patient know the result is in. The patient can then see this result, relative to the personal data they have from their glucose monitor. All of this done with no duplication of data, no human intervention, with real-time access.

We don’t need to imagine anymore – all the above is being enabled today with technologies such as cloud, IoT and new authentication models.

This article authored by Matthew Bardsley originally appeared on LinkedIn.