More and more, orthopedic healthcare professionals are working to adapt to busier environments. Demand is up and healthcare teams of all kinds are trying to see as many patients as possible while still maintaining an optimal patient experience. Luckily, technology and virtualization are making it easier than ever before for orthopedic surgeons to optimize their clinical work and better care for an influx of patients.
How will technology help you see more patients, better meet their needs and optimize the care experience?
We heard from an orthopedic healthcare team recently who expressed their desire to better manage their clinic’s IT effort. They knew that they could be taking better advantage of technology in order to streamline their clinic processes and optimize the care experience for their patients.
This got us thinking – we should explore the top challenges that orthopedic surgeons are facing today and explain the ways that technology can mitigate these obstacles. So, let’s take a look at the top challenges facing orthopedic practitioners and come to understand how technology can revolutionize the orthopedic clinic experience.
Challenge #1: A Diminishing Workforce and Increased Demand
The fact of the matter is, the number of patients in orthopedics is growing and the number of working surgeons is decreasing. With big doctor shortages being predicted by 2025, and the number of patients requiring orthopedic care growing, surgeons are working to juggle the increased demand.
This is a big deal – not just for patients and doctors – but for the specialization as a whole. In fact, Ira Kirschenbaum, MD and Chairman of Orthopedics at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center in New York, notes that orthopedic professionals must adapt to handle the influx, otherwise other specialties will move in to pick up the slack.
“If orthopedic surgeons don’t meet these needs, allied professionals would have their scope of privileges expanded, allowing them to perform general orthopedic procedures,” says Kirschenbaum. “It wouldn’t be the first time the world responded to a shortage.”
Challenge #2: Limited Facetime with Patients
A second challenge orthopedic practitioners are facing is the very limited time they’re able to spend on face-to-face interactions with patients. Between an influx of patients and tedious EMR and desk work, orthopedic surgeons often have very limited time to spend on actual patient interactions. In fact, even during the patient interaction, a large percentage is often spent on digital charting.
While reporting and charting is critical to maintaining an ethical and thorough care experience, often these tasks have a way of interrupting patient care. That’s why it’s critical for orthopedic care professionals to have a reliable and streamlined IT infrastructure. Without optimized software and streamlined data-sharing, maximizing one-on-one patient interaction will be nearly impossible.
Challenge #3: Optimizing the Patient Care Experience
Finally, with an influx of patients and limited time to see each one, how are orthopedic practitioners supposed to provide a personalized and focused care experience? Patients want to know that their healthcare professionals take their ailments seriously and are willing to put in the time necessary to treat them – not just cure them.
However, with a busy schedule and lots of charting to complete during patient visits, orthopedic practitioners are often bogged down by the technology they use. However, this should never be the case. The IT infrastructure in any healthcare setting should be working to streamline processes so that doctors and support teams can focus on creating and providing the best care environment possible.
As you can see, challenges for orthopedic healthcare professionals operate in a domino effect. There are more patients to see, fewer doctors to see them, limited time to spend on them and in turn obstacles in maintaining an above-and-beyond care experience for sick and injured patients. However, since clinics now operate with the help of technology and software, orthopedic surgeons and their support staff really can take better advantage of technology in hopes of streamlining a hectic environment.
No matter what devices or EMR software your clinic uses, chances are there are features and strategies you’re not taking advantage of. By coming to better understand your IT infrastructure and learn the ways it could be working harder for you, you’ll boost productivity in the entire office. But let’s face it, we now understand just how strapped for time orthopedic healthcare teams are. Trying to master IT in and out simply doesn’t fit the schedule.
That’s why reaching out to a managed IT expert can be a life-saver for busy orthopedic surgeons. Not only can a managed IT partner provide consistent monitoring and maintenance of your network, they can evaluate your clinic’s infrastructure and identify problem areas and room for improvement. This way, you’ll have a team of experts optimizing and streamlining your technology so you can focus on optimizing your patient care experience.
Choosing the right provider doesn’t have to be an uphill battle either. Compare providers and consider remote and fully-managed solutions. Above all else, consider providers who have experience in the healthcare sector. By going with a partner who ‘gets it’ you and your team will be making the most of your technology before you know it. Trust us, your patients – and your support staff – will thank you.
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