When we hear “ROI,” we immediately think of “return on investment.” That same acronym, in the healthcare sector, has a very different connotation. It stands for “return on information,” i.e., how quickly a patient’s data flows through the system to provide the best possible experience and quality of care.

The image of too many patients sitting in a waiting room should be a thing of the past. To consolidate this trend, a change of mindset is needed. Despite the technological advances in recent years, most data in healthcare is generally exchanged in paper format and transmitted via fax machines.

The post-pandemic period brought a new challenge: a shortage of administrative and tactical personnel within the health centers. The fear of contagion made many people decide to perform their tasks remotely, especially those who did not have a concrete need to work in person to complete their duties. The result? There is a need for more administrative staff who can go to the fax machine to take documents and input them into the system.

The paradox of the health system

The paradox of the U.S. healthcare system is that it is highly digitized but lowly connected due to cultural barriers. EHRs (electronic health records), which are widely regulated, are much more than a digitized version of a medical record. They are real-time, patient-centered records that make information instantly and securely available for consultation and modification by authorized healthcare professionals and providers.

New technologies are also available to make the missing leap. For example, natural language processing (NLP) and optical character recognition (OCR) powered by artificial intelligence dramatically increase companies’ ability to optimize their ROI.

From digital prescriptions to medical studies, payment receipts to medical images, everything can be captured in an automated way in the EHR, with minimal human intervention and error-free, ensuring compliance with the institution’s policies and current regulations and, at the same time, improving the requestor’s experience. Even in the case of extensive treatment of chronic diseases, it is possible to anticipate medication orders or new studies based on when the previous one was acquired or requested.

Bidirectional APIs to improve the “dialog.”

The Internet of Things also has the potential to play a vital communications role in the healthcare industry. It makes it possible to bring patient monitoring virtually anywhere and keep EHRs up to date. There is no need to generate or gather data within the healthcare institution. For example, a patient with an oxygen machine at home can transmit blood saturation levels and other variables through sensors to ensure the highest level of control and quality of care.

Added to this is the concept of bidirectional API (API stands for “application programming interface”). These components allow different applications to “talk” to each other. Bidirectionality enables real-time patient data exchange between professionals and providers. In addition, it eliminates redundancies and errors. It allows all practices performed by a patient, even those as diverse as a visit to a dentist and another, months later, to a cardiologist, to be reflected in a unified view.

The role of the technology partner is critical to supporting healthcare companies on this journey. At Making Sense, we help companies in the sector to modernize and adopt critical technologies and leverage the added value of having more accurate data that can be consulted more quickly: more assertive decision-making for the business, the best possible patient experience, and enabling a healthier and more forward-looking healthcare system.