Today, technology innovations have the potential to profoundly change the way healthcare is delivered. mHealth tools may have the most powerful impact because they provide access to healthcare expertise in developing nations where there is very limited access to medical resources.
One company with a history of embracing emerging technologies in collaboration with healthcare organizations, MEDfx Corporation, has grown to become a leader in professional services, systems integration and software engineering over the past 25 years. More than 10,000 practices and millions of patients in the United States have benefited from the performance, reliability and engineering that MEDfx offers.
CEO of Medfx Colin Barry recently sat down with HealthTechZone to discuss how technology is changing and advancing the practice of medicine.
“The advent of electronic health records has been an ongoing transformation since the administrative side of medicine has been slower to embrace electronic exchange than other industries for many reasons such as privacy concerns,” Barry explained. “But, there is now a national push underway to transition to secure electronic health records management and exchange, and it has very exciting and positive implications for the field.”
For medical professionals, electronic health records can provide a complete picture of the patient’s status, a medical history as well as access to treatment records from other physicians seeing the patient. “This helps physicians coordinate care better, avoiding duplicate tests and potential adverse drug interactions,” he said.
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For patients, electronic records provide better outcomes by promoting coordinated care. These records can relieve patients who are seeing multiple specialists from the burden of hauling records around to ensure that each doctor gets their medical history and current treatment.
Recently, accountable care organizations have been changing the way healthcare is delivered. This shift has been taking place across the healthcare landscape as public and private payers are adopting results-based payment models.
“It has the potential to improve patient outcomes since healthcare systems will have the incentive to coordinate care more closely. And, it has the potential to decrease costs since better care coordination can reduce inefficiencies like duplicate tests and procedures,” said Barry.
The key, according to Barry, is implementing these new models in a way that is fair, with incentives that reward good practices. Innovative technology has allowed many organizations to pioneer accountable care techniques with success, ensuring that it is effectively coordinated and medical professionals receive the right reimbursement.
In 10 years, Barry is hopeful that MEDfx can leverage technology to reduce costs and medical errors. Since a lot of work has already been done on this improvement, it is possible for public and private healthcare systems and agencies to work together to benefit patients. Also, he envisions a time when doctors will be able to move beyond their role as data providers and become data consumers, using the valuable information to spot trends and make improvements.
He said, “If we can sustain this progress over the long haul, I’m confident that the state of healthcare in the U.S. will be vastly improved in the next decade, thanks in large part to technology advances that allow greater communication and data sharing.”
Colin Barry is Chief Executive Officer of MEDfx, a leader in professional services, systems integration and software engineering that partners with innovative healthcare organizations nationwide. Find out more about MEDfx at http://www.medfx.com/.
Edited by Allison Boccamazzo