The impact of technology on our daily lives is increasingly becoming unbelievable as 69% of people say; their phones are the first and last thing they look at every day, which is a telling sign of how connected we are to technology. Without a doubt, technology has successfully touched all aspects of life and has clearly not left the health sector behind. As of today, technology now aids in providing patients and practitioners; cheaper, faster and more efficient services like never before in the developed nations. Technology has eradicated the complex nature of the medical ecosystem by providing quick and durable innovations, such as Clinical Trials Microchips, Technological Google Glass, 3D Printed Biological Materials and Digestible Sensors.
As of today, technology now aids in providing patients and practitioners; cheaper, faster and more efficient services like never before in the developed nations. Technology has eradicated the complex nature of the medical ecosystem by providing quick and durable innovations, such as Clinical Trials Microchips, Technological Google Glass, 3D Printed Biological Materials and Digestible Sensors.
However, the reverse is the case in Nigeria, as the management of the healthcare sector is a total catastrophe that Nigerians have to suffer from lack of proper medical attention, poor medication and less equipped doctors.
Above all, one of the greatest challenges of the healthcare sector in Nigeria is the poor management of database (patients information). The usefulness of database technology can never be overemphasized; almost every healthcare organization today makes good use of it.
This database technology has penetrated various kinds of society, be it the developed nations or the under-developed nations, coming together and providing solutions for nations. Such solutions include mobile computing, centralized patient information, information without boundaries, and telemedicine
Mobile computing: Mobile computing technology in healthcare has provided results that are more efficient by eliminating the usual paper medical charts (a complete record of a patient’s key clinical data and medical history) it has brought about the increase in access to healthcare information from portable devices. With the mobile technology, nurses and physician make use of handheld data entry system to access patient’s records and make entries directly, rather than the usual paper filling, in order to promote safekeeping. Also, it eliminates the fear of loss of data from natural disasters, as these data are stored on the secured cloud storage platform.
Centralized patient information: In every healthcare organization, there are always lapses in communication. Most patients will have to travel from one end to another for some information. This form of technology then did the needful by bridging the gap between patient’s care and the administration. For example, medical records and insurance claim reflect on the patient’s billing. Also, treatments codes and records of rendered health care services are easily tracked for both administrative and analytic purposes.
Information without boundaries: This database technology is also one of a kind, as the name implies, it doesn’t just provide information within a medical office or hospital but also shares useful data with other medical practitioners, like the pharmacist, the diagnosis lab attendant, the radiologist and e.t.c. The essence of such technology is to cut a lot of processes and errors in the administration of services to the patient. The health records can easily be accessed at anywhere and at any point be it within the country or outside the country. This platform totally cancels out the idea of re-registering previous health records, continuously, in various health care centres, as it provides every detail at your beck and call. It also aids quicker attention to ailments as all health practitioners are connected. For instance, prescriptions can be made in India and dispensation delivering can be done in Nigeria.
Telemedicine: Telemedicine is one of the best telecommunications and information technology innovations that provide clinical health care services from a distance. It uses integrated database technology to save lives in critical situations and emergencies. In addition, telemedicine works as a video application that erases the necessity of a doctor diagnosing patient physically by providing certain Telehealth tools to extract the needed data. Such tools include the electronic pulse meter that reads every vital organ in the human body and also, tools that diagnose illness by connecting to a patient’s body. With such information, the doctor can prescribe any medication at any given time of the day, especially during emergencies which help reduce the death rate. The advantages of the telemedicine are so numerous that companies in Nigeria are running software programs on it already, such as The All-Purpose Medical Information System APMIS.
Apmis is a software solution that integrates health care centres (hospitals, pharmacies, diagnostic laboratory and e.t.c) to a single platform for the purpose of rendering quality services to its customers. This APMIS program runs a number of services, such as: hospital management, basic health prescription (Telemedicine), health record transfer and management of patient’s cases.
In summary, the benefits of technology integrating the healthcare database are unavoidably necessary as it provides a lower cost of service, more quality on patient care and extended specialist and physician access. Also, a recent survey of the healthcare executives found out that, 90% of the healthcare centres of U.S.A had already begun developing or implementing a telemedicine program into their organizations.
In conclusion, it advisable for every health care centre to adopt this database technology system as it is the most rising trend in every society of the world. Even healthcare providers in smaller, independent practices are starting to adopt telehealth to compete with local retail clinics and stop losing their patients.