Common Uses for Computers in Healthcare

Computers have been serving a mostly administrative function for many years. As technology became more advanced and regulations were revised, desktop computers became more common in other parts medical institutions. In recent times, computers are used everywhere, from patient bedsides, medical carts, nurse stations, laboratories, and even operating rooms. In this article, we explain the most common uses of computers for healthcare personnel.

Medical and Patient Data

When checking patients, doctors and nurses can take notes and even prescribe medications and treatments at the point of care. This removes a lot of mistakes from personnel trying to decipher handwriting or trying to remember the situation later on. It is also more efficient because doctors can now enter relevant information on the spot.

Medical Imaging and Equipment

Medical computers often used to control medical equipment that performs essential medical exams (CT Scans, ultrasounds, MRIs, and blood tests). They can even be built in the equipment itself to save space. Additionally, doctors and nurses can now show their results to explain their condition and treatment. Computers have also allowed 3D imaging and drafting to become possible. Surgeons can draft a realistic image a body part for surgery and look at its structure. For instance, a plastic surgeon before performing a breast augmentation procedure could draft up how different breast implants will look at the end result, and show the patient to help make decisions.

Monitor Patients

Lives can be saved by healthcare equipment monitoring devices and computers. Computers now allow hospitals to be in charge of lab systems, blood pressure monitors, heart rate monitors and other critical medical equipment. The machines also pick up irregularities and send notifications when there is something wrong. For example, a bed sensor can be placed on patients beds and send alerts to a computer if the patient has fallen from the bed. In many instances computers assist doctors in keeping a tab on the progress of patients, allowing it to be more convenient and safe for both the patient and doctor or nurse in charge. The computer monitoring system also collects useful data from patients that can be accessed for studies and future reference.

Research and Studies

The presence and accessibility of computers in the healthcare industry have drastically enhanced the amount of knowledge and studies that medical personnel can access and use. Doctors now can consult medical databases to learn more about a specific disease or treatment program. Computers can also help by running simulations to try and find causes and cures for diseases and work with other computer-controlled devices to increase the chance of a successful operation.

Communication and Telemedicine

Healthcare personnel is very busy! Using the computer to communicate with one another helps them become efficient and makes their job simpler. Instead of getting messages or leaving post-it notes, they can now chat in real-time so valuable information is relayed right away. Telemedicine is now an option available for patients. Doctors are now able to communicate via computers and smartphones with fellow medical professionals all over the world, and patients in far away areas can receive diagnosis even without travelling to the nearest medical institution. In the case of some disasters, telemedicine can help improve healthcare that wouldn’t be available before during natural disasters and war zones.

Inventory

Keeping medications in stock is crucial for a patient’s treatment. Therefore, inventories are very important. If a doctor prescribes something that isn’t available without knowing, it may affect the patient’s recovery. Using the computer to track inventory would be easier since it would alert the staff immediately when something is missing, they can then change the treatment plan if necessary.
Many drugs are strictly monitored and must be carefully tracked to ensure they aren’t abused or prescribed incorrectly. Computers can log them in inventory and keep records of these drugs to be checked u later if needed, and eliminate human error.

Computers Made for Healthcare

Aside from the stated benefits of computers in healthcare, further advantages can be acquired with custom designed computers specifically for healthcare facilities. Features of these computers include medical certifications and antibacterial properties which allow the computers to easily clean and safe in these organisations. Safety and hygiene are imperative in healthcare, therefore, computers need specific enhancements to be suitable for use. You cannot merely put a standard office computer in a hospital without running into an assortment of problems depleting its purpose. Medical computers have huge advantages to healthcare facilities in many fields of medicine and make the lives of medical staff more efficient and help patients recover safer. Using a medical computer will also save money in the long run, since they last much longer than regular computers and are built for nonstop operation.