The importance of technology in controlling COVID-19
Most successful countries that have managed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 relied on adopting digital technologies and integrating them into healthcare, hospitals, and policy. Hospitals being the intersection of treating COVID-19 and stopping its spread to other patients must incorporate digital technologies into their day-to-day activities and operations.
Trust has become the most prioritized emotion globally after COVID-19, and the reflection of trust and transparency is possible through digital hospital management system (HMS).
How hospital management systems can help hospitals for continuing operations during COVID-19:
Tracking the movement of patients and healthcare workers is necessary for hospitals to control the spread of COVID-19. Suppose a patient or healthcare worker from the hospital reports positive for COVID-19, contact tracing will help the hospital quickly test and treat people who have come in contact with the infected person.
The tracking feature in hospital management systems will also help generate heat maps to monitor and control crowds in hospitals, especially in places such as OPD, in-hospital pharmacies, and canteens.
Assisting Technologies – GPS; Mobile apps; Real-time monitoring of mobile devices; Wearable technology; Bluetooth beacons
Planning and Tracking
Planning daily activities at the hospital level should now include new factors such as available PPE kits, ventilators in use, and staffing positions. Hospital management systems must provide a platform for healthcare workers to report real-time data on patients with COVID-19, available personal protective equipment kits, staffing, ventilator usage, and other resource information. Tracking healthcare workers through HMS-connected mobile apps effectively identifies doctors wearing PPE kits, available for quick response.
Assisting Technologies – Real-time data from smartphones and wearable technology
Virtual care integration in HMS, using video conferencing and digital monitoring, is being used worldwide to deliver remote health care to patients as a means of reducing their exposure to COVID-19 in healthcare institutions. In Canada, clinician-to-patient video visits have increased from approximately 1000 visits per day in February 2020 to 14 000 per day by mid-May. If implemented and delivered appropriately, virtual care can increase healthcare access, but possible risks could be wrong diagnoses and equipment malfunction. Hospital management systems with integrated telehealth technologies help doctors set up virtual meetings with ease and support healthcare workers to do the pre-check through the same connection.
Assisting Technologies – Virtual care or telemedicine platforms
Clinical Management Using AI
AI can facilitate rapid diagnosis and risk prediction of COVID-19 for hospitals. A cloud-based AI-assisted CT scan service integrated with a hospital management system can help with this cause. This technology processes CT scan images in seconds, differentiating COVID-19 from other lung diseases and speeding up the diagnostic process substantially. COVID-Net – an open-source deep convolutional neural network design available to clinicians worldwide, can quickly detect COVID-19 cases from other lung diseases through chest x-rays. Machine learning algorithms can predict the likelihood of developing acute respiratory distress syndrome and critical illness among infected patients. These prediction models can guide clinical decision-making. Resource allocation in need of essential resources of care and medical supplies is a crucial output in AI-integrated HMS on the hospital level.
Assisting Technologies – Artificial intelligence for diagnostics; machine learning
Having a hospital management system with all the latest technologies is vital for a hospital to provide rapid treatment to its patients and to make the hospital brand stand out in today’s competitive landscape.