Epson recently presented at the Healthcare Innovation Summit where delegates discussed the value of technology in improving healthcare. HUGH DAVIES, Business Development Manager at Epson South Africa, highlighted various tools which can support healthcare professionals.
A hospital or clinic is as much a business environment as any other type of company, with a team of administrators providing invaluable support to the professionals at the coalface of delivering the best possible healthcare.
There are numerous print, projection, scanning and disc-producing solutions that help health professionals achieve greater efficiencies in their tasks, whether it’s labeling medication clearly in a dispensary, quickly writing X-ray images to a cost-efficient CD rather than making patients wait for films to develop, or using interactive projectors to enhance the efficacy of skills development and training.
When it comes to providing support for the administration teams, technology is available to help them boost efficiency, save time, increase their effectiveness, and comply with legislative requirements around patient confidentiality and the secure storage of data.
Hugh Davies, business development manager at Epson South Africa understands the challenges facing the support teams in clinical environments, including IT and technical issues, finance processes and controls, and providing administration support to doctors, nurses and allied healthcare professionals. “Administrative staff are tasked with activities as diverse as stock control, tracking patient data and keeping it secure, and invoicing and income collection, while finance teams need quick and effective reporting mechanisms to ensure the long-term sustainability of the healthcare facility.
“Choosing the right technology to support administration processes provides clarity on costs, allows for better accuracy and helps administrators comply with the complex legislative requirements around protecting patient data, such as the Protection of Private Information Act,” Davies continues.
Protect personal data
Medical environments need to choose printing and scanning equipment that keeps confidential data protected and away from unauthorised eyes, with on-demand identification and privacy controls giving auditable access to patient data.
Keep costs under control
In a clinical environment, keeping costs under control allows for the focus to be kept on providing the best possible healthcare. Every cent counts, and procurement and finance teams need to seek out the printing solutions that offer the lowest total cost of ownership, and that can be trusted to incur predictable (rather than unexpected) costs in the future. Choosing printers that produce high-legibility, clearly colour-coded labels means that reprints are a thing of the past, while choosing devices that integrate easily with legacy systems without leading to unexpected hardware costs makes good business sense. Epson’s Replaceable Ink Pack System (RIPS) printers, for example, can print up to 75,000 pages without an ink refill – and the device gives you fair warning when it’s time to order new ink.
Make electronic records easy
While it seems there will always be a place for paperwork in the daily running of a ward and of a hospital, when the patient is discharged it makes good sense to digitise their data and store it safely. Password protected scanners and Discproducers allow administrators to scan documents and write data to discs, which can be safely stored for up to 50 years making it ideal for long term archiving.
Rural is no longer remote
Remote healthcare facilities often don’t have access to specialist insights, and time is of the essence in seeking an expert opinion to ensure the most appropriate treatment in an emergency or unusual case. However, a combination of interactive short-throw projectors and a WiFi connection in the remote location and in the specialist’s office allows voice and visual collaboration in real time, with the potential to capture notes made during the discussion and send them digitally during or immediately after the consultation for reference during treatment.
“Administrative staff seldom get the recognition for the role they play in supporting sick and unwell – but having the right equipment to play their vital role certainly makes it easier to keep their healthcare facility running efficiently, cost-effectively, and in line with all legislative requirements,” says Davies. “Installing the right equipment to do the job makes good sense, whether you’re a stock controller, a book-keeper, a radiology secretary, or the head of the hospital’s information technology team – all the people that make it possible for the medical professionals to fulfil their duties effectively.”