“I work for a healthcare IT company.” That’s my classic response to the “what are you doing these days?” question that so many recent post-grads are used to getting.
But, what does that even mean? After almost three months working within this space, I have come to realize the complex meaning that quick answer has. It’s difficult to think of a field in today’s world that is more dynamic and vital to the global community than healthcare. What I have come to understand by working within the information technology side of the industry is that change does not happen all at once. While it seems like a universal space to someone from the outside, the differences between the size, specialty, and location of organizations can create obstacles to cohesiveness and present the greatest challenge in advancing the healthcare system. But, by taking just a few steps to modernize and advance one’s systems, we can better align as one more interconnected community.
I have developed an interest in the topic of patient ease of access to medical records, as it has become quite a highly debated topic. With so many medical practices boasting of their patient-centered efforts, it’s intriguing to see how many groups actually give patients the means to view their medical information. According to a recent survey published by Ambra, 1 in 3 patients cannot easily access all of their medical records, while a growing percentage are expressing interest in having this ability. With the intertwining of technology and healthcare becoming more prevalent, it seems almost second-nature for practices to build out this capability.
Though the adoption of such features may be somewhat slow, their implications can be impactful and lasting. Practices may find a more loyal and responsive patient community when they feel more connected and informed regarding their health. Comprehensive patient portals provide that link for physicians and patients – a virtual network that can make healthcare more approachable.
Once this trend becomes the norm in the industry, my quick answer informing someone I “work for a healthcare IT company” might bring about more conversations about that time someone was able to more quickly get a hold of their doctor or view all their imaging online. We can hope.