5 key qualities for the most beneficial ASC technology in the future

Healthcare is bursting with new technology but not everything will make sense for the ambulatory surgery center setting.

"Technology that fosters true patient engagement, not just a bit of patient education thrown in gratuitously, but involves patients in their own care is extremely beneficial," says Stephen Punzak, MD, founder and CEO of One Medical Passport. "Then the patient becomes a partner in their own care and is guided seamlessly through the process designed just for them. Individualized care, patient involvement and satisfaction are the biggest trends in healthcare technology going forward."

Here are five key points for ambulatory surgery center providers to note:

1. Consistency and reliability is a must-have. Technology for technology's sake isn't acceptable in a healthcare environment looking to improve quality and lower costs.

"People want to emulate the consistency and reliability in the outpatient setting that they have in the inpatient setting. There are increasing uses of patient engagement technologies, whether that's text messaging or online learning, to help bridge the gap between inpatient and outpatient," says Dr. Punzak.

2. Everything is going mobile. Most patients have smart phones and laptops. Developing applications for mobile patients will be increasingly important going forward. " Technology allows you to individualize care to a patient's unique medical history and the procedure they've had performed versus the generic one-size-fits-all," says Dr. Punzak. "One of the things we do is look for specific patient risk factors and screen for them preoperatively to individualize care. That's extremely important."

3. Push information out to the patients. People are used to having information pushed to them versus having to pull it down. They don't want to hunt down information or find it for themselves. "If you look at Twitter and Facebook, people determine what information they want and then that information is pushed to them," says Dr. Punzak.

4. Images are the preferred method to digest information. People connect with images more than words. "Whether it's preoperative instructions, patient education or postoperative instructions, think graphically and not textually," says Dr. Punzak. "The right graphic can get the point across better than words. . It's more powerful than boilerplate instructions."

5. Focus on the continuum of care. Examine the technologies that can help provide the continuum of care through the preop, intraop and postop experience. "Anything that accomplishes that goal will be beneficial," says Dr. Punzak. "Technology that facilitates continuity of care will have a high rate of success."

More articles on surgery centers:
4 ASCs with robotic technology
11 new outpatient surgery centers in October
7 benefits for ASCs of forming a healthcare captive insurance company

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