Healthcare is indispensable in our lives. Whether it comes to vaccinations for infants and adolescents, routine checks as we grow or more elaborate needs in case of an unforeseen medical condition. Even the methods by which we can obtain medical facilities have transformed over the years, stemming from the requirements of accessibility and convenience. For example, you can now have a doctor visit you at home or take a simple ECG or sugar level test with portable and affordable devices that can be bought. This created a new challenge for the need of being able to record data seamlessly, giving rise to POC or Point of Care Data Collection. However, to everyone’s surprise, POC brought about many more advantages, for the world of healthcare:
When information is documented immediately, it ensures that the required details are available for all other follow-up procedures, at one go. Data availability at the fingertips cannot be underestimated. This even streamlines billing, quality assurance, helps on-call staff and allows patients to discern quick results.
Think of it like your memory. If you write down something that just happened, you are more likely to get the details accurate, rather that if you record it a week later. Same is the case for POC Data. Also, since information is entered first-hand, during consultation, there is minimal space for misconstrued data.
POC Data is usually combined with an electronic charting system which essentially allows for the seamless transfer of patient information, in real-time, to all other relevant parties. If it wasn’t for this system, delays in information exchange can cause some serious damage to healthcare processes and patients’ wellbeing.
Imagine the earlier days when excerpts were noted down on paper, collected by the end of the day & hours were spent on data entry, every evening. Imagine if a skilled worker could employ their talent in more fruitful roles, rather than such routine jobs. POC to the rescue! POC gives employees better job satisfaction, more scope to learn, and also more of a work-life balance by aiding them in finishing their tasks quicker.
Though some may argue that shifting from a traditional process to POC may be expensive, what we really need to look at are the long-term cost benefits. These benefits span the needs of doctors, hospitals, as well as patients. Hospitals can cut their manpower costs to a large extent by utilising POC strategies. Doctors can save precious man hours by having all information at hand, which they can then utilise to increase the number of consultations, per day. Patients will benefit by avoiding multiple or duplicate tests as their entire medical history will be available for all doctors, as easy reference.
As you can see, POC data collection transcends through the entire system of healthcare, contributing to all aspects of it, in one way or the other. As a healthcare provider, if you haven’t already embraced the technology, it is time to start putting a pre-implementation & due diligence plan in place!