Touchscreen technology has had a major impact on the world in recent years. Once, the stuff of science fiction, it’s now firmly established as an important part of modern life. And, one area that simply couldn’t function to the best of its ability without this tech is the healthcare sector. From touchscreen consoles at in-patients’ bedsides to check-in kiosks at the GP surgery, touchscreen tech is vital to a positive healthcare experience. Interested in how touchscreen technology could benefit your healthcare facility? Read on for five ways the technology is improving the experience for healthcare providers.
Improving the patient experience
As a healthcare professional, the patient experience is likely to feature highly on your list of concerns. The right technology can drastically improve the way a patient feels about their hospital or GP visit which, in turn, can alleviate a number of healthcare workers’ worries. So, how can it help?
- Understandably, many patients are apprehensive about visiting a doctor, and this is particularly true in the case of in-patients visiting a hospital. If a patient feels overwhelmed and intimidated arriving at a large hospital, wayfinding technology at the entrance or reception can make navigating the hospital much easier.
- Once the patient is settled into their bay or room, touchscreens by the bedside are likely to prove invaluable in improving a patient’s mental wellbeing by keeping them entertained and allowing them to contact friends and relatives on the outside.
- And, it’s not just within a hospital that this technology is useful. In a GP or outpatient setting, touchscreens can be used to quickly and easily display medical imagery for the benefit of the patient. A medical professional can zoom in, pull up records and access test results without using bulky hardware. They can also physically point to and circle relevant sections to make things clearer for the patient, thereby increasing their understanding of their care pathway.
Providing greater accessibility
For patients and staff with additional needs, touchscreen technology has the potential to dramatically improve the way they interact with the world. Here’s how it could come in useful.
- Overcoming language barriers – whatever the size of the healthcare venue, it’s likely that staff will encounter patients who are more comfortable speaking in a language other than English. A touchscreen device will allow them to select the language that they are most familiar with and get instructions that can be easily understood. The same technology can also be helpful for people with lower literacy levels who require symbols and graphics to help them with the process.
- Physical accessibility – Most touchscreens will be placed on mounts that can be angled and tilted to meet the needs of patients with physical access issues.
- Sight impairment – Those with visual impairments will fare better with a touchscreen than a traditional written form. Patients can increase brightness and text size or opt to have the text read aloud.
- Hearing loss – Patients with hearing loss may feel reluctant to approach an employee to ask for information – a touchscreen will allow them to access all of the information in a visual medium instead.
Touchscreens provide superior data protection
Privacy and personal data protection have become hot topics in many industries in recent years, but nowhere is confidentiality more essential than in healthcare. All patients wish for privacy when discussing health conditions and a touchscreen will mean that patients don’t need to verbally share or clarify information that may be sensitive.
What’s more, a touchscreen device is more secure. Not only can passwords and pin codes be added to touchscreen devices to mean unwanted parties cannot access personal data but the need for additional keyboards, mice, screens etc. that could make them vulnerable to phishing attacks is eliminated.
Touchscreens enhance ease for employees
Various studies have shown the importance of high levels of staff engagement. In a hospital setting not only does a committed and engaged workforce mean staff retention rates will improve but it can even have a positive impact on patients.
So how can touchscreens improve the engagement levels of staff? The technology does so in a number of ways. Firstly, it makes communication smoother and more effective. In the hospital environment, being able to access important medical information at a glance is vital, and with more traditional forms of record-keeping, overlapping shift patterns and regular changes in personnel make this difficult. A handheld touchscreen device can immediately transfer vital information such as medical history and care records between staff members, freeing up time and allowing them to focus on patient care. What’s more, there’s an old cliché that doctors have terrible handwriting and a prescription or medical note typed into a touchscreen device is far clearer than a handwritten scrawl.
Touchscreens are cost-effective
It would be remiss to discuss the benefits of touchscreens in a healthcare setting without mentioning that they also prove to be highly cost-effective. While there will, of course, be an initial cost, the investment will pay off in the long run. Touchscreen devices are smaller, more efficient and less likely to encounter errors – not least because most touchscreen devices are stand-alone so don’t require external hardware such as mice and keyboards that will need to be refreshed and updated regularly.
The final word
Touchscreen technology has the ability to make life a whole lot easier for the healthcare industry. Devices enable healthcare professionals to adjust and monitor medical records, view patients’ files or access medical images. In fact, the technology means that medical professionals can control almost any non-clinical aspect of their job at the touch of a button. With the ability to save time, money and reduce inefficiencies, touchscreen technology might just be the future of healthcare.
At LifeSize Touch, we’re experts in touchscreen innovation, helping healthcare institutions around the UK benefit from this technology. For more information, visit the homepage today.