22 October 2021
2 min read
Filling out and handling paper forms can be a laborious, time-consuming, and high-risk task, especially during this pandemic. In this age of technological advancements, paper forms are becoming obsolete as more consumers are requiring digitized services from their healthcare providers.
But digital transformation has been gaining traction in the Philippines. A healthcare provider in the Philippines said the number of telehealth consultations or interactions between a physician and a patient online dramatically increased by 170% in 2020 amid efforts to control the health crisis.
This uptake in digitizing health services gives medical laboratories enough reason to embrace and implement automation and digitization.
Here are the other reasons labs should go digital:
While telemedicine is on the rise, most healthcare providers across the country, if not all, still utilize paper forms. Laboratory paperwork itself is seen as a potential risk of COVID-19 transmission among personnel, according to a 2020 study, which recommended the replacement of paper-based request forms with electronic requests.
In going digital, patients can register and schedule their appointments through online forms or mobile applications. The demand for digitization, in fact, is growing. According to a survey done in the US, 34% of patients would rather use digital tools for the initial assessment of their condition, while 37% said they would prefer digital visits for ongoing treatment of an illness.
The preference for digitization is valid as patients no longer need to visit their facilities or a doctor's office. And whenever patients are required to come on site, their waiting time is reduced, thus minimizing the likelihood of exposure to COVID-19.
Many Filipinos are relying more on contactless transactions to avoid crowds and reduce COVID-19 risks. In May this year, digital payments in the country have posted an exponential growth of 5, 000% year-on-year, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). We have seen over the years how Filipino consumers have become comfortable and accustomed to using touchless technologies for payments and other important transactions, particularly in places like hospitals, hotels, and airports.
In the healthcare sector, efforts towards digitizing transactions, such as payments, follow-ups, and updates, are putting the patients’ worries to rest. Apart from these simple transactions, consumers likewise prefer the same level of convenience in accessing their health information. Research showed that 74% of healthcare consumers say they want their health information, including scans, lab work, test results, and vaccination records readily accessible through digital channels.
There is a wealth of research studies that support the correlation between effective communication and health outcomes. The ability of doctors and healthcare providers to explain and listen, and understand has a positive impact on the quality of healthcare services. It is crucial for the patients and their providers to communicate before and after the visits.
At present, digital technologies are improving the lines of communication between healthcare providers and patients.
A recent patient communication survey conducted in Australia indicates that modern patients want their healthcare providers, laboratories included, to communicate with them using these digital tools/platforms:
This preference may also be true in the Philippines, where approximately 79 million citizens are smartphone users.
The improved patient-provider communication resulting from these digital tools may likewise facilitate collaboration between patients and their providers, allowing for close monitoring, updates for follow-ups, and adherence to treatment plans and prescribed medications.
Like other consumers, patients may stop patronizing the services of healthcare providers, including diagnostic laboratories, that fail to meet their expectations.
According to a study, Gen Z, millennials, and bridge millennials who switched to providers that offer new digital healthcare management tools increased from 31% in 2020 to 35% in 2021.
From a laboratory medicine perspective, digitization is a massive paradigm shift. But one that is necessary for labs to meet emerging expectations of today’s healthcare consumers.
The new normal brought by the ongoing global health crisis spurred consumers to go digital. They have grown increasingly reliant on digital technology to address their healthcare needs and wants, including laboratory services.
With Dashlabs.ai, you have a reliable and comprehensive laboratory management system that digitizes your lab’s services and operations. It’s high time to listen to the healthcare consumers and meet them where they are. Dashlabs.ai helps your laboratory satisfy the consumers’ expectations.
Written by Misfits for Dashlabs.ai and copyedited by NPC.