How the Internet Changed the Healthcare Industry

By Special Guest
Jonathan Brown
February 21, 2019



The internet has undoubtedly changed just about every industry on the planet. Healthcare has been no exception. Amid the greater evolution of information technology happening all around us, it’s easy to overlook the ways in which it’s altered the healthcare industry.

With this in mind, we felt it was necessary to go into some detail regarding how the internet changed healthcare:

Careers

Those seeking to become medical professionals have seen the hiring process evolve in the age of the internet. In the past, employment opportunities for nurses, doctors, and other specialized experts in healthcare once largely depended on the university’s network of hospitals and clinics. These days, a web-based medical staffing network allows healthcare professionals to seek opportunities all over the
map, regardless of where they earned their education or found their first job
in the industry. This system wouldn’t be possible without the internet.

Cost

Much of the rising costs of healthcare are associated with administrative issues. In other words, a growing chunk of your healthcare costs are rooted in things which are far removed from the practice of medicine itself. While these administrative costs continue to be a big part of why healthcare is so expensive, their proportion of the total cost of healthcare is being diminished by the efficiencies made available with the internet. Digitized patient records, online patient portals, and a whole host of other virtual implementations connected via the internet have optimized the behind-the-scenes aspects of healthcare to cut costs while still providing the best care to their patients.

Compliance and Communication

Due to the necessary precautions required by law, most medical records and patient information being passed from one group to another is managed under tight security. Known in the United States as HIPAA compliance, the secure communication of medical information has been streamlined thanks to the internet. Doctors, insurers, and other distinct sections of healthcare can pass information back and forth without investing in time-consuming and costly methods of secured manual transfer. Furthermore, the internet has allowed doctors and patients to communicate with one another in an easier way.

Collaboration

Medical research was once a somewhat modular field, wherein universities and hospital networks were working independently from each other. Thanks to the internet, medical researchers around the globe are now able to collaborate in ways which were simply not feasible even as recently as 25 years ago.

Virtually every industry on earth has been affected and altered by the internet and information technology in general. Healthcare is a primary example. Those who wish to enter the medical field will be expected to handle a tablet computer as well as they handle bedside manner. Furthermore, those behind the scenes in healthcare are able to work smarter and more efficiently than ever before. Given the way accuracy and response time are tied to patient outcomes, these technologically-driven changes are helping to save lives every day.


 
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