Healthcare is a constantly evolving field, and medical professionals are always looking for new ways to improve the patient experience and streamline their data processes. They're able to do this with the huge transition to electronic medical records, shared systems, and data visualization. Not only does it give medical professionals so much more information at their fingertips, but it also offers several other key benefits as well.
What is Data Visualization?
Simply put, data visualization is gathering a lot of information and streamlining it all into visual graphs or charts to present analytics that are easier and faster to interpret. Also, interactive data visualization allows its users to look through layers of details. In turn, this allows health care professionals to review a patient's history and look for trends.
Four Ways Data Visualization Can Benefit the Healthcare Industry
Health care has come a long way in recent years, and hospitals and clinics alike are realizing what a valuable tool data visualization can be when it comes to patient care.
- It Can Give a Single Dashboard for a Patient's Entire History
At the core of data visualization, it's a process that streamlines an immense amount of data and condenses it into one or two convenient forms on one dashboard. If a network of hospitals all used the same data visualization software, they could potentially have the patient's entire medical record at their fingertips with the click of a button.
This means that if a patient presented to an emergency room with chest pain or stroke symptoms and they'd never been there before, the medical personnel would immediately have their entire documented medical history in front of them. They could provide more efficient care at a quicker rate.
- Trend Identification
Sifting through paper can make it very difficult and time-consuming to spot trends, especially in the medical field where people can have hundreds of pages in their medical files. Data visualization can compile trends in the patient's medical history and display them for the medical personnel. This is also a key process to helping better predict trends in the patient's health, and it can also help to improve a patient's treatment plan.
- Improve Response Times
Anyone in the health care field will tell you that speed is vital, and seconds can mean the difference between a good outcome and a tragedy. Whether a healthcare provider is dealing with a flu outbreak or if they're trying to decrease response times, data visualization allows them to view metrics. By viewing the metrics, they can make informed decisions and find opportunities to improve their patient's outcomes.
Emergency call-out providers could improve ambulance service response times by mapping out where the higher number of calls are coming from and stationing their ambulances closer to these areas, thus cutting down on their time to get to the patients. Healthcare providers could use data visualization to chart a flu outbreak as it's happening in real-time and keep a running record of where it's spreading.
- Help Control Access to Narcotic Medications
Many states have implemented data visualization to help track and reduce the number of narcotics a single person gets. Each time a patient gets a narcotic medication, information is input into a statewide database. Hospitals and medical professionals can then pull this data before dispensing any medication to the patient to track and monitor the patient's risk for narcotic medication abuse.
As more and more people are starting to take notice of their health, it's more important than ever that the health care industry and businesses alike embrace data visualization. This technique used to communicate data or information by encoding it as visual objects can save people's lives, and it can enhance the care a patient receives each time they visit their healthcare provider.
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