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Siemens: 3 benefits of remote work in healthcare
by Paul Davenport Paul Davenport on

While opinions surrounding the benefits of remote work may differ among enterprise leaders, top researchers in the healthcare space have identified key areas of long-term value from remote treatment that they predict will positively impact both patients and providers if adopted permanently.

Siemens Healthineers found that while many of their healthcare provider customers felt strained adapting their services at the beginning of the pandemic, new remote strategies that were put in place as stopgap measures proved to solve a slew of chronic challenges long plaguing the industry.

The research emphasized that remote healthcare solutions take many forms, and while they are certainly a boon for connecting patients and providers across geographies, remote treatments can also deliver value when folks are just a few feet apart, ie. social distancing. Just as non-critical-care health professionals can access office work from home, nurses and doctors who may be in the same building as those in their care can treat patients at a safe distance by leveraging a slew of remote working tools.

The three primary advantages of remote healthcare include:

  • Ensuring safety: The most obvious and timely example of remote work in healthcare is limiting human exposure to viral infection. However, providing care at a distance also becomes less hazardous when it comes to exposing doctors and nurses to radiation during cardiovascular treatments, for instance, while also limiting the need for time-consuming hygiene protocols when there’s less physical interaction between patients and caregivers.
  • Addressing resource and capacity limitations: One example the report cites is the fact that there were many headlines regarding a lack of ventilators during the first peak of the pandemic in the United States. Little discussed, however, was a lack of professionals available to actually operate this machinery. Remote healthcare solutions can be implemented in times like this to connect experienced operators with staff-strapped hospitals to share their expertise, all while monitoring a patient’s vital signs from afar.
  • Improving efficiency and care quality: When non-critical workers in the healthcare field don’t have to worry about exposure to the stresses (and viruses) of the doctor’s office or hospital, there’s a significantly lower risk of burnout. This lowers the incident of treatment errors, the research found, while increasing productivity and morale.

The research did identify key challenges to adoption within the healthcare industry that need to be overcome before remote work becomes the new normal, including cultural issues, legal constraints and technological limitations. But just as the rush to WFH this past spring changed perceptions across the enterprise space and pushed the gas on digital transformation, a similar seachange is underway within the healthcare realm.

Not only are patients becoming more comfortable with remote healthcare initiatives like telehealth, but the federal government is even helping to expand the necessary infrastructure currently limiting widespread digital medical treatment via executive orders and funding.

This decentralized future of healthcare will call for greater support and monitoring of provider networks to ensure that performance issues aren’t hindering treatment or violating patients’ rights. This calls for comprehensive performance monitoring that allows IT teams to get ahead of performance issues before they start having a ripple effect that could put a patient’s well being at stake.

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Filed Under: industry insights

Tags: distributed network, decentralized IT, network performance monitoring, Siemens, urban healthcare, rural healthcare, network performance, network monitoring, telemedicine, telehealth, remote workforce, remote work, healthcare

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