In this article, we will introduce Point of Care software solutions as a new higher standard in healthcare. We will also give our humble opinion on PoC’s future and its implementation benefits.
The international Healthcare community has only begun to trust Point of Care platforms. Yet, Californian Kaiser Permanente, for example, one of the leading healthcare companies in the USA, has been operating an integrated PoC system for years already. So what are they?
To begin with, we shouldn’t confuse Point of care solutions with Point of Care Testing, as the last one enables operating medical tests and receiving fast diagnostics, it can be either immunoassay, glucose monitoring, or lateral flow, etc. Yet, PoCT solutions are often integrated into the Point of Care platform for immediate updates on crucial health indicators.
Murex from Abbott is a 10-min Point of Care that uses whole blood, plasma, or serum while Alere HIV 1 testing is done on a finger stick in a second. The Point of Care ID assays allow quicker diagnosis and cure of numerous pathogens. These are the examples of the available commercial Point of Care systems for blood ID testing.
Point of Care is a powerful set of software and hardware created for healthcare providers’ benefit. It helps them in managing administrative tasks, patient data storage and transmission, and rapid diagnostics as well. Being a hospital information system, PoC has also bedside devices for recording and accessing data at the very location where patients are being cured.
Because PoC systems substitute a lot of functions of the paper scheme, they are often (wrongly!) treated like digital healthcare records. PoC systems are designed for various purposes like physician offices, clinics, medical centers, emergency, various hospital departments, treatment at home, intensive care rooms, long-term care services, and even prehospital ones.
Implementing the Point of Care solutions. Benefits to the industry
Fast communication of medical orders, excluding the difficulties faced when trying to read the documents in poor handwriting, and the chance to control additional supportive tools like potential drug-drug interaction caution lists, digital formularies, and electronic implementations of practice tutorials. They come up first when we ponder on the PoC advantages. But there are so much more.
The Point of Care platforms can make coordination and workflow between patients and medical professionals better. It also refers to interoperability between medical centers and different hospital departments. The ability of immediate entry to the real-time and historical patient info enables doctors to make reports precisely, which leads to more informed decisions. The clinical data can be shared directly with other institutions that require medical records. AAP Point of Care solutions provides great support in decision making by setting the system to discover that a patient might suffer from pneumonia and Gram-positive rods in his/her blood and warn the doctors to consider a diagnosis of inhalational anthrax. Moreover, this report will be immediately delivered to a hospital department. High rates of suspicion based on the local situations can also be included in the computer analysis, which is critical in our pandemic times.
- Administration processes automatized
Thanks to Point of Care, the internal and external hospital administration routines become optimized – from scheduling, billing, registration, etc. to recommending the right doctor based on patients’ symptoms. The feature of creating and managing accounts by using a unique ID number is a great innovation, with no effort patients can access their health-related information, insurance data, dates of visits, payments, etc. They can also fix an appointment independently.
- Patient centricity
When doctors are not preoccupied with documentation issues and how to keep everything in order, they are free to be completely focused on patients, their health status monitoring, and the right therapy choices. Implementation of the Point of Care platform will scale down the heavy workload, balance hospital workflow, and free up the time of medical workers. This way physicians deliver quality treatment and grant human-centered patients care.
- Fast diagnostics and recommendations
How about suggesting potential diagnoses? Yes, Point of Care software is also able to do that out of test results and health complaints analysis before a doctor’s visit. Moreover, by answering questions about how they feel, patients can also get data-driven consultation and the treatment of minor illnesses advice. In case of serious disease and the urgent need for professional medical help, the choice of the date and time of appointment will be offered to a patient.
- Patient support
Thanks to Point of Care systems, patients access effortlessly treatment support when there is no need to direct addressing to the doctor. Whether it is drug dosing based on the patient’s weight, or body mass index, the system does the important medical calculations and identifications perfectly. Using personal profiles and history of appointments, patients can find out adherence to taking pills according to the care plans.
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In 2020, the global Point Of Care solutions market value was more than 34 billion USD. The pandemic influence on it can be described as a positive demand shock. According to Fortune Business Insights, the global market lived a supreme growth of almost 87% during the first year of COVID-19 reality. And it is supposed to grow from 41.49 billion USD in 2021 to 36.21 billion USD in 2028!
The need for POC solutions of high quality is huge due to chronic and acute diseases like HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis that are affecting and causing millions of deaths every year around the world. The demand will obviously increase during the next years pushing the market to grow. The experts point out that it will be especially noticeable in the countries with lower economics that will raise the PoC solutions implementation as their healthcare systems savior.
With no exaggeration, Point of Care is the higher level in the Healthcare industry designed to optimize hospital resources and improve medical care quality. Better daily treatment and comfortable patient-centered administrative routine. They are the biosurveillance tomorrow. A Point of Care system makes it easy to digitally capture the crucial diagnostic info. According to Research And Markets, the shift to Personalized Medicine is inevitable, and a lot of attention goes to microfluidic devices to set up a brand new scope of PoC diagnostics. Among its growth opportunities is integration with communication hi-tech for digital healthcare diagnostics, and 3D printing for bringing down the costs, etc.
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