Technology in health care has made it possible for patients to use devices to access their medical information, monitor vital signs, take tests at home, and carry out a plethora of other tasks that could only previously be conducted inside the doctor’s office (Topol, 2013). This enhanced technology is one of the many reasons that there has been a shift from inpatient to outpatient care. Although patients have benefited greatly from health care technology, there are also downsides to technology, such as how it has affected the cost of care. For this Discussion Board assignment, you should complete the following:
- Provide a definition of outpatient care.
- Discuss 2–3 ways in which technological innovations have impacted, or will impact, the delivery of care in the United States.
- Discuss 2–3 ways in which technology has had, or is expected to have, a detrimental impact on the delivery of care.
The use of at least 2 scholarly references is required.
Expert Solution Preview
Technology has transformed the healthcare industry in many ways, providing enhanced access to medical information, the ability to monitor vital signs, and perform various medical tests at home. This has resulted in a shift from inpatient to outpatient care, though it has also affected the cost of healthcare. In this Discussion Board assignment, we will discuss the definition of outpatient care, the ways in which technological innovations have impacted, or will impact, the delivery of care in the United States, and the ways in which technology has affected the delivery of care, positively or negatively.
Question 1: Provide a definition of outpatient care.
Outpatient care refers to medical care that is provided in a setting other than a hospital, such as a clinic or physician’s office. Patients receiving outpatient care do not stay overnight and generally receive treatment or testing on the same day as their appointment. This type of care is appropriate for patients who require diagnostic testing, minor surgical procedures, or management of chronic conditions.
Question 2: Discuss 2-3 ways in which technological innovations have impacted, or will impact, the delivery of care in the United States.
Technological innovations in healthcare have made a significant impact on the delivery of care in the United States. One obvious benefit has been enhanced access to medical information, including the ability to access electronic health records remotely. Telemedicine makes it possible to consult with specialists who are located far away, and mobile health applications provide patients with the opportunity to monitor their health and receive reminders to take medication. Advancements in medical technology have also allowed for non-invasive procedures and minimally invasive surgeries, yielding better outcomes and fewer hospital stays for patients.
Question 3: Discuss 2-3 ways in which technology has had, or is expected to have, a detrimental impact on the delivery of care.
Although healthcare technology has undoubtedly improved patient care, it has had some negative effects as well. The sheer cost of implementing technology can be staggering, resulting in significant expenses for both healthcare providers and patients. Additionally, technology can lead to increased dependency on machines, which can result in decreased patient interaction with medical professionals. Finally, technological advancements in healthcare can result in job loss and elimination of human skills and expertise, threatening the job security of medical professionals.