Future Trends in Health Care

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The future trends in health care are limitless. From using applications that perform EKG’s to robot-assisted surgery, the rapid expansion of technology applications in health care is astounding. Advancing technology also pushes the boundaries of health care in its ability to integrate health care information. The integration of health care information is critical to the effective, efficient delivery of quality care in a now fragmented health care system. This paper will assess how the internet or any new forms of electronic communication can be used as an external delivery source of communicating patient-specific information, address the impact of distance delivery on health care, how these communication issues impact health care today and the impact of these issues on health care five years from now.

The Internet, and other forms of electronic communication, is used as an external delivery source in communicating patient-specific information. Individuals are increasingly looking to the Internet for up-to-date answers to their medical questions. Individuals are able to obtain information on various medical conditions, latest treatments, medications, and clinical trials. Prior to the Internet, patients relied on the physician to be the sole owner of the medical knowledge. The greatest impact on medical decision-making has come from the increase knowledge from health-related websites prior to the clinical visit (Gerber & Eiser, 2001). Using the Internet for additional sources of information also allows the patient to obtain another opinion on health-related matters. When patients bring health-related information with them to their provider’s office, it creates an opportunity for a dialogue between the patient and provider that otherwise may not exist. In increasing the patient’s health care literacy, the patient becomes a more collaborative, engaged partner in their health and wellness. Conversely, physicians are able to refer patients to websites, often called...
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