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Fridays (with Benefits) - Will health care ever use tech to its full potential?

Living Well

For all the coverage we give to digital health care tools, the truth is the people that use them (your doctors and clinicians) rarely have the time to learn them, much less implement them. While there's no doubt medical professionals see the benefits of digital innovation, adoption simply isn't where it needs to be for it to impact the larger health care community.

Let's see what Employee Benefit News had to say about this.

Getting digital transformation in healthcare on the fast track - Juan Pablo Segura, special to Employee Benefit News

Money and time -- two things that usually get in the way of learning and progress. And health care is no exception. Doctors simply don't have the time to evaluate new tools and processes, when their established workflows aren't necessarily "broken." Not to mention the potential lost time if a tool doesn't pan out the way it's meant to.

And who could blame them? As it stands, most doctors are already seeing fewer patients per day due to increases in administrative responsibilities. They simply can't risk losing revenue due to fewer appointments and potentially expensive tech trials. Because of this, major tech decisions for hospitals and clinics aren't being made by the people that need these tools, and are instead made by administrators who wouldn't be using the tools at all.

Segura paints a compelling argument about how -- before digital innovations are introduced -- physicians need to assess the areas of their job in most need of transformation, and think about change from that perspective. Of course, this also requires time, which means fewer patient appointments per day ... and so the wheel keeps turning.

No matter if its higher patient expenses, or more taxation to cover these needs, this is going to be costly. But we still need to consider how digital innovation could improve cost savings over time. Between better patient outcomes, more-efficient processes and more-accurate testing, the long term results of tech implementation could far outweigh the short-term losses.

Something to consider for the coming year, to be sure.

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Fridays (with Benefits) is a weekly roundup of the latest headlines about employee benefits -- from FSAs to fitness programs and everything workplace wellness. It appears every Friday, exclusively on the FSAstore.com Learning Center. And for the latest info about your health and financial wellness, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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