Life and death scenarios are dealt with on a daily, hourly and even minute-by-minute basis. While carers and providers want to supply the best care possible, they must also manage precious resources.
Many studies (see article in Directions magazine) have shown that a high percentage (80% +) of the decision-making processes in healthcare management has a location-based component.
It therefore seems inevitable that in today’s data-rich world, mapping software for healthcare professionals will become increasingly prevalent and important.
If there appears to be a slow uptake of new systems, perhaps it’s because potential users in healthcare are (like many caught up in the Big Data wave) struggling to find a purposeful use for the location data that they already possess.
But based on how our existing healthcare clients are using eSpatial, we’ve put together 9 ways mapping software for healthcare professionals can reduce stress by improving response times, saving on waste and achieving higher levels of patient care.
1 . A clearer overview of resource allocation
Mapping software allows hospitals and clinics to visually survey areas, where patients can be plotted based on county boundaries or even zip codes. Population densities (or average age of a population) can be a deciding factor in whether to build a hospital or clinic or to expand mobile health services.
2. Power to segment clusters
Territory mapping can help allocate resources more evenly. For instance, instead of dividing up a state based on county boundaries, a more precise approach would be to divide it according to population size within each of these counties.
3. Match the right patient with the right facility
Some healthcare facilities are better equipped to deal with particular types of ailments, so the nearest facility may not always be the one most appropriate for the patient. Mix datasets of patient ailments, clinic locations and clinic specialities for a more tailored and efficient service.
4. Faster access to critical data in an emergency
When things go haywire in an emergency room or when there’s a major critical incident, does anyone need to be searching through spreadsheets to find data that could shape outcomes? Graphic visualization on a map gives immediate information (population size, other healthcare facilities nearby, local doctors’ addresses, etc) that determines the level of response.
5. Track incidents of recurring ailments
When setting up clinics to deal with particular ailments, such as heart disease or cancer, the occurrence of such diseases can be plotted on a map, based on data accumulated over a number of years. Seeing the increasing incidence of particular conditions in a specific area is key to deciding on levels of healthcare investment.
6. Layer demographic data for a more complete picture
It’s impossible to set up, for instance, an assisted living programme, without knowledge full knowledge of locally-available support facilities. Plot these on a map and you’ll have immediate insight into where best to locate your programme.
7. Use mapping to show outcomes to stakeholders
Many health initiatives are grant-funded. Interactive, embedded maps on reports can immediately provide detailed information regarding the impact of such initiatives. They are the perfect means for non-healthcare professionals to absorb critical information.
8. Make employment decisions based on real needs
Are there hotspots of diseases occurring in your healthcare administrative area? Noting particular trends, via mapping data, means you employ the most appropriate professionals to care for the needs of patients with specific complaints. Staff are recruited and deployed, achieving optimum care.
9. Save time by adopting easy-to-use software
Mapping software for healthcare professionals needs to generate results quickly – that means it can’t be made complicated or difficult to use. Our healthcare customers often cite this aspect of our software as the deciding factor for choosing eSpatial.