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The Role of Technology in Advancing Sustainable Healthcare in Spain

Healthcare systems worldwide have leveraged digital transformation, improving their sustainability by being more efficient, cutting costs, and reducing their carbon footprint.


Spain is an excellent example of a healthcare sector that is quick to adopt digital solutions to tackle challenges like an ageing population, rising healthcare costs, and environmental concerns.


Moh Thudor, MBA, ME, BSc., Director of International Strategy at Open Medical, who has in-depth knowledge of the Spanish healthcare sector, shares how Spain is using technology to create a more sustainable healthcare system and how they can continue to do so long-term.


Technology advancing sustainable healthcare in Spain

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Spain's journey towards sustainable healthcare

One of the biggest improvements in Spanish hospitals has definitely been the boost in operational efficiency. 


Technologies like Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and digital appointment systems have streamlined patient management, cut down on paperwork, and eased administrative workloads. 


Telemedicine platforms have also had a big impact by enabling remote consultations, cutting down on the need for physical infrastructure and transportation.


But it's not just about operational efficiency; digital transformation has also allowed for increased cost efficiency. 


They’ve implemented advanced analytics and artificial intelligence to predict when medical equipment might fail, reducing repair costs and minimising downtime. Some hospitals have even managed to save up to 20% on maintenance costs. On top of that, digital procurement systems have made the purchasing process much more efficient, leading to better prices and a more sensible use of resources.


But it's not all about the bottom line; of course, they’ve also improved patient outcomes.


Through real-time patient monitoring using software and wearable devices, they're catching issues earlier and reducing hospital stays. The Spanish Association of Health Informatics noted that these services have cut hospital readmissions by 15%.


And, as we are talking about more sustainable healthcare systems, let’s not forget about the environment. With less paper use thanks to digital documentation and EHRs, as well as smart building tech optimising energy use, they're reducing waste and cutting energy costs by 25%.


Keeping up the momentum

As they continue to reap the benefits of digital transformation, there are big prospects for even greater advancements. 


The current technologies in place have definitely improved the sustainability of hospitals. But there’s the potential to implement solutions that encompass all these benefits in one cohesive system.


By adopting comprehensive digital health solutions that cater to the entire patient journey, Spain can further enhance its sustainable healthcare model. These integrated solutions can automate processes from referral to discharge, optimising pathways for improved care delivery, operational efficiency, and cost effectiveness.


The benefits are huge; for example, by incorporating these solutions with existing systems like EHRs, hospitals can achieve a more holistic view of patient health, enabling data-driven decision-making and enhancing patient care. 


Essentially, such solutions lay the groundwork for a sustainable healthcare system, paving the way for additional progress and ensuring that healthcare is effective, cost-efficient, a better experience for both providers and patients, environmentally mindful, and, altogether, sustainable.


The implementation of digital solutions that offer automated pathways stands as the next step towards achieving a healthcare model that is not only exceptional in patient care but also a beacon of sustainability. While the progress made so far is impressive, Spain needs to continue to embrace opportunities to enhance the sustainability of its healthcare system.


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