Top 4 Benefits of Google for Healthcare Providers

While the pandemic challenged the healthcare industry in many ways, it also accelerated innovation in care solutions, which led to significant increases in remote monitoring and virtual appointments.

In fact, the market for cloud solutions is projected to grow 43% by 2025 due to the need to improve collaboration and eliminate care barriers. Telehealth visits peaked in April 2020, with more than 32% of office and outpatient visits occurring virtually.

Utilization has since stabilized, with 13–17% of visits happening via telehealth across various specialties. Looking ahead, telehealth solutions are projected to stay in use, with 40% of consumers indicating that they would continue to use telehealth going forward and 57% of physicians preferring the continued utilization of virtual care.

To better support patients and providers, Google developed several health-related products and services throughout 2020 and beyond. Some are still in a pilot phase, such as a visit plan tool that helps patients record questions they want to ask their providers, while others are already in widespread use, such as Google Health and Google Workspace for Healthcare and Life Sciences.

In this post, we’ll explore the top four benefits of Google for healthcare providers and consumers.

1. Improve Patient and Provider Outcomes with Collaboration Tools

Google Workspace for Healthcare and Life Sciences gives healthcare teams collaboration tools to break down data silos and enhance patient outcomes. These tools work on both personal and shared devices, with built-in controls that support compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Real-time communication helps improve patient care, and Google Workspace gives healthcare providers a secure way to access patient information anytime, anywhere.

Patient and organizational documents and information are stored, synched, and shared using Google Drive. This creates a single, secure portal where healthcare workers can access, share, and collaborate on patient files.

In a hospital setting, patients may interact with at least 10 different providers, so this coordination helps lead to better outcomes, lower costs, and fewer re-admissions.

Google Workspace also includes an expansive list of Google health applications to meet industry-specific needs.

These include (but are not limited to) the following:

2. Streamline Healthcare Data to Enhance Care Delivery

Clinician stress and burnout are often associated with poorly designed electronic health records (EHRs). Difficulties in using EHRs effectively stem from several variables, including:

Important components of a patient’s medical history are often scattered across numerous, disconnected systems. This leads to gaps in information that can cause medical errors and treatment delays. Access to better technology and interoperability between data systems can help improve patient outcomes and reduce the time to diagnosis.

Care Studio is a clinician-facing search tool that helps declutter and streamline healthcare data so clinicians can spend less time navigating EHRs and more time caring for patients. This tool sorts data by date, ensuring that the most recent vitals, labs and notes appear at the top of search results.

By leveraging Google’s powerful search function for healthcare providers, Care Studio helps clinicians search terms based on clinical shorthand and medical terminology to find health record information quickly.

A provider simply types a desired term into the search bar to retrieve relevant patient information without having to comb lengthy, complex records. This can not only help produce better patient experiences and outcomes, but also alleviate provider burnout by reducing the time-consuming manual work associated with collecting comprehensive patient data.

Care Studio’s view of a patient health record is available on both a mobile and desktop application, giving providers the freedom to access information from anywhere.

3. Increase Access to Mental Health Resources with Clinically Validated Assessments

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 21% of adults experienced some type of mental illness in 2020. In addition, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reports that one in six children from ages six to 17 experience a mental health disorder each year.

Online tools such as self-assessments can be a quick, easy way to determine whether an individual is experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition.

Google’s self-assessment tools appear at the top of Google search results when users search for information related to mental health, along with medically validated information about symptoms and treatments.

Currently, self-assessments are available for conditions such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and postpartum depression.

Google’s self-assessments are clinically validated, which means that they have been tested and meet three key variables:

Clinically validated assessments ask the same or similar questions a healthcare provider might ask. Responses are secure and confidential, since Google does not collect or share data from the questionnaire. After completing an assessment, individuals receive links to additional resources and are directed to seek additional guidance from a healthcare provider.

By empowering individuals with access to information, resources, and tools related to mental health conditions, Google’s self-assessment tool makes it a bit easier for individuals to take the first step toward accessing mental health services.

4. Advance Clinical Research with the Google Health Studies App

Globally, most clinical trial participants are white, and in the US, less than 10% of the population participates in clinical research. As such, many clinical trials may not be fully reflective of the general population, which can make it harder for researchers to evaluate the safety and efficacy of things like medications, vaccines, or devices across underrepresented groups.

The Google Health Studies app connects people to clinical studies to help researchers increase representation in research studies, leading to greater diversity in participants’ age, gender, racial identity, and other relevant factors.

To protect sensitive personal health information, Google Health Studies aggregates participant data into encrypted summaries that do not contain individual responses and other personally identifiable data. All information is encrypted, and participants have control over their personal information, including what can and cannot be shared through the study.

Google Health Products: Secure Solutions for Providers and Patients

Leveraging Google’s suite of healthcare solutions can improve patient care and collaboration. With Google Workspace, all users, data, and devices are protected with security that is HIPPA and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliant.

While Google Health applications and Google Workspace both work from anywhere and on any device, many organizations are investing in Chrome enterprise devices such as Chromebooks. These secure, shareable devices enable 24/7 access to cloud-based file storage.

Because Chromebooks run on Chrome OS, they offer enhanced protection against viruses, spam, malware, ransomware, and other security concerns.

They also tend to be smaller and lighter than similarly priced Windows laptops and have a long battery life, increasing their portability for on-the-go healthcare professionals.

Maximize Usability of Google Health Products with Parallels Desktop for Chrome OS

Thanks to its straightforward cloud deployment, multi-layered security, and remote management options, Chrome OS is one of the largest global operating systems.Despite the numerous benefits of Chrome OS for healthcare providers, there is one key drawback: Users cannot access full-featured Windows applications.

Parallels® Desktop for Chrome OS is an enterprise-grade Windows virtualization solution that runs natively on Chromebooks. It enables online and offline access to Microsoft Windows applications and files.

To better support healthcare workflows, Parallels Desktop for Chrome OS makes it easy to switch between Chrome OS and Windows without needing to reboot the device. Users can also share files and folders between Windows and Chrome OS, open files on Chrome OS using Windows applications, and suspend and resume Windows instantly.

Download a free Parallels Desktop for Chrome OS trial today to experience how it can enhance the benefits of Google for healthcare providers.