By Doug Parent, RingRx
Digital healthcare offers an opportunity to improve every aspect of your organization, but it can’t be achieved successfully without a clear plan. Piecing together an IT infrastructure for your healthcare business requires a clear roadmap which each software and solution must then fit into.
What Are The Goals Of Your Digital Healthcare Growth?
Simply wanting to evolve with the times may be a good enough reason, but it won’t provide a clear destination to guide your technology adoption. A recent survey of healthcare organizations identified the top reasons for adoption of healthcare technology:
Your goals for healthcare technology could include any or all of these. Knowing these goals up front will allow you to better map out your digital journey to make sure you’re always heading in the right direction.
While keeping your main goal in mind, your roadmap should also include these four important stops. Every element in your IT infrastructure should satisfy these four basic requirements:
Brock Morris, CIO of Allegro Pediatrics provides good insights into the importance of security when planning their digital growth;
“It’s a highly regulated field so we have to constantly focus on what are the new mandates coming out from the federal government and those at the local and state level. A lot of that surrounds the protected health information for our patients, making sure that it’s secured, making sure that there’s quality information there.”
With HIPAA regulations and the increasing threats to protected health information, security needs to be a top concern of your IT infrastructure. While the main consideration will be security and IT monitoring solutions specifically designed to maintain the health of your network, security should also be a requirement for every additional solution you add.
Third-party vendors have proven to be one of the biggest security risks for healthcare organizations. When working with third-party vendors, make sure all solutions are HIPAA compliant and the security at the companies is up to your level of standards.
Healthcare is becoming increasingly mobile. Both patients and caregivers need ways to communicate and access information on the go.
Doctors and caregivers need the ability to communicate out of the office while still maintaining compliance. Even a simple phone call from an unsecure cell phone could be a HIPAA violation. Make sure communication solutions like phone systems, email providers and web fax provide mobile apps to allow doctors to use your HIPAA compliant solutions while on the road.
Patients are now looking for more convenient ways to connect with their physicians. While 65 percent of patients still want to communicate with their doctors through phone calls, that still leaves a percent that is looking for alternate modes of communication. When providing patient portals, emails and SMS notifications, make sure they are accessible on mobile.
The healthcare automation market is growing at a rapid rate. It is expected to maintain a CAGR of 8.8 percent and reach $59 billion by the end of 2025. Automation can save time and improve workflows, freeing up more time for patient care.
The goals automation can best achieve are improving the efficiency of your organization and saving money. Consider how much time employees spend on menial or repetitive tasks. This is where automation can be truly transformative.
The most important thing to consider is whether or not a new automated technology will fit into your staff’s existing workflows. While automated revenue cycle management software may seem like a great way to increase efficiency, the solution won’t be adopted if it can’t integrate with the existing solutions or if it requires data to be entered in multiple locations.
Talk with key staff about what aspects of their job are most repetitive and gain a real understanding of how tasks fit into their overall workflow. If appointment reminders and missed appointment notifications are taking up part of their day, an automated phone system could save time and make the office more efficient.
Eventually, everything will move to the cloud to increase accessibility, security and mobility. Make sure your infrastructure is prepared for this eventual migration by ensuring any new solutions added include cloud capabilities.
Cloud-based solutions will be the only option that offers healthcare providers and patients the accessibility they need while still maintaining HIPAA compliance. In fact, analysts predict 80 percent of patient interactions will rely on IoT and big data. That doesn’t mean patients won’t still look for phone calls and face-to-face interaction. It means that those interactions will be supported by cloud technology and an efficient stream of relevant patient health information. That is why 59 percent of healthcare organizations are using or planning to use cloud solutions for big data analysis.
Make sure the cloud is a key part of your digital roadmap. Seeing the greatest benefits from cloud technology means addressing concerns about migration, upgrades, mobility, and business continuity.
While a complete digital transformation for your healthcare organization won’t happen overnight, that doesn’t mean you should improvise the journey. Set very clear goals for how you want your business to look in 5 or 10 years and make sure each step along the way addresses the four concerns above and you’ll be on the road to success.
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