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4 IT Trends That Businesses Can Learn from the Healthcare Sector

January 16, 2018 No Comments

Featured article by Katie Johnson, Independent Technology Author

Health 1 300x199 4 IT Trends That Businesses Can Learn from the Healthcare Sector

IT implementation is helping businesses in various industries move forward and stay ahead. Through the use of tech-based solutions, businesses now have the ability to streamline their operational workflows and improve efficiency. At the same time, IT implementation is helping businesses manage information better as well as be more meticulous with their business processes.

In many ways, the healthcare industry is on the leading edge of IT implementation. Healthcare institutions and service providers rely heavily on information technology to deliver top-notch treatments to patients. Here are the four IT trends that businesses can learn from the healthcare sector.

Security First

The healthcare industry utilises one of the strictest security standards on the market. It uses security standards defined as part of HIPAA to safeguard patients’ information as well as other sensitive data. There are audits designed to ensure compliance; solutions designed for the healthcare industry follow the standard to the letter to attract customers too.

Some industries use HIPAA’s information security guidelines as a starting point for information security. Others look to the financial industry and how they handle information security. Regardless of the approach, information security needs to be put as the top priority, especially with the increasing frequency – and severity – of cyberattacks.

Ensuring information security involves several things. Proper user and access management features need to be put in place to safeguard the stored information. Sufficient encryption is another layer to add to ensure maximum security. To complete the equation, IT solutions need to encrypt incoming and outgoing data transmissions to fully prevent information theft. It’s essential that the healthcare industry keeps up to date with IT trends in order to ensure security.

Invest in the People

Successful IT implementation and the implementation of standards such as the HIPAA information security guidelines mentioned earlier depend highly on all stakeholders. Having a strong IT team alone isn’t enough to ensure success. Once again, the healthcare industry got it right by investing in IT trainings for their stakeholders.

Doctors and nurses receive frequent and thorough trainings on how to use the on-site information system. Specific healthcare practitioners also receive additional trainings whenever updates or new IT solutions (i.e. new medical imaging system) are introduced.

It doesn’t stop there either. Patients are being informed about the use of Electronic Medical Records or EMRs and how they can benefit from it. You see websites and resource centres filled with information, Q&As, and other resources designed to make understanding EMR and its use as easy as it can be. A unified approach to training is the way forward for your business too.

Efficiency in Managed Services

Pay close attention to the way IT solutions are implemented in the healthcare industry and you will notice one thing almost immediately. Most healthcare institutions and research facilities don’t maintain an extensive on-site or in-house IT department. Instead, they rely on third-party service providers and pay for solutions as services.

Managed Services Provider or MSP is a company that specialises in delivering IT solutions and related services. MSPs are helping entities in the healthcare sector achieve operational efficiency by planning, executing, and evaluating the implementation of IT solutions throughout the organisation. At the same time, the provider should also be able to meet cost needs for example the best MSP provider in healthcare will also keep overall cost-efficiency at maximum. It’s essential to really consider the customisation of the service and pick a provider that can meet your needs.

Businesses can also use this approach to stay lean and maintain efficiency. Solutions are now run in the cloud and offered as Solution as a Service or SaaS. By opting for this type of solution, businesses can eliminate large initial investments and the need to go through months of costly implementation stages. Simply sign up for an account and you are ready to benefit from the IT solutions of your choice.

Better Device Management

Devices used by the end-users, also known as access terminals, are just as important as the servers used to run the solutions. There is a growing trend of providing pre-configured devices – to be used within the boundaries of a hospital or a medical institution only – in the healthcare sector, particularly for key functionalities.

The purpose behind this trend is creating a uniformed user experience and maintaining effectiveness. Doctors and nurses need to be able to access the information they need quickly and correctly. Medical tablets are the go-to solution for their robustness and flexibility.

On the other hand, less important functions can be delivered to existing devices already used by doctors and other medical personnel. Smartphones can be configured to work with the IT solutions used by the healthcare industry; messaging apps, alert systems, and other common functions are all supported.

The approach may seem complicated at first, but it offers the most flexibility and benefits in the long run. Businesses can incorporate the same dual-device approach if needed, or simply go with the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) approach to serve functionalities that aren’t critical to the business process or core information management functions.

It is safe to say that these IT trends will be more apparent in various industries, especially in 2018. With the market being as competitive as it is today, the benefits offered by these approaches are the competitive edge you need to stay ahead.

HEALTH IT

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