How to overcome the many technology challenges in healthcare

How to overcome the many technology challenges in healthcare

Being subject to stringent government-mandated regulations and the constant need to provide top-level of service to their patients, healthcare providers turn to modern technology to keep up with the demands of their job. But because technology is not their core competence, their reluctant approach to it prevents them from achieving a successful digital transformation.

Overcoming these challenges will help make your healthcare workforce more productive, boost security, enable mobility, and empower the future growth of your organization.

Here are a few of the biggest challenges you need to overcome to make that a reality:

Challenge #1: Complying with information security regulations

Ever since the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was enacted in 1996, the healthcare sector has become highly regulated. The regulations extend beyond healthcare providers to cover any entity that handles patient health information (PHI) on their behalf.

Also, HIPAA was enacted 22 years ago, when cybersecurity standards were different in a pre-cloud and mobile world. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act was signed into law in 2009 to update the requirements. However, to ensure complete compliance across the board, you’ll need to assign a compliance and security officer who is thoroughly familiar with the laws in storing and sharing PHI.

To achieve compliance, healthcare organizations that don’t have their own full-time, in-house IT departments can partner with a technology provider who knows the industry. This will enable your team to focus its efforts on providing better service to your patients while having an expert with all the necessary tools at their disposal take care of your IT needs.

Challenge #2: Making patient-facing technology easy to use

It’s hard enough to persuade healthcare professionals to use modern technology and take advantage of the benefits it offers. Even more challenging, however, is encouraging your patients to do the same. Your employees and patients alike most likely aren’t IT pros themselves, which is why your technology should be easy to use.

Now that telemedicine is becoming mainstream, patients are more receptive towards using personal health record services and other similar systems. However, many remain difficult to use, with clunky interfaces and poor performance. Worse, most patients will never give you a second chance if they’re dissatisfied with the experience the first time.

A modern patient-facing technology solution should be able to provide a complete telemedicine experience that allows patients to edit their details, make online bookings, renew prescriptions, and more. Armed with a modern, cloud-enabled technology infrastructure, you’ll increase patient engagement while also cutting down care costs.

Challenge #3: Scaling and updating data storage and systems

Every modern organization relies heavily on data to improve performance and offer a higher level of service. The problem is that the typical healthcare data center environment is exploding at the seams with a lack of storage space, little space for scalability, and an ancient document management system.

Adopting new technologies may be challenging, but sticking with dated and inefficient systems will be costlier. For example, the law requires healthcare providers to keep archives of their records for up to 25 years, which is woefully impractical if you’re still relying on ancient storage area networks, with limited physical space, and outmoded electrical and cooling infrastructure.

For those in the healthcare industry, a cloud-based data-storage environment presents the perfect solution, thanks to its built-in scalability and accessible nature. With virtualized cloud storage from a service provider that is compliant with HIPAA and HITECH, you’ll have everything you need to grow your practice without IT being an obstacle.

Online Computers helps healthcare providers in Hanover, Morristown, and Madison use technology to reduce medical errors, improve patient safety, and more. Get in touch today to schedule a consultation.

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