If any industry is too busy for disruption, it’s healthcare, and specifically healthcare facilities and service providers. This is a bit of a conundrum because when it comes to emerging technology, the healthcare industry can’t afford the disruption needed to utilize it, but also can’t afford not to adopt and keep their legacy systems the way they are. As IT advances, cybersecurity becomes more important, and employees are managing an ever-growing demand for their time, healthcare will need to adopt new technology to maintain high standards of patient care and employee satisfaction.
Freeing up much needed time
Last month, we wrote about how IT is transforming healthcare and one of the big ways we are seeing technology impacting healthcare facilities and service providers is by becoming more efficient and freeing up staff time. We’re pretty sure that if you ask any doctor, nurse, or other care provider, time is of the essence and minutes saved doing repetitive tasks can be better spent with patients. Automation is a major way that we can see IT transforming healthcare, but even though it appears as if it’s a win-win, there are foundational barriers to healthcare facilities and service providers being able to make use of this technology.
Digital Transformation and Healthcare
Change can’t happen in a day, no matter how much that change is needed or how much that change will help an organization run more efficiently. If the desire to improve was the only prerequisite to adopting new technology, life would be a lot easier, but organizations, especially ones in industries like healthcare, must lay the groundwork first. This is where digital transformation comes into play.
Digital transformation analyzes existing IT infrastructures to see what needs to be addressed in order for an organization to adopt new technology. The good news is that this isn’t something that typically happens for a single piece of technology, but is rather an investment in building a framework so that an organization is better able to embrace emerging technology, knowing that the infrastructure will be able to support the changes more easily.
What digital transformation could look like in healthcare
A healthcare facility or service provider enlisting the help of a digital transformation specialist would probably start by decluttering the IT infrastructure. Repetitive tasks and manual processes would be automated and replaced with efficient platforms like ServiceNow. Legacy systems would be addressed and eliminated, where possible, to embrace new methods of delivering and automating IT. SaaS, IaaS, and cloud technologies would likely be employed to streamline operations and build an infrastructure that is both agile and efficient, improving scalability.
Essentially, digital transformation would give a healthcare facility or service provider the tools they need to plan for future innovation while decreasing operating costs and improving efficiency immediately. Digital transformation can also cut down on human error, and increase cybersecurity efforts, something that is always important, but especially when someone’s health is involved.
Cybersecurity in Healthcare
It’s tempting to think that new technology equals new threats and while that’s not untrue, legacy systems can be even more vulnerable. We all learned a couple of years ago that attackers aren’t afraid to go after healthcare facilities when Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Centre had to pay out a ransom for their own system access, reminding the healthcare industry that personal data extraction isn’t the only thing that attackers want. Having an infrastructure that takes cybersecurity into account through digital transformation is critical both today and in the future.
We’ve been seeing that a lot of emerging technology surrounding healthcare shares the goal of putting the patient at the center of their own care. New forms of accountability, accessibility, and transparency all hover around the idea that patients desire more information and control over their own health. Healthcare facilities and service providers with the foundations to accommodate the changes required to meet these demands will rise to the top and that always starts with digital transformation.