By Ryan Skains, Executive Director, TEKsystems Healthcare Services
Technology has significantly disrupted the healthcare industry, creating a whole new matrix of threat and opportunity.
In the past two years:
- The number of consumers with at least one mobile healthcare application doubled – PwC’s Top Health Industry Issues of 2016.
- Eight in 10 healthcare organizations were compromised by cyber-attacks – 2015 KPMG Healthcare Cybersecurity Survey.
IT organizations have significantly more power—and accountability—for helping providers compete in a new world. And to do that, you have to leave old ways of thinking behind. Here are five things you just can’t do in healthcare anymore.
1. Relegate IT to the basement.
Considered a cost center—instead of a delivery differentiator—IT was viewed as one cog in the operations wheel. With the integration of technology into healthcare delivery and revenue cycles, providers can no longer afford to leave IT in the basement. Digital technology is driving the future of healthcare and defining the competitive landscape—demanding healthcare IT leaders have a seat at the table. Heightened visibility brings more accountability, meaning you must develop a deep understanding of emerging healthcare technologies and your institution’s business and care delivery models.
2. Stick to old-school strategies.
The cornerstone of providers’ strategies for decades—recruiting top physicians—isn’t enough to differentiate your organization anymore. Patient behavior has changed; instead of relying on insurers to tell them whom to see and when, people look online to research, read reviews and seek cost transparency as part of their decision-making process. Providers need to think like retail brands and continuously engage their customers. See how the industry is adapting as people use mobile applications to take their health in their own hands.
3. Wait for patients to become patients.
Even thinking of healthcare consumers as patients will hinder you today. With wearables, mobile health applications and data-based care protocols, legislators and payers are demanding—and enabling—a holistic approach focused on prevention. People are monitoring their own health more, requiring health IT leaders to consider how to integrate this data into medical records so doctors can provide more personalized care.
4. Ignore the massive amount of data collecting.
With the collection of healthcare data surging, IT leaders are challenged with how to gather, store and analyze it to determine actionable insights. Data complexities—patient evaluations aren’t as cut and dry as numbers—and sharing data across organizations during M&As and health information exchanges compound the challenge. Some providers are responding by developing partnerships with payers to deliver better-coordinated care and negotiate reimbursement models.
5. Underestimate the impact of information security.
Breaches damage reputations and cost you patients. Today’s CISO has to think of everything; for instance, CIO reported the Target breach started through their HVAC vendor. TEKsystems’ 2016 annual forecast shows health IT leaders expect a 73 percent increase in year-over-year spending for InfoSec initiatives, indicating a renewed commitment to security. Read how the hospitals successfully managing threats are building a culture of information security.
Looking for strategic guidance on InfoSec, digital technology, analytics and other healthcare IT challenges? Visit booth No. 6450 at HIMSS16 to talk with TEKsystems’ healthcare IT services and staffing experts.