4 must-see destinations on the way to healthcare’s digital workspace dream

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09:03 AM

When it comes to designing a future-ready infrastructure, IT leaders need to dream big. If you are an informaticist, IT leader, clinician, or purveyor of IT solutions for the healthcare industry, realizing the future-ready IT environment you want requires imagination and planning.

As the healthcare IT world converges in Orlando for HIMSS17, think of designing your infrastructure of the future in the same way that you map out a trip to a theme park. Zero in on the destinations that will deliver the best overall experience, consult with others who have been there, and go in knowing that sometimes you have to think outside the box.

The road to a healthcare digital workspace includes stops at these critical destinations: security, mobility, automated workflows, and cloud capabilities.

Carefully examining how these roads intersect in your healthcare environment could make the difference between user satisfaction and an environment that doesn’t hit the mark.

Allegro Pediatrics provides a case in point for why security matters so much. CIO Brock Morris frames the need for secure healthcare solutions in the context of the multiple challenges that the entire industry faces. Healthcare is highly regulated. New mandates are issued every day. Not only must Patient Health Information (PHI) be transmitted securely, but its access must also be tightly controlled. Security must be an enabler rather than a roadblock to getting work done. This Washington-based pediatric practice met the stringent need for built-in security by ensuring that the technology it chose had security built in across the entire solution stack.

Allegro Pediatrics also understood the tie between security and mobility. It implemented secure mobility strategies that make clinicians more productive anywhere, on any device, and over any network. Allegro’s IT team replaced workstations in exam rooms with individual laptops and tablets. Ninety physicians charged with seeing 250,000 patients annually gained the ability to access PHI with lightning speed – onsite or from the remote workplace of their choice.

On a somewhat larger scale, Saint Mary’s Health System of Waterbury, Connecticut, wanted to simplify IT management. Ultimately, that translated into improving and automating workflows. It also meant implementing new technology to reduce the number of clicks and reboots for roaming clinicians and building a team comprised of experts in the field of clinical workflow. Informaticists worked in tandem with IT professionals to design innovative technology solutions. Birgit Koellmer, RN, nurse informaticist, and clinical workflow expert, and Tom Calo, solution engineer, actually made rounds in the hospital with doctors and medical professionals. They married technology and the specialty of designing efficient workflows to improve how users accessed information and managed patient visits. The result was truly a culture change that enabled better patient care.

Last, but not least, consider cloud capabilities. Historically, healthcare IT has been slow to adopt cloud infrastructure, but that’s changing rapidly. If you haven’t explored how your organization can implement cloud solution, now is the time to think outside the box. Ideally, a cloud solution for healthcare addresses many of the same concerns that it does in other industries: technology migration and continual upgrades, IT resource constraints, mobility and business continuity. All of this should be shored up by a foundation of security.

Chart your destination carefully. Ensure that security, mobility, automated workflows and cloud capabilities all intersect in the right places. You’ll get there!

To join the ongoing dialogue about digital workspaces, follow us on Twitter @CitrixHealth, and visit us at HIMSS17 (Booth #2623).

About the Author: Kathy Holoman, Portfolio Marketing – Healthcare, Citrix