The Road to Digital – Healthcare IT Planning
Now, more than ever, the healthcare industry is showing a surge of IT requests. Whether it be moving doctors to tele-work, or ramping up security to prevent a data breach, its becoming a more critical time to create a proper IT roadmap for your healthcare organization.
With changes in Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and security features to protect patient information, your IT department (or Managed Services Provider) is working harder than ever. Moving toward a mobile workforce can seem cumbersome and tedious, but it doesn’t have to be – if you have a plan.
How to Develop a Healthcare IT Roadmap
Assess Your Current Pain Points
It’s important to walk before you run. Creating an IT roadmap for your Healthcare organization is critical to operations. However, the first step is assessing the challenges facing your office or hospital today. Some things to think about while evaluating your pain points: How do you define value? What keeps you up at night? How is employee morale affected? What is your patient experience like? How will you measure progress of your new IT infrastructure? How is your EMR performing? What are your financial goals? What actions do you have in place to stay HIPAA compliant with your patient records?
Evaluate your existing IT Infrastructure
Is this enough to weather a storm? Be aware of the process of what to do should an incident occur within your organization. If personnel or structure needs to be updated, now is the time to do it. Data breaches can be expensive and messy – so its best to be proactive. With Healthcare marked as an “Essential Business,” its possible to see an increase in risk and cyberattacks.
Ensure Your Systems are Up to Date
As you bring in new staff members, guest staff members, or traveling nurses, its imperative to make sure that those changes are made in your EMR system and can be quickly implemented. This process should be rapid and documented, with protocols on what to do in case there is an emergency. All new and incoming staff members should be engaged on processes and how systems work.
Use software for virtual visits that is user friendly for patients
Patients are electing to see their providers virtually versus coming into the office. It’s very important to create a plan for you staff so remote visits run smoothly. Familiarize physicians with your preferred video application, like Microsoft Teams or Zoom. Because the patient’s experience is very important, the more practice your employees have with using your video technology, the more comfortable your patient will be.
Create a Portal for Patient Information
With modern technology, patients are evaluating providers based on their access to their own records. If you have an online patient portal, its very easy to increase their experience by giving them anywhere, anytime access. Test results, stats, and office notes can be updated in real time and allow them to see quickly, which will also decrease time spent calling patients with updates. To be able to offer such sensitive information back to your patients, its critical to have a secure IT infrastructure to satisfy HIPAA requirements as well as ensure their records aren’t accessible by cybercriminals.
Technology, as we know it, in the Healthcare sector is forever changed as we move to digital interfaces. And this is only the beginning. Patient care will substantially improve if your team of providers is well educated on your programs. Having a plan is mission critical so all parties are on the same page.