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Healthcare Industry: 5 IT Challenges And How To Overcome Them

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Healthcare Industry: 5 IT Challenges And How To Overcome Them

Medical Informatics in Today's Health Care - Mindful

The healthcare industry plays an important role since it impacts people’s lives in various ways. As innovations continue to evolve, they have brought about significant changes in the quality of health services, particularly in delivering dependable and high-quality patient care.

Apart from advancements, the healthcare industry has faced many challenges. Most of these challenges result from regulatory or legislative mandates, security threats, and process changes brought about by new technology, to name a few.

Regardless of your healthcare organization’s current IT challenges, consider working with a reliable IT consulting firm to ensure you’re on the right path. Checking out and others would be a good starting point in ensuring the growth of your organization in this face-paced digital world. 

Sadly, the healthcare industry continues to face an array of IT challenges. Here are some common IT challenges the industry faces and ways to overcome them. 

Among the various challenges the healthcare industry faces, interoperability is the first in line. It’s a key success factor for healthcare organizations because it can help lower costs, enhance patient care, and improve healthcare outcomes.

Generally, interoperability entails timely and secure access, integration, and utilization of electronic health records (EHR) to optimize health outcomes. Inconsistent patient health information from various sources is one of the challenges in interoperability. When providers store data in multiple locations, the IT department wastes time searching for it when needed.

Adopting a single, unified network and interface is an ideal solution. When the foundation for a uniform network is in place, the sharing process will be seamless. It might be time to consider software that can automate data collection from various sources and create a uniform dataset.

  • Out-Of-Date Technology  

An outdated IT infrastructure can be an obstacle to overcoming the various challenges in interoperability, data security, and big data. Most healthcare systems are burdened by the ever-increasing number of bandwidth-intensive connected devices.

There’s also the issue of software effectively processing big data, which can strain an outdated system. However, deciding to update the system also has its share of challenges. A legacy system might not readily work with the interface of new software solutions.  

A clear solution is determining the latest technology to use. Although it’ll require a significant investment, it ensures efficiency and better health outcomes in the long run.

There’s a massive flow of information in the healthcare industry from various sources such as providers, payers, pharmacies, labs, other healthcare organizations, medical or wearable devices, and smartphones, to name a few.

The massive amount of real-time data provides useful information at a rate that exceeds your ability to process it. Furthermore, data diversity contributes to interoperability concerns and makes it difficult to assess information accuracy.

It can be difficult not only to access and store all of the patient information but also to convert it into useful insights.

Luckily, the availability of new technologies can help healthcare organizations keep up. Machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), and other solutions assist healthcare providers in interpreting patient data and improving health outcomes.

Patient data will always be at risk as data breaches continue to become prevalent. Cyberattacks affect all industries, but there has been a significant increase involving the healthcare industry, especially ransomware.  

When ransomware strikes a healthcare organization, it can be a costly ordeal, including downtime, lost opportunities, additional expenditures, and ransom, to name a few. Unfortunately, companies that resort to paying the ransom end up with incomplete data.

Aside from ransomware, there are other potential threats to health data. The IT department should take all the necessary measures to defend against worms, viruses, trojan horses, and other security gap exploitations. There should be specific encryption algorithms and data security standards to follow. Any third-party platform should be fully secure with comprehensive data protection and accessibility. 

Some ways to beef up cybersecurity infrastructures involve implementing measures to protect all mobile devices, keeping the software and operating systems up to date, regular employee training, and creating action plans for a possible breach. 

  • A Complex User Experience

The user experience should be prioritized when a health organization plans to add new technology or methods. Although electronic health record systems are widely used nowadays and have numerous advantages, some doctors may refuse to use them. Many healthcare professionals are hesitant to change their current methods and systems. Remember that the value of the latest technologies should be justified and proven to boost efficiency and client satisfaction. 

Final Thoughts  

As technology advances, the healthcare industry continuously faces new IT challenges. Knowing the most prevalent IT hurdles should be a top goal for every healthcare organization looking to distinguish itself and provide the best health outcomes for patients. Working with a respected IT consulting firm to be guided on the actions to take to assure growth in a highly competitive market is one method to overcome these obstacles.

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by Scott Rupp health IT security, interoperability



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