texas healthcare support IT

Understanding the Role of IT in the Healthcare Sector

The healthcare industry is undergoing a tech revolution. One of the many challenges faced by heathcare professionals is a confusing or chaotic IT environment that's miring them in operational inefficiency, redundancy, isolated data sets, and potential security risks.

Because technology is evolving so rapidly, healthcare providers must embrace the fact that data is becoming the key currency in healthcare. Increasing reliance on digital technologies like portable imaging, wearables, advanced diagnostics tools, and telehealth (to name a few) has driven a boom in the amount of data that must be collected, processed, and kept safe. This growing requirement cannot be met using legacy software and obsolete hardware. As such, the healthcare sector must implement modernized IT architecture to collect, use, and safely store data.

Innovation and rapid development is forcing the healthcare industry to embrace technology at a breakneck pace.  Because modern healthcare is data driven, professionals in the field need complete control of that data for analytics and to provide the best possible patient engagement.

The right healthcare IT helps medical professionals treat data as a true asset, giving them the opportunity to move forward using data in real time. This allows them to leverage event-driven activity to help proactively detect and treat, inform clinical decision making, and improve patient outcomes.

Security and regulatory compliance also add to the complexity of healthcare IT. Healthcare providers that embrace solutions like the cloud to modernize, automate, and optimize their IT infrastructures can work faster and at scale.

Automation is the key to fully utilizing modern tech, and healthcare IT organizations can benefit greatly when automating security and compliance management. The cost of a data breach in healthcare is higher than in any other sector, and security breaches, new vulnerabilities, and active cyberattacks are increasing by the day. Government oversight like the HIPAA privacy act in the US hold professionals accountable, while massive amounts of data need to be protected while still being usable.

Security and regulatory compliance have grown in complexity such that these areas consume significant IT resources and budget. Healthcare providers can improve their security position by:

  • Conduct regular risk analyses and keep all cybersecurity management and response programs up to date.
  • Maintaining continuous cybersecurity monitoring to locate vulnerabilities in the operating environment and remediate before they cause damages.
  • Execute comprehensive vulnerability scanning and reporting to maintain compliance and take a proactive security stance.
  • Keep systems updated at all times through a patch management protocol.
  • Meet HIPAA requirements and reduce the risk of violations.

Automating security is one way to reduce risk and minimize the need for manual intervention. This makes the daunting task of providing IT security and maintaining regulatory compliance easier and less expensive over time.

With wellness and quality moving ahead as the driving force for healthcare organizations, it's important that users get more value and insight from their data. This often requires data compatibility between many disparate information systems, devices, and platforms. There's also a need for coordination across multiple organizations to access, exchange, and cooperatively use this data effectively.

All of this requires an IT architecture that can process data at scale from various sources and securely move information among a wide variety of devices and locations. This is a level of data management that makes cloud-based architecture the growing standard among health care providers.

Patient Care Quality

There's always a desire to improve patient care and the right healthcare IT can help. Users need access to the right data at the right time in an actionable way. The highly-advanced nature of monitoring devices gives access to a wealth of data which must be accessed, used, stored, and leveraged correctly to positively affect patient outcomes.

Such data can deliver important insights at the point of care, such as diagnostics alerts, while also offering insights that can optimize the Revenue Cycle and detecting claims fraud. The IT department can also be leveraged toward providing a better patient experience through the aggregation and interpretation of data.

Digital transformation is central to the idea of leveraging IT in modern healthcare. Many users have found that cloud computing is the basis for that transformation. Cloud-native applications running on hybrid cloud infrastructure can provide healthcare users with the data interoperability, scalability, and flexibility they need to get the most from their IT investments. Because cloud is easily managed and cost-effective -- especially compared to the costs of buying and maintaining legacy systems in-house -- it is an ideal way to simplify the HCO's IT situation.