HIT is Imperative to Health System Survival

Big data, electronic health records, online health insurance portals-countless technology innovations are emerging, but how important are they for health leaders to adopt? According to analysts at Forrester Research, a global research and advisory firm, it's not only extremely imperative, but a matter of organizational survival.

Big data, electronic health records, online health insurance portals—countless technology innovations are emerging, but how important are they for health leaders to adopt? According to analysts at Forrester Research, a global research and advisory firm, it’s not only extremely imperative, but a matter of organizational survival.

“In no other industry has technology been called on to so significantly alter the fundamental relationships that are occurring in the delivery of healthcare today,” said Skip Snow, a senior analyst at Forrester. “Technology has frequently been managed on a case-by-case, need-by-need basis without a strong road map being in place, which is the core of good enterprise architecture.”

So what can healthcare providers do to adapt and evolve with health technology? Forrester offers these 5 suggestions:

  1. Clean up data. Efficiency and continuity of care requires health systems to streamline patient data. Providers must also ensure that data infrastructures are secure and that they protect patients’ privacy.
  2. Invest in customer and patient insight. Patients should be active participants in making shared decisions with providers. This will require investments in clinical, operational, and financial data management tools.
  3. Embrace mobile. Mobile health is a great way for providers to engage with patients. Health-focused phone applications and text reminders are just 2 examples of how health systems are improving communication with patients.
  4. Use emerging technology. Providers can utilize items such as wearable monitors and other devices to improve a patient’s quality of care. This is especially true for when larger databases and programs aren’t appropriate for use.
  5. Build cloud-based business networks. Cloud data storage can protect data from being lost and simplifies the sharing of data between systems or devices.

Mr Snow says that it is only a matter of time before health information technology is fully integrated into healthcare business models. It will eventually allow physicians and practices to focus their attention on more pressing matters. He adds that is “another way that cost can be taken out of the system.”

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