In many ways, IT is similar to the human body. Different parts are specialized to perform specific tasks, but they are all dependent on each other to function properly. Just as the brain controls the body, IT systems control every technical function and process within an organization. While we all know how to keep our bodies and brains healthy, what can be done to maintain a healthy environment for IT systems?
As modern IT structures become increasingly complex and difficult to control, a comprehensive information management system is key to ensure a healthy IT landscape capable of evolution and adaptability. The efficient management of the entire IT landscape will ensure that hospitals can continuously provide high-quality services fast and effectively.
This is of particular importance as digital transformation continues to improve patient care by digitizing various related processes. Electronic health records (EHRs) and electronic medical records (EMAs), for example, allow for faster test results, more accurate diagnoses, and better patient outcomes. However, for IT managers in hospitals to support these electronic records and securely share them across disparate healthcare settings, having a modern IT infrastructure is as critical as being able to manage it accordingly.
To keep pace with emerging technologies, hospital IT must also undergo digital transformation. Managers need to be able to create thoughtful planning concepts related to how their networks and applications can properly support data portability and interoperability across all IT departments during this transition phase.
At a Glance: The Future of Hospital IT
Hospitals of the future are able to support the new wave of medical technology and mobile health applications. That being said, the expansion and modernization of IT infrastructures and related services play a huge role in the quality of medical care, nursing services, and patient safety. Interoperability of the following technologies will make automation possible:
- Electronic patient records
According to a survey from Hartmannbund and Bitkom, 69 percent of doctors agreed that digitization is an opportunity to improve medical care while sixty-five percent of physicians agreed that Electronic Patient Files (EPAs) help to facilitate collaboration between doctors. Additionally, 54 percent reported cost savings due to the accuracy of EPAs which means repeat examinations are not needed as often.
For hospital networks to support EPAs, IT managers will use a centralized management solution to document and manage external data pools, large databases, and patient health information (PHI).
- Mobile health applications
Mobile health applications not only simplify documentation processes for doctors, nurses, and administrators, they also act as a bridge between doctors and patients by providing instant communication, patient monitoring, test results, and EHRs all in one place.
Mobile health apps such as patient portals and secure text messaging will improve care coordination, enhance the patient experience, and simplify workflows.
- Integration of medical technology
Today, there is still a lack of transparency between individual diagnostic equipment and the documentation of patient findings. Successful hospitals in the digital age will utilize medical devices that can communicate seamlessly with each other via small build-in sensors.
- IT security
As new applications are added to the hospital’s network and data from external service providers such as consultants, specialists, and general practitioners is stored, additional security is added to ensure patient privacy and to prevent cyberattacks. A highly secure network will also ensure uptime and business continuity.
Unfortunately, the impact of digital transformation is complex topic. IT managers would need to be up-to-date on various technology improvements while planning the transition based on current budget constraints. Some decisions have to be made today, however, they could be wrong in a future context if managers aren’t considering the whole big picture.
Otherwise, they would create isolated solutions for individual clinical applications as well as data silos in the administration. As IT requirements are constantly evolving, existing infrastructure such as data center, network, switches and storage capacities, as well as the application delivery in the hospital network, must be kept up-to-date to support new technology.
Over the past 20 years, new computer-based diagnostic devices have been integrated for medical procedures and administration processes leading to an increase in digitization. To support this digitization, networked systems must be properly managed to ensure efficient business processes, seamless hospital operations, and to guarantee that patients receive the best medical care.
Since CIOs, MITs, and IT directors play a central role in managing a hospital’s digital transformation, they often experience an enormous amount of pressure due to staff expectations, cost control, clinical performances, and patient satisfaction. The following strategies will help CIOs, MITs, and IT directors achieve success as they begin this process:
- Lead with a strategic overall concept: Many providers of digital medical products and services offer individual solutions to meet the needs of doctors, nurses, and administrators. It’s important to implement only the solutions that will benefit digitization for the entire hospital.
- Ensure openness and transparency: Address the specific needs of various clinical and administrative departments into the hospital’s overall digital transformation. By communicating your strategies and actions regularly, all department requirements will be met.
- Define realistic implementation goals: It’s important to manage the expectations that doctors and nurses may have as your hospital undergoes digital transformation. Frequently review your goals and implementation steps to determine if your digitization efforts are on track.
- Train all employees: For employees to work as a team, there must be a shared understanding of all hospital IT. Therefore, proper training on new technologies and services is business-critical.
IT Management with FNT Command
To optimize the interplay of all components across the entire IT infrastructure, IT managers must implement a highly functional, configurable IT management software. Ideal for hospital 4.0, FNT Command documents responsibilities across healthcare organizations and accelerates production processes using automated workflows.
As a single tool providing full transparency on all physical and logical IT services at all times, FNT Command automates IT processes, ensures high-quality services are deployed faster, and achieves a sustained reduction in IT costs. In addition to organizing IT infrastructure more effectively, planning scenarios can be created based on accurate, up-to-date information. Due to extensive documentation and planning functions, hospitals can maintain the uptime and availability of critical services such as medical devices and electronic patient records.
Interested in learning how FNT Command can transform your hospital’s IT infrastructure? Contact us here.