3 Ways to Embrace the Digital Age in Healthcare
There are many misconceptions about health technology, but you can improve your organization’s approach to IT by eliminating them and following these three steps.
Health technology is everywhere. However, despite its widespread adoption, significant misconceptions have surfaced.
One of these misconceptions concerns the state of progress of healthcare organizations in cybersecurity. Many organizations are actually behind. Despite pressure from regulatory agencies, the healthcare industry does not routinely perform IT audits and departments are not held accountable.
Another misconception is that small healthcare practices are not susceptible to data breaches. The reality is that cybercriminals attack large and small operations if there is an exploitable security vulnerability. For this reason, every healthcare organization needs high-quality and up-to-date cybersecurity systems.
Many also mistakenly assume that the popularity of telemedicine will fade once the pandemic is over. But telemedicine is here to stay, and experts predict it will be a $184.5 billion market by 2028. Effective telemedicine requires a comprehensive approach, primarily because HIPAA compliance regulations are tightening after the early, milder days of the pandemic.
Finally, there is the misguided notion that artificial intelligence in healthcare will reduce personal interactions between patients and providers. In fact, AI can increase personal connections. It also offloads the work so providers can avoid burnout, which we know is a real and detrimental outcome.
Health technology is constantly evolving. The sooner these misconceptions are dispelled, the more proactive you can be in shaping a relevant IT infrastructure in your organization.
How Misconceptions Influence the Informatics Approach to Healthcare
Without proper clarification, misconceptions can negatively impact the IT mindset of healthcare organizations in several ways.
For example, a less urgent cybersecurity approach can lead an organization to overlook an overarching, ever-evolving cybersecurity strategy. Without this, data loss due to breaches can cause serious damage to organizations (e.g., reputational damage, liability for stolen customer data, compliance violations, and hefty fines).
Without an engaging and secure telehealth solution that delivers a positive patient experience, you also risk losing patients, revenue, and possibly your entire practice. But with a comprehensive computing platform that delights your patients, your bottom line benefits.
Likewise, failing to adopt new technologies like AI due to fear or ignorance ensures that your organization will waste important opportunities for growth and better patient outcomes.
Here are three ways to boost your healthcare organization’s IT approach:
1. Make employee cybersecurity training a company requirement.
Although cybersecurity seems to be a matter of advanced technology, one of the most important vulnerabilities is employee error. According to a study, 88% of data breaches were human, often due to the negligence of young employees.
For this reason, it is essential to organize regular cybersecurity awareness training sessions. These programs educate your staff on issues such as phishing attacks and security best practices, including creating strong passwords, using two-factor authentication, and the appropriate level of distrust. regard to critical digital resources.
2. Use telehealth to monitor patient satisfaction.
As telehealth becomes an important part of healthcare delivery, you simply cannot afford to ignore it. To get the most out of your efforts, regularly track your patients’ satisfaction with your service.
This is all the more important given the findings of the JD Power study”2021 Telehealth Satisfaction Survey.” The study of 4,600 people found that although telehealth adoption was up 36% over the previous year, many respondents expressed dissatisfaction with the services. Problems included a lack of clarity around costs or vendor details and confusing technology.
3. Embrace AI.
Use AI to its full potential. It can revolutionize your healthcare operation, ushering it into a whole new era of productivity, quality care and increased revenue.
Keep in mind that whether you decide to take that leap or not, your peers are already doing it. It’s a rapid growth facet of healthcare currently used to provide remote diabetes care, interpret x-rays, improve data analysis and diagnoses, etc.
Fortunately, it’s not hard to overcome misconceptions and understand how IT can be a boon to healthcare. It simply starts with creating a culture of awareness and acceptance of best practices. After that, it’s all about finding a good match with vendors that offer high-quality healthcare IT solutions. Auditing your entire IT infrastructure can be daunting, but it is essential. Breaking it down into targeted steps will prepare your organization and your patients for a rewarding future.
Ben Scully is the president of Avatara St. Louis, Missouri-based company founded in 2005 that aims to help organizations solve long-standing, complex issues within their IT infrastructures.