The healthcare industry is said to be turning digital more quickly than ever before. It’s believed that the chain of major events in recent years has acted as a catalyst for technological transformations in the medical field. For instance, visits to healthcare facilities are transforming into virtual appointments, digital records are replacing paperwork, and others. Further, diagnoses and patient monitoring can now also be done remotely using artificial intelligence.
The mentioned developments are promising and meant to offer convenience, security, and efficiency for both patients and healthcare professionals. However, many regulations, reluctance by healthcare providers to embrace technology, and other factors have become stumbling blocks to the full realization of technological advancements in the healthcare sector.
Information technology (IT) has immensely benefitted the allied health industry, but it has also come with a myriad of challenges. Continue reading to learn more about the multiple hiccups healthcare stakeholders need to overcome.
Upgrading And Updating Data Storage System
Experts agree that the healthcare sector is one of the sectors that deal with large volumes of data daily. Besides, the data collected is supposed to be stored for many years.
It’s said that many healthcare providers are still dragging their feet regarding updating their data storage systems. Even with the advancement of technology, a large number of them are said to rely on outdated systems up to this day.
Embracing new technology isn’t easy, but keeping outdated ones will cost you in the long run. Outmoded technology can expose you to cyber-attacks and cause data loss. Moreover, installing new software on old hardware will cause compatibility issues and crashes.
Advanced equipment and technology, on the other hand, will provide you with advanced storage options, enable you to quickly gather and filter information, get real-time updates and reports, and avoid system overload while adhering to laws. Partnering with IT firms like a Dell authorized reseller can be the answer to your IT woes. They can put an end to your IT challenges by offering a fully integrated IT solution while supporting your digital transformation journey.
Complying With Information Regulations
Since the enactment of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the healthcare sector has become heavily regulated. The regulations don’t only affect the healthcare providers but any other party acting on their behalf as far as patient health information (PHI) is concerned.
To enable compliance in the industry, it’ll require that all healthcare organizations have an in-house compliance and security officer conversant with HIPAA laws. Alas, this is a challenge for some organizations.
If your in-house IT department isn’t highly conversant with HIPAA laws, outsource managed IT services from a tech organization that’s an accepted expert with the healthcare industry’s regulations to ensure compliance. Doing so will enable your team to concentrate on providing services to patients while leaving the tech issues for the experts to handle.
Healthcare professionals already have their plates full and getting them to sit down and learn a new application will not be easy. Getting patients on board is even more difficult.
Even though technology improves efficiency, many medical computer software applications are believed to be difficult to use. They’ve got complicated interfaces, which become frustrating for healthcare professionals and patients. This makes healthcare professionals reluctant to adopt new ways of doing things and prefer the methods and systems currently in place more. Patients, on the other hand, avoid such systems by all means.
Working with software developers during the development and research stage can help them know the sentiments of stakeholders and users. They’ll, in turn, develop applications that are easy to use when performing familiar workflows, especially now that virtual consultations and remote medical access are becoming the norm.
An easy-to-use cloud-based technological system will enable better patient engagement. They’ll have a better user experience feeding in their details, making consultations and appointments, renewing their prescriptions, and performing other tasks.
Challenge In Interoperability
Securely and effectively sharing patients’ records digitally is one of the main challenges that the healthcare system is currently facing.
Patients’ medical information is distributed across multiple locations in different systems where the individual has received healthcare services and medical care. This makes it impossible to gather a patient’s medical history to give quality treatment because one healthcare provider can’t access a patient’s medical information from another system.
- It’s said that there’s still a sizeable group of healthcare providers that use paper-based medical records and are reluctant to adopt advanced technological methods even with incentives;
- Varying health laws also hinder the exchange of patient health information across states;
- The regulations in place make it difficult for the healthcare sector to adopt technologies that enable data sharing; and
- The high costs associated with setting up systems to integrate interoperability are also a deterrent.
Learning to use technological tools integrated into your system will work for your benefit, making work easier and your team more efficient. Uniform but strict security and privacy policies across states should be implemented to make sharing of information accessible. The same should be revised frequently in line with emerging technologies.
Despite the present industry hurdles, technology is and continues to shape the healthcare sector. It’d therefore be prudent to evaluate the multiple challenges present and their impact and deal with them according to priority while seeking possible solutions.