By Jonathan Langer, co-founder and CEO, Medigate.
Heading into the backend of 2020, we’re witnessing radical change at each level of the healthcare system. Beyond the dedicated amount of care and attention given to each coronavirus-positive patient, tight budgets and limited resources create new challenges each day.
From the frontline caregivers to CTOs to vendor partners, COVID-19 has forced all parties to reevaluate how to best strategize and deliver world-leading treatments in the face of a global pandemic – not an easy task.
When reflecting on lessons learned from the pandemic (and looking forward) – a major priority that stands out is the need to better organize and unite the different departments, or “personas”, existing in the hospital, namely the C-suite, biomed / clinical engineering and IT.
While these departments are often forced to collaborate by crises, too often does the segmented nature of the health system result in siloed operations, i.e. ones where the departments rarely interact with each other. Each of these departments have their own specific requirements and objectives and, if there is an overlap, then there can be a struggle over whose priority is more essential.
While this hierarchy worked in pre-COVID times, it’s now clear that the challenges of the new healthcare system are too complex and urgent to tackle in a piecemeal fashion. Instead, we must bring together the separate departments and arm them with the technology, data and insights to make joint decisions – whether this is relocating critical medical devices to patients in need, shoring up cybersecurity attack surfaces, or completing asset procurement orders based on urgent demand.
Bridging the Departments
When looking at the responsibilities of the different “personas” in the hospital, it is fairly easy to see why silos occur. At the top, the C-suite is focused on high-level operations and business imperatives, which makes it difficult to gain a granular view of what’s most needed by the different departments. In comparison, the biomed or clinical engineering teams are operating on the ground level and tasked with maintaining all the equipment or services in the hospital – a task made exceedingly difficult by the explosion of medical and IoT devices on a hospital’s network.
IT’s role intersects with all the aforementioned areas – leveraging the C-suite to obtain the funds and approval to advance operating systems needed to keep the hospital on the cutting-edge of medical innovation, as well as collaborating with the biomed team to coordinate security procedures across all the equipment they must maintain.