Healthcare providers continue to find themselves with more initiatives and opportunities for innovation than actual capital to deploy to IT projects. Health IT projects have become more integrated with clinical and business areas, which is driving more complexity and alignment than ever before. 2020 will bring a continue focused on the following trends and one growing concern:
Defining and rightsizing AI for your organization. Additionally, organizations will begin and expand the ethical debate as to how broadly to use AI within their organizations. RPA/robotics will continue to expand, followed by deeper machine learning opportunities.
Big data and advanced analytics will continue to be a strong focus as clinical and business users seek the right data at the right time to help make the best decisions possible.
Back office and shared service technology means many organizations have not modernized their ERP platforms in 15 or 20 years. Organizations have gone through numerous transitions, mergers, consolidations, etc., with no core technology changes. Healthcare organizations now have the ability to adopt and deploy next-generation and cloud-based ERP solutions. After spending five to eight years deploying EMR/RCM solutions, organizations now need to focus on ERP modernizations and enterprise data standardization.
Data interoperability will continue to be at the heart of clinical care and enhancing healthcare operations. No one vendor can offer all the necessary functionality needed for healthcare providers; as such, organizations need to spend the necessary time and investment in not only deploying leading clinical, revenue cycle, and ERP solutions, but also an enterprise data interoperability platform. Point-to-point interfaces must be phased out in order to manage the complex enterprise multi-cloud ecosystems that all healthcare providers find themselves living in today with an enterprise data interoperability platform. These platforms offer APIs to help reduce development / connection time, but they don’t always lessen the complexity of business.
With the continued trend toward cloud and hybrid cloud environments, cybersecurity needs to be front and center in all conversations. Organizations need to continue to invest in the development of the correct skills and partnerships to effectively manage cybersecurity in 2020 and beyond.
Health IT resourcing will continue to be in a short supply. The IT resources of 2020 and beyond are not your traditional database administrators or network engineers – they need to have project management skills, business / clinical skills, the ability to manage third parties and actual knowledge of the applications and tools the business uses. Health IT resources need to transform into health IT partners, helping the operations transform by supporting technology enablement.
Jordan Pisarcik, vice president of account management and business development, DocASAP
Providers and health systems will look to more unified, omnichannel solutions to close gaps in care. Health systems will invest in tools and technologies used to streamline the patient journey, including elastic provider search, navigating patients to the right care setting and engaging with patients between visits.
Gone are the days of the adversarial position between payers and providers, replaced now by integrated “payviders.” Through collaboration, “payviders” are expected to reduce financial risk, increase profitability and provide higher quality medical care to patients. Payers also represent a digital channel for providers to improve access to care that can help them meet these objectives.
Health systems will continue to see an increased demand for non-traditional visit types, such as telehealth/virtual appointments, walk-ins, home visits and phone appointments.
In 2019, voice search dominated the news as a major trend; however, consumers won’t see mass adoption of this new technology quite as quickly as anticipated. Still, healthcare systems are working to utilize this new medium as a way to close gaps in care.
Sean Price, EMEA industry solutions director (public sector and healthcare), Qlik
There has been a shift in focus from a traditional use of data and analytics where it has been used for compliance and performance, to a use where operational users are driving decision making and better outcomes at the point of service. The Analytically Powered Command Centre is a great example of this. Healthcare organizations will look to maximize the value of their data by bringing patient flow information into a near real-time environment command center to efficiently manage the end to end process of patient safety, experience and cost. This will enable strategic and tactical management of demand, resource and capability that can lead to process improvement, improved outcomes and notable efficiency savings.
However, moving data to the point of operational front-lines does challenge traditional support and continuity for these systems. Traditionally they would not require 24/7 support – this shift moves big data systems into a new support and maintenance style model.
As more data and insight is being provided to staff, there is the topic of data literacy. A key trend this year will show when you skill up staff in analytics it provides better outcomes and realizes significant productivity gains. Sometimes data literacy is channeled towards just using a system, rather than understanding statistical significance in data. Arguing with data means you present a case with data, and this requires an understanding of significance and goes way beyond system training.
By Dan Potter, vice president of product marketing, Attunity, a division of Qlik.
Data is the lifeblood of every hospital and healthcare organization. Without it, doctors can’t access updated patient records for proper treatment; billing departments are unable to correctly process insurance claims; and research teams are limited in their ability to uncover new findings. Today there are issues with both data availability and access to the right information, for all users in a governed HIPAA compliant structure, that keeps healthcare organizations from effectively scaling the use of data to impact lives.
Data analytics is often discussed as a key element because of its potential to uncover insights that improve operations while also increasing care quality and efficiency. In today’s world of tight budgets and rising costs, its essential that organizations maximize staff time allocated to care and minimize costs. However, even if a hospital provides access to all its data, a lack of data literacy – an individual’s knowledge on how to use and analyze data – could limit data’s effectiveness towards improving care and operations.
Healthcare organizations must find a data cure that will address both data challenges: access to and use of information. The emerging methodology known as DataOps addresses both issues.
DataOps is a new approach to agile data integration that looks at the challenge from a holistic perspective of people, process and technology. It focuses on improved collaboration and automation of data flows across an organization. When done correctly, it results in an overall data set of processes that help the organization manage and use their data in real time to transform patience care and experience.
Fighting the Data Access Challenge
As the amount of data increases daily, one of the biggest issues is how to capture and manage it all efficiently. For healthcare this includes allowing appropriate real time access for all users to that data for analytics – while keeping it protected in accordance with HIPAA. One of the first steps is implementing modern data architectures that can handle the growing data volume. Open architectures based on hybrid and multi-cloud provide the greatest efficiency along with agility to improve patient care and increase operational efficiencies.
In this series, we are featuring some of the thousands of vendors who will be participating in the HIMSS15 conference and trade show. Through it, we hope to offer readers a closer look at some of the solution providers who will either be in attendance – with a booth showcasing and displaying key products and offerings – or that will have a presence of some kind at the show – key executives in attendance or presenting, for example.
Hopefully this series will give you a bit more useful information about the companies that help make this event, and the industry as a whole, so exciting.
Qlik delivers solutions that bring the best out of the people that use them, tools that work at their speed and across their teams. Thus, Qlik sets out to build a new breed of visual analytics and data discovery solutions that are naturally intuitive, that don’t place artificial limitations on what can be analyzed but instead encourage freeform analysis, and that can be readily embraced across the organization. Simply put, our focus is to bring insights and clarity right to where they deliver the most value: the point of decision.
Qlik is a leader in data discovery delivering intuitive solutions for self-service data visualization and guided analytics. Approximately 34,000 customers rely on Qlik solutions to gain meaning out of information from varied sources, exploring the hidden relationships within data that lead to insights that ignite good ideas. Of these customers, Qlik serves thousands of healthcare providers spanning hospitals, nursing and residential care facilities, and ambulatory services worldwide have overcome business intelligence challenges to unlock insights that significantly improve care.
HIMSS organizers, in preparation of its annual conference and trade show and as a way to rally attendees around several trending topics for the coming show, asked the healthcare community how it feels about several key issues. I’ve reached out to readers of this site so they can respond to what they see as the future of healthcare innovation, data security, patient engagement and big data.
Their responses follow.
Do you agree with the following thoughts? If not, why; what’s missing?
Sean Benson, vice president of innovation, clinical solutions, Wolters Kluwer Health Future innovations in health IT, big data in particular, will focus on the aggregation and transformation of patient data into actionable knowledge that can improve patient and financial outcomes. The ever-growing volume of patient data contained within disparate clinical systems continues to expand. This siloed data often forces physicians to act on fragmented and incomplete information, making it difficult to apply the latest evidence. Comprehensive solutions will normalize, codify and aggregate patient data in a cloud system and run it against clinical scenarios to create evidence-based advice that is then delivered directly to the point of care via a variety of mobile devices. This will empower physicians with patient-specific knowledge based on the latest medical evidence delivered to the point of care in a timely, appropriate manner, ultimately resulting in higher quality treatment and more complete care.
Susan Reese, MBA, RN, CPHIMS, chief nurse executive, Kronos Incorporated
Gamification — the trend of creating computer-based employee games and contests for the purpose of aligning employee productivity with the organization’s goals — is currently a popular topic with business leaders and IT. For proof, consider that Gartner recently projected that by 2015, 50 percent of all organizations will be using gamification of some kind, and that by 2016, businesses will spend a total of $2.6 billion on this technology.
With numbers like these, it is clear that that gaming is serious business and that it is here to stay. But at this point, you may be asking yourself, “Could gamification work in my healthcare environment? What potential benefits could it have?””
Today, many healthcare organizations are looking to the future and considering gamification as a way to increase employee engagement, collaboration, and productivity as well as to align their behavior with larger business goals – but they don’t know how to do it quite yet. Also, gamification can be a delicate decision, complete with advantages and risks. After all, employees’ day-to-day work responsibilities and careers are not games and can’t be trivialized. Healthcare organizations must be careful to avoid sending the wrong message to their workforce, or the whole program could backfire, or even lead to more negative consequences.
Mike Lanciloti, vice president of product management and marketing, Spectralink
In today’s digital age, healthcare IT needs to come a long way to get up to speed in innovation and connectivity. However, as we begin to see mobile play a larger role in the industry, healthcare is moving the needle on innovation as well.
The mobile revolution has picked up in healthcare for both health IT professionals and in patient care. Primary as healthcare providers find ways to utilize smartphones, mobile devices and Wi-Fi networks to improve the communication and efficiency of their workforce.
Through mobile devices, clinicians have the ability to access what they need, when they need it. Mobile devices ensure nurses and mobile staff are equipped with the right technology to promote timely, efficient and reliable communication. This not only allows healthcare professionals to perform their jobs more effectively but also helps deliver a higher quality of patient care.
The growing mobile trend does present several questions for the industry. Hospital managers are quickly learning that an influx of smartphones into the hospital setting can become a larger problem than anticipated. Not only do personal devices lack the security required for enterprise-owned devices, they pose other risks, calling into question issues surrounding encryption, authorized access and mobile security. Personal phones aren’t designed to be equipped with the same encryption capabilities as enterprise-owned mobile devices.
Once again, HIMSS is asking for perspective about the value of Health IT. The organization asked members of the social media and blogging community to respond to this very question last year for its second year celebrating National Health IT Week. It’s doing so again in preparation of #HIMSS14.
As I pointed out last year, even though it seems like a simple question, there still don’t appear to be any simple answers. There remains different answers depending on who you ask. So, again, instead of offering my lone opinion, I’ve asked a variety of folks to respond to the question, “What is the value of health IT,” based on their insight and experience serving the space.
The value of health IT lies in its ability to address three of the major, although competing, forces of change in healthcare. The need to standardize care, personalize care, and reduce costs requires the synthesis of vast amounts of data as well as dramatic changes to workflow and process. I can conceive of no way to go about pursuing these changes without technology. The old adage “you cannot improve what you cannot measure” tells us that improving health care requires us to leverage our data, turning it into knowledge and to then build the new workflows that will change the way we deliver care.
Health IT is the means for providing the best possible data at the point of care. It addresses the who, what, when and where of a patient’s care, which helps healthcare providers enhance the patient experience and deliver high-quality of care to improve health and well-being, preserve privacy and ensure security. Health IT facilitates innovation and overcomes interoperability challenges that gives providers transparency for the patient pathway to improve quality of care and minimize clinical and financial costs by eliminating duplicate patient records, incomplete medical histories, incorrect medications, clinical errors, billing mistakes, and avoidable readmissions, as well as correcting the overuse, underuse, and misuse of beneficial care. Adopting health IT is the one strategy healthcare organizations can take to enter a golden age of patient care.