Is ITIL important in the Healthcare field? The answer is a definitive YES. If you are considering which area of IT to enter or investigate for a career change, Healthcare may have all of the pieces that you are interested in.
ITIL is a growing area of the IT Organization throughout all verticals with or without IT as their focus. But in Healthcare, ITIL is even more vital. Everything is all about process. And in many cases, the process is far from integrated. With many medical facilities far behind the IT curve when it comes to record keeping and client communication, IT can make a dramatic impact. Of course, since Healthcare is an industry that is highly regulated, HIPAA and more, where privacy is a chief concern, implementation of an ITIL-based framework for IT is critical.
After reading a recent post by Ben Thomas in TechRepublic, Why you should be working in health IT, I was encouraged to share an overview of his post. 3 Reasons to join Healthcare IT
1. Doctors Need Answers
With the governmental focus on IT in the Healthcare industry, there is incredible career opportunity. In the 2009, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the U.S. government passed the HITECH Act, creating incentives for doctors, hospitals and more to adopt electronic health records or EHR.
These programs and others have gotten a lot of attention in the past and are still driving IT change in the Healthcare industry.
"There is a huge push to store and secure electronic medical records for everyone who's utilizing the health care system," says Dale Lineberry, sourcing program manager at McKesson Health Care Information Technology. "It's not just about government regulations, though, but also about a recognized need to provide better and more efficient care and adapt to new payment models resulting from health reform."
2. Systems Need Upgrades
To say that some of the systems, networks... don't communicate well with each other, between the doctor, the lab, the pharmacy, the hospital... is an understatement.
Healthcare IT advocates across the country are still working to combat "things like errors due to poor penmanship, which cause thousands of deaths each year," says Lauren Burris, associate director of Human Resources at the healthcare software company Practice Fusion.
And as with all things IT, change and release management are critical to a successful implementation. Making changes in one system can easily impact another. Does the new EHR implementation impact the interface with the pharmacy, doctor's office or hospital? When everything needs to work together any change needs to be managed - ITIL is all about IT process management. Which leads to Ben Thomas' third reason to consider a career in Healthcare IT.
3. Interfaces Need Improvement
Improved connectivity and compatibility are back-end problems, but many of these same pieces of management and tracking software also involve outdated front-end interfaces. In order for doctors, nurses and lab technicians to enjoy the benefits of electronic record-keeping, they'll need user interfaces that are clean, fast and intuitive - as well as teams of knowledgeable support staff to walk their health care experts through the initial stages of adoption.
Those are just 3 key reasons to consider IT healthcare as your next frontier. If you are in Healthcare IT and have a convincing recruitment reason, please share with the readers of The ITSM Lens today.