Every IT Organization has challenges. Of course, the highly regulated industries have added layers of concerns due to the regulatory requirements that they are subject to. Healthcare, however, may be the most challenging industry when it comes to the IT Organization.The recent efforts to drive EHR by the government are worthy of praise and at the same time cause for high anxiety. While HIPAA and HITECH have driven improved health records management, it has also made the environment a bit of the Wild, Wild West. Everyone needs to move to more effective and controlled records keeping, but finding the right systems to work together with the disparate elements of your entire environment, both inside the organization and outside such as pharmacies is a bit "wild."
If you are having trouble taking the Wild out of your IT planning, you are not alone. Change Management software can help and a great place to begin is with an ITIL-framework for your IT Service Management.
I really like the post from Michele Hudnall entitled,Business of Healthcare IT - Today and Tomorrow's Challenges. She has a list of 6 key challenges facing every healthcare IT Organization. I believe that every IT Healthcare Organization is facing most if not all of these challenges from funding to BYOD. Her list is as follows:
1. Regulatory Compliance - Data breaches of patient information is now making headlines and the fines being imposed are steep.
2. Reduced Medicare Reimbursements - Reimbursements are being reduced so as not to promote what is perceived as poor patient practices thus putting a strain on current funding.
3. Meaningful Use - Medicare/Medicaid incentives exist if organizations begin to meet the "meaningful use" requirements of Electronic Health Records (EHR). Thus a source of IT funding, but also a source of IT investment to leverage the Health Information Exchange (HIE) and EHR's.
4. Cost Reduction - Operate more efficiently and optimize current IT systems to take advantage of automation for the routine monitoring and management tasks.
5. Business Minded - Drive top line revenue and improve patient care and the experience at a time when costs must be cut, reimbursements are being cut and incentives are only paid if investments are made to meet meaningful use guidelines. This also means using technology to drive higher quality versus just operate and manage the organization.
6. Mobility & Collaboration - A younger generation is coming into the workforce with the expectation that everything is immediately accessible from their personal, mobile devices and that usually means 1 - 4 devices (e.g., phone, computer, tablet, etc.) from where ever they happen to be located at any time. Many of the people supporting and working in the organization move from facility to facility in the region and require immediate access to systems and don't want to remember many login/password combinations slowing down the process of patient care.
Do you have challenges that are beyond this list of 6 key challenges? I would like to hear about how you are taking the "Wild" out of your EHR efforts.