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3 Healthcare IT trends to watch this year

It’s easy to see how the relationship between technology and healthcare can benefit providers and patients in theory. But, it’s much harder for healthcare leaders to determine the most effective use of technology. Between the various tools and applications available and ever-changing healthcare IT trends, healthcare leaders are constantly having to adapt.

They must have a deep working knowledge of their organization’s biggest challenges and the technical understanding to recognize the best solution. They need to stay ahead of industry trends and local competitors and part of that means being the first to adopt new technologies and processes. Sometimes, it also means catching up to where the market currently is.

Whether you’re getting ahead or gaining ground in your market, here are three healthcare IT trends you can’t ignore.

1. Electronic Health Record (EHR) optimization

Healthcare professionals across many disciplines anticipated that EHRs would significantly improve their daily workflows, financial performance and more. While there have been some good results of using EHRs, 40% of providers have seen more challenges than benefits.

Key challenges to note are:

  • Data silos
  • Increased weekly hours worked
  • Lowered professional satisfaction
  • Difficulty sharing information across teams/organizations
  • Lack of financial integration

Now is the time to address these issues. You may start to compile siloed data or invest more in training the staff who regularly work with EHRs. Or, you can transform their workflow to be faster and more accurate.

The concept of storing patient data and sharing this data across teams isn’t exclusive to EHRs. It can be done with various advanced healthcare applications created to simplify eligibility verification, claims management and/or generate predictive analytics. Instead of settling for EHRs as they are, try finding better ways to operate with the help of advanced applications.

2. Cloud migration

As you’re investing more and more into healthcare IT, consider the support you’ll need. No form of technology is perfect. Even the most advanced tools will have glitches, and they’ll need updates and regular monitoring to run smoothly. This can either be the responsibility of an internal tech support team, or it can be taken care of for you off-site.

When you invest in cloud storage, you also invest in a highly-experienced team of IT professionals who know how to best protect and manage your data. This gives you the functionality you need without the expense of maintaining technology on your own. You can enjoy a simple, stress-free cloud interface without worrying about what’s happening on the backend.

3. Manual task automation

This is arguably the most important of all healthcare IT trends on the list. Manual tasks are slow, they increase the risk of making mistakes and they often hinder staff engagement and patient satisfaction. It’s time to support your staff’s efforts by automating some of their tasks.

You may choose to automate anything fromeligibility verificationto infection monitoring or staff scheduling. There are various ways to turn a manual process into a simple, efficient workflow all you have to do is identify the biggest areas of opportunity within your organization. The sooner you do this, the more you’ll be able to truly tap into the talent on your team. When staff members spend less time on manual tasks, they create better results as they work together and interact with patients.

Healthcare IT trends will continue to come and go. What works today may not necessarily be the best way of doing things tomorrow, but you need to make sure you’re operating as efficiently as possible. If you’re not caught up with the trends on this list, get to work right away. If you have adjusted to these shifts, don’t settle. Keep looking for ways to further enhance your organization’s performance.

About the author

Karly Rowe, Senior Vice President, Product Management