Healthcare News & Insights

Beyond EHRs: The future of health IT

New technologies are always popping up in the healthcare industry to improve care and streamline processes. Health IT is a growing field that your hospital will want to pay attention to, beyond the basics like electronic health record systems (EHRs) and telehealth. 

Investing time and resources into health IT can put your organization at the forefront of the industry and ensure you’re prepared for any situation, but you must make the effort to build proper infrastructure.

To lay the right groundwork, it’s essential to know where health IT innovations are heading and what you can do now to make sure your facility is looking toward the future.

Health IT trends

Healthcare IT News presented its state of the industry report in honor of National Health IT Week that looks at key trends within the industry.

Those trends include:

  1. Improvements to EHRs. Most hospitals have EHRs – but not all of them are as efficient as they could be. Many facilities have multiple vendors for different parts of the system, which makes it difficult to troubleshoot or improve interoperability. Try looking into vendors that offer all-in-one devices or services to cut down on the confusion.
  2. Telehealth. Like EHRs, telehealth processes and equipment are being used at most organizations. But they also have a range of vendors that can complicate care delivery. Too many vendors can slow down the efficiency of your health IT infrastructure and often depletes resources unnecessarily. Working to streamline your telehealth providers is one way to improve patient care.
  3. Precision medicine adoption. It’s much less common than telemedicine or EHRs, but precision medicine is slowly working its way up in some sectors of the industry. Precision medicine tailors patient treatments to their personal genetic makeup based on testing. Because precision medicine programs require significant up front investment and more advanced technology, hospitals have been slower to adopt them. Look into whether your hospital could benefit from precision medicine and talk to your IT department to find out how it could be implemented.
  4. Security. Data breaches are a healthcare system’s worst nightmare, and they likely won’t be decreasing anytime soon. The healthcare industry is a major target for attacks, so it’s important to spend the time and money beefing up your cybersecurity to protect patient information and ensure your hospital isn’t left vulnerable.
  5. Cloud computing. As more facilities move their data to the cloud (often as a way to improve security), new hazards arise. If your hospital is using cloud computing, you can save significant money on IT costs – but you’ll want to make sure info remains safe and accessible.

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