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2017’s Ultimate Challenge for Hospitals & Healthcare (Plus 7 ways to take control of your IT environment)

The fate of health insurance - what to do as a hospital (Image source: Michigan Health Lab)Undoubtedly one of the biggest challenges facing today’s Healthcare organizations is the unknown fate of insurance. Will Trump’s post-Obamacare hurt profits of hospitals? Can we continue to incur the same costs we’ve spent on medical equipment? Technology? Staff? Although this specific topic isn’t in Cloudbakers’ wheelhouse to make assumptions on, there’s a lot we can help with because of the uncertainty around it. By no means is the TrumpCare vs. Obamacare conversation eliminated from our discussion, but it more recently tends to be the catalyst that drives hospitals to plan a strategy to do more with less.

If you read up on my personal background, it wasn’t in healthcare, but I was CIO during a time when we had no choice but to do more with less. A lot of the uncertainty in the economy then has a lot of similarities to the uncertainty in hospitals now. When you can no longer rely on certain resources, you should already have a plan in place to maneuver obstacles with what you have. To counteract today’s uncertainty, you should have as much certainty in everything else you do. That’s where cloud technology gave me a stable platform on which to keep my company on the rise, when others were likely in frantic chaos.

Let’s take a look at what areas you can and should have control over.

  • You should have the most secure servers available.

Google, Microsoft, and Amazon are the biggest boys out there. Among those, Google has been the most transparent in regards to how your data is protected.

  • Your environment should (and needs to) be scalable.

How difficult is it for you, from an IT perspective, to onboard new employees? Are you paying more than you need to for internal applications to be stored on a server that can account for high seasons?

  • You shouldn’t have to worry about disaster recovery.

Do you need it? Yes. Do you need to hire the staff and purchase the hardware to upkeep? No. More and more organizations are migrating these site to the cloud, some even using a multi-cloud strategy including AWS and Google.

  • You should have audit trails.

If there is some sort of breach, you should be able to get the information you need about that breach so you don’t have to notify the entire world, instead, only those that were or could have been affected.

  • Your systems should have points of integration.

Open APIs and robust platforms are your best friend. This could be your proprietary applications interacting with each other or your collaboration system should interacting with your Electronic Health Record System. In order for this to work at all, you need a collaboration system that’s HIPAA compliant. Learn more about the second example by building your own webinar here.

  • You should be able to provide your patients with the right medical experts to consult on the right medical issues at the right time.

Telemedicine is a huge national initiative, but the biggest problem with it? Interoperability between EMRs. Due to this issue, the FHIR Interoperability Standard is key to help people interact between systems, while also saving you costs and improving healthcare and the patient experience.

  • Finally, you should be able to deploy these systems as easily as possible.

There’s no need to train your entire team on a project that they’ll most likely do once. Train them on activities that will directly affect your patients and their experience, not the system setup that can be done by certified specialists with 1,000s of these projects under their belts – change management included.

So no matter the outcome of TrumpCare or any future policy that’s out of your own control, focus on designing the best environment with what you can control. You’ll be seen as a hero despite the obstacles, and maybe even get a chance to do the wishlist initiatives that have been drowned on a list of to-do’s.

Mitch Greenwald | CloudbakersMitch Greenwald is Founder & CEO of Cloudbakers. As former CIO for a mid-market company, Mitch continues to carry his exceptional knowledge of IT strategy with him, helping clients strategize their cloud solution. Connect with Mitch on Linkedin.

Bonus Controls: DLP. Data Loss Prevention is important to make sure information doesn’t leak out of your environment. Cloudbakers covers DLP and numerous other top security topics in the Security Webinar Series. Check out the on-demand recordings here.


Originally published on June 08, 2017

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