Healthcare organizations are in a state of catching up from a clinical standpoint, determining how to collect the right clinical data, analyze, then display and leverage the data that makes the information actionable between clinicians and patients. A shared effort among providers, IT vendors, and regulatory bodies is required for improvement.
This year National Health IT (NHIT) Week will take place on October 2-6, 2017. NHIT is organized by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and 2017 marks the event’s 12th year. NHIT Week helps increase awareness of the important role IT plays in the healthcare industry. It is a celebration of new possibilities in health brought by technology.
The adoption of information technology decreases errors, improves service delivery, increases safety, and equips patients with tools that enhance their interaction with healthcare providers. IT has become a key driver of healthcare reform. For example, the compliance requirements of HIPAA would be difficult to realize without enterprise-wide adoption of health information technology.
NHIT Week will focus on four areas this year:
- Transforming healthcare. The numerous ways IT is powering transformation in healthcare including improving safety and quality, advancing innovation, interoperability, patient activation and engagement.
- Bringing high quality healthcare to more people. Using new techniques such as telehealth to expand access to quality care.
- The role of health IT in economic growth. The importance of new tools and a diverse, highly skilled IT workforce in economic growth.
- Supporting public health. How IT supports public health and improves quality of life.
Specific Points for Discussion
The NHIT Week website has a comprehensive list of scheduled events, but some of the more specific subject areas to be touched on in forum and webinar discussions include:
Mobile Healthcare Apps. Apps simplify how clinicians and patients track sleep, exercise, and diet. They proactively promote wellness as opposed to reacting to illness. Apps that will see widespread adoption are characterized by personalization and real-time observation.
Big Data. Healthcare providers are increasingly expected to facilitate clinicians’ access to big data and analytics tools without compromising the security of patient data. The billions of devices that form the Internet of Things call for ever greater vigilance on patient privacy.
Enterprise Risk Management. Instead of treating different aspects of security infrastructure— technology, premises, staff, and management — separately, healthcare firms are moving to an integrated risk management approach. As opposed to narrowly focusing on regulatory compliance, providers are hardening internal processes to mitigate against internal and external threats.
Back Office Efficiency. The healthcare industry is focusing on internal operations to extract cost and productivity gains by leveraging cloud computing, automation, the Internet of Things, and other technical tools. The goal is efficiency through standardization.
Telehealth. Bureaucratic bottlenecks are starting to disappear as the healthcare ecosystem—providers, payers, and consumers— knowledge the multiple benefits that can be derived from telehealth. This has been made possible by the ubiquity of high-speed or low-cost Internet.
Technology Trends. Fairly recent IT trends including 3D printing, artificial intelligence, and machine learning will push healthcare into new frontiers.
Interoperability. Patient data is produced or accessed by an expanding array of devices and applications across the care continuum. Conversations are looking at how patient data is produced, shared, transmitted, and read in diverse environments while adhering to applicable laws around the protection of electronic health records.
Value. The emphasis on value means health IT firms are under increasing pressure to show the strengths of their product in meeting compliance objectives and making internal processes seamless.
IT Departments skillsets. Despite the outsourcing of technology infrastructure, in-house IT departments are still relevant as the first point of contact when systems do not work as expected. Staff should receive appropriate training on any cloud-based healthcare technologies procured. They should be equipped with the tools necessary to integrate these technologies into existing workflows.
OnRamp to Participate in Health IT Week
Just in time to celebrate National Health IT week, OnRamp launched its HITRUST-certified solutions, ideal for healthcare organizations and software providers. The company’s HITRUST certification demonstrates our commitment to providing the industry with solutions keep patients’ data safe and satisfy HIPAA’s stringent regulations. We work closely with other businesses, such as healthcare software-as-a-service to accelerate innovation and bring more value to healthcare providers—with the end goal of improving patient care. Healthcare IT is truly a shared endeavor.
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