Digital Innovation is Reshaping the Healthcare Software
02 August 202221 July 2022 | Software
Healthcare Software. Why it’s Vital to Anticipate
Healthcare organizations know it better than no one else: it’s better to prevent a problem than to fix it. This remains true when we talk about the approaches of integrating information technology in the healthcare field. The need for digitalization has intensified in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, and the healthcare software landscape is now transforming faster than ever before. Electronic medical records (EHRs), hospital management software, medical imaging software, telemedicine software, and medical coding software are becoming the norm. Technology is changing the traditional approach to operations and data management and brings the promise of better medical services with a positive impact on patient experience. Opportunity abounds. And so does the risk.
We saw how many national healthcare systems were challenged to the core in the past years. And maybe it was something already obvious, but the recent health crisis made us realise consciously that when everything moves fast, it’s mandatory to be prepared. Besides lacking the much-needed qualified personnel, many hospitals around the USA, Europe, and beyond struggled to function at the required capacity because of their outdated, heavy, or underperforming healthcare software systems.
While implementing or upgrading these systems is clearly the route to added value in healthcare, it is also associated with substantial risks. These need to be identified and managed before they unfold. Only by having reliable technology systems can healthcare providers manage their hospitals, practices, and clinical processes efficiently.
If the Healthcare Software System Crashes, Nothing Else Works
Technology is upon us, there’s no other choice for organizations if they are to realize the greater good of their patients. Healthcare providers need to keep up. And not only that. They have to be ahead of time. The medical solutions offered by healthcare system providers are expected to meet the needs of their healthcare clients, and they need to do it faster and better than ever before. Professionalism in the healthcare IT sector is not just about practitioners’ expertise. The need for using collaborative tools for recording and exchanging critical patient data is real.
Executives of medical facilities who are in charge of the financial sustainability of their organization are now under pressure to adopt performing innovative systems to attain the goal. The software they chose to manage their activity, from medicine stocks to room allocation, bookings, personal files or anything else needs to perform flawlessly. Healthcare software applications need to be upgraded and prepared for anything that might happen. Because either it’s a pandemic, another unexpected event or just the natural rhythm of things, technology cannot afford the luxury of failing.
Moreover, organizations need to gain the internal acceptance of practitioners, or the benefits of using information technology in healthcare may not be realized. Healthcare professionals need at their turn to assist the implementation, utilization, and optimization of the system. Or, care providers deal with human life 24 hours a day, always under tight deadlines, with patients waiting for them just the next door. Hence, they need fast, intuitive, highly performing IT systems that allow them to focus on the medical practices while making use of automated processes of keeping history for patient records and progress at a high level of accuracy.
And if you, as a healthcare provider, deliver a system that’s outdated or underperforming, it’s not just that particular system that crashes. Everything else can go down with it, including the quality of care.
Software Interventions in Healthcare Industry
High-quality healthcare software systems are difficult to provide, but they bring order and hope. From enabling care coordination, patient engagement, and widespread information among different doctors or clinics, medical software is responsible for delivering more efficient patient care. More human.
We’ve recently witnessed a historical time for medical technological disruptions and these are expected to continue impacting the future. In such a context, building patient-centric future scenarios becomes a matter of partnership among technology providers and medical sectors.
While care providers maintain a primary focus on practicing the art of medicine with the best possible tools, tech partners bring the technology perspective and new tools into the equation to improve the value of care and patient outcomes as a result. Most healthcare organizations still need to catch the wave of digitalization, while others are far on the journey, potentially dealing with technical debt or with the necessity to upgrade a pre-existing tech environment. Most advanced might plan to migrate complex systems to the cloud, or shift from outdated to next-gen technologies, such as automation, machine learning, or AI. The spectrum of software needs in healthcare can be vast. But so is the range of software solutions tech partners can develop to bring the medical industry to the forefront of innovation, aligning it with patients’ needs and advancing R&D trials. This will also help them adopt a culture of agility.
Healthcare Software Implementation Risk Response
Risk associated with implementing information technology in healthcare can take many forms. And so does the risk response. From project scoping to choosing the right tech stack, from developing the project plan to getting a high-quality application, from gaining board commitment to getting user acceptance, can all be sources of risk and equally of opportunity if managed well.
Risk awareness is good and must be built into any healthcare software project plan. Also, it can be shared or transferred to external health tech partners which have experience with the entire risk corollary associated with healthcare IT product delivery. Through experience and refinement, tech providers come with defined systematic approaches to anticipate unknown events, prioritize known conditions, and address them. The approach may include some of the following tactics:
- Help the organization gain internal executive sponsorship and commitment by formulating the business case with realistic objectives and the associated product roadmap
- Assess the maturity and vulnerability of pre-existing technical environment and resources;
- Document features and functions and write detailed technical specifications for the system to be developed.
- Assist in selecting the right architectural approach and technology stack to ensure system stability, minimize dependencies or avoid major upgrades in a few semesters;
- Provide accurate estimates for the defined product life cycle scope to gain awareness of the total cost of the project before advancing to the development stage;
- Set a milestone tracking system that provides transparency, priorities and progress overview in required client forums;
- Provide stakeholders’ education on tech aspects to support tech adoption;
- Scale up in accordance with the client’s needs by providing integrated product delivery teams that accelerate software development and time-to-market;
- Define a plan for software management, including maintenance, troubleshooting, upgrades, and optimizations;
- Provide technical project management expertise to assist along the projects’ life-cycle implementation;
- Combine tech savviness with experience in highly regulated environments, such as healthcare, to bring insights that add value to the project;
- Help develop a PoC and an MVP if needed to test and validate an idea before spending the budget on it.
Expect the Unexpected
The future knocks at the door of the medical industry. It’s the best of times to upgrade and bring up-to-date medical systems that bring the promise of patient-centric care closer to reality.
Becoming a learning organization that embraces technological innovation, agility, and risk management is the route to better patient outcomes and medical organizational sustainability.
Expect the Unexpected. Get in touch with us.Fortech