8 trends in hospital IT support, according to Black Book

​Healthcare organizations are beginning to redesign how they approach IT support, according to a recently released Black Book poll.

For its report on health IT support, market research firm Black Book polled more than 4,400 users across a five-month span.

Here are eight emerging trends reshaping IT support at healthcare organizations, as highlighted by Black Book and listed in alphabetical order:

1. Artificial intelligence and automation: Just 3 percent of healthcare providers and 5 percent of payers responding to the Black Book survey have launched automated client service strategies, despite AI and automation technologies capturing headlines in 2018.

2. Big data: Healthcare organizations will have to invest in new hardware and network capacity to make sense of the large amounts of data available, as well as hire people with the right skills to draw insights from this information.

3. Blockchain: As healthcare industry players gain more experience with the technology, new innovations will focus on developing blockchain tools that "can be seamlessly integrated with organizations' IT systems to jointly drive the tech support ecosystem," the report states.

4. Client experience: The majority of CIOs — 88 percent — said they are beginning to re-imagine the role of the support organization in response to technology becoming more critical to patient experience.

5. Cybersecurity: As organizations increasingly adopt internet-connected tools involving the cloud and mobile devices, they must revamp and bolster their approaches to cybersecurity. "Protective measures, systems, policies and protocols must be put into place to prevent unauthorized access at multiple points of entry," the report states.

6. EHR tech support: Over half of hospital respondents — 60 percent — said their EHR tech support is currently falling short of expectations. Hospital technology managers prefer that their EHR vendor provide tech support, rather than outsource support to a third party.   

7. Internet of medical things: The onslaught of connected devices creates the need for a secured, central monitoring station manned with experts that specialize in and research better ways to manage these devices.

8. Patient care enhancements: Eighty-eight percent of clinicians told Black Book patient care delivery is continually impeded by subpar tech support. Ninety percent of CMOs surveyed said multilevel tech support from their EHR vendor will be a top differentiator for their EHR purchasing decisions in 2019.

The vendors that scored highest in Black Book's report on technical support were Cerner, Allscripts and Meditech. The majority of respondents on Epic EHRs — 84 percent — attributed tech support to third party outsourcers, consultants and independent firms.

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