The right health IT investments to fuel hospital strategy: 4 key points

There is no shortage of health IT and data management platforms available for hospitals and health systems. But what is the right investment?

At the 5th Annual Health IT + Revenue Cycle Conference in Chicago, Jake Dorst, CIO and chief innovation officer of Tahoe Forest Hospital District in Truckee, Calif.; Nick Ragone, senior vice president and chief marketing and communications officer of Ascension in St. Louis; Bonnie Phipps, board member of Thorek Medical Center in Chicago; and Samuel Ross, health informatics facilitator for the Center for Health Information Partnerships at Northwestern University in Chicago participated in a panel titled "Determining where to Invest for IT in Your Organization's Strategic Plans and Goals."

The panel was held on Oct. 11 and moderated by Brian Silverstein, MD, Director at The Chartis Group.

Four key takeaways include:

1. It's important to invest in technology and software that will make life easier for the clinicians and frontline staff when possible. People often don't like change, but those who are more engaged in the selection process and have good upfront training tend to be more satisfied users than those who aren't engaged. Including the right people in vendor selection can also ensure you don't invest in something that won't link up with existing platforms and data management systems at your organization.

2. Interoperability is still a challenge within many organizations; there are many platforms that promise to integrate data and make your system interoperable. Hospitals and health systems are looking for ways to link financial, clinical and human resources data together.

3. During the selection process, make sure you have the financial resources to purchase the technology and support it after your initial purchase. This includes hiring the right staff and investing in training. The software can be really good, but the little things that go wrong can drive clinicians crazy if they aren't fixed in a timely manner.

4. It's important to invest in the right security and data loss prevention plan in addition to the actual platform. Be sure to upgrade the computers and machines that run your software and data management platforms to avoid preventable ransomware attacks. Small hospitals or systems can outsource CISO responsibilities if necessary. Some organizations are also purchasing Bitcoin to prepare for potential attacks.

Don't miss the Becker's 3rd Annual Health IT + Clinical Leadership + Pharmacy event in Chicago, May 19-21, 2020. Click here to learn more and register.

More articles on healthcare:
Avoid the bright, shiny objects in health IT: How hospitals can eliminate distractions to strategy
How Penn Medicine is analyzing data to improve patient experience
Partnerships between IT and revenue cycle will define the future of healthcare: 3 things to know

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