The Top 10 Game Changers in Health IT

In the Becker's Hospital Review 5th Annual Meeting in Chicago, Marion Jenkins, PhD, executive vice president-healthcare at 3t Systems, discussed the top 10 game changers in health information technology.

According to Mr. Jenkins, the top 10 game changers are:

1. HIPAA security. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act has been around for more than 10 years, and yet HIPAA violations are still a common problem for hospitals and health systems, said Mr. Jenkins. "However, no breach has occurred within or because of electronic medical records," he added. "Nearly 80 percent of breaches occur because of user behavior outside the EMR."

2. Bring Your Own Device or BYOD. Now that nearly everyone has a mobile device, it is a natural step to bring it into the healthcare space. But the challenge lies in the fact that the numerous different platforms and operating systems exist, and this makes it hard to optimize personal mobile devices in the healthcare setting, said Mr. Jenkins.   

3. Desktop virtualization. This technology is used to consolidate desktop operating systems and other software to create centralized servers. "Virtualization can reduce the need for IT support, optimize the use of the bandwidth and support BYOD," said Mr. Jenkins.

4. Business continuity and disaster recovery. Heath IT plays a big part in both business continuity and recovery from a disaster. True BCDR is a combination of hardware, software and procedures with advanced planning and 'what if' scenarios.

5. Medical grade cloud. The cloud has been around for the last 30 years, but it has been significantly improved in the last three years. "It is important that healthcare providers understand that the cloud is not foolproof," said Mr. Jenkins. "There are right as well as wrong ways to use the cloud."

6. Technology obsolesces. According to Moore's Law technology doubles its capabilities every two years, said Mr. Jenkins. This has held true for the last 50 years, and it is important for healthcare providers to remember this as they invest in technology.

7. Patient impatience. The use of technology has now become the norm in most in most industries. Patients, too, expect a certain level of technical savvy from their healthcare providers.

8. Clinical hypermobility. According to Mr. Jenkins, clinicians need solutions that support roaming throughout the healthcare facility. "So organizations either need workstations in every room or floating desktops, which can move from room to room," he said.

9. Interoperability. "This is the holy grail of health IT, but we are not there yet," said Mr. Jenkins. "It's going to be an issue for quite a while. What we need to do is minimize the number of IT systems being used. We need to more with less."

10. Dynamic clinician workflow. Ultimately, technology needs to support and enhance clinician workflow. "To achieve effective clinician workflow, organizations need integrated IT solutions, employing multiple layers of technology."

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