Hospitals typically have lean IT staffs tasked with supporting hundreds of employees across multiple departments using dozens of different applications from many different software vendors. Each of these applications routinely requires remote access for maintenance, patches, troubleshooting and software upgrades. In addition to supporting the ongoing operation of the hospital, IT staffs must manage these activities without compromising hospital IT security.
I think it’s fair to say the nation’s healthcare organizations are under increasing pressure to cut costs and work more efficiently. But, equipment and software management consume large amounts of time and resources. IT team members can spend an inordinate amount of time maintaining networks and servers and managing updates, patches and break-fix issues for end users. According to Forrester, 75 percent of a typical IT budget is spent on simply maintaining existing IT operations, which most of the time results in highly fragmented IT environments.
Hospitals are embracing “Bring Your Own Device” initiatives, but with varying levels of access to data and applications. The proliferation of network-connected mobile end user devices providing access to applications across all departments of a hospital is a trend that’s here to stay. Attempting to manage and control security on these multiple user devices, running a range of operating systems and security protocols increases complexity, introduces more risk, and results in even higher costs for healthcare IT departments.
When healthcare organizations automate existing IT systems, the benefits realized range from reduced downtime and increased productivity to cost reductions and improved user satisfaction. These benefits just aren’t attainable with a manual healthcare IT management strategy that requires dealing with patches, security issues and software upgrades on a one-off basis. By leveraging computer automation platforms, healthcare organizations can establish clear IT policies and exceptions and sleep well knowing that those rules will always be followed… automatically.
Many healthcare organizations are currently working to improve patient care by reducing reliance on paper records. Digitizing paper records can streamline IT management healthcare services while reducing the possibility of human error caused by handwriting or clerical mistakes. But then system availability becomes even more crucial to the ongoing operations of a digitized healthcare facility.
It’s no secret that healthcare professionals are relying on IT to provide quality, timely care for patients more than ever before. Doctors and nurses access patient information on desktop devices and mobile tablets. Technicians share medical images with physicians in real time. Pharmacists cross-check allergies and dosage information before they fill a prescription. Healthcare IT management software on thousands of devices distributed across a hospital campus must be kept up to date to maintain compliance and ensure consistency.