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The role of IT in the healthcare industry

The Role of Information Technology Services in Healthcare | October 18th, 2019

New and emerging technologies have transformed healthcare in recent years. Hospitals and physician offices large and small have implemented new technologies to respond to a changing regulatory environment and to improve the overall quality of care for patients. Today’s medical facilities are high-tech operations that put cutting-edge technologies into the hands of talented professionals. Even still, significant opportunities remain for hospitals and healthcare settings to streamline their implementation and usage of new technologies.

IT services for healthcare have never been more vital. The right IT partner can help your medical facility fully realize the extraordinary benefits of information technology in healthcare. Our IT services can help your medical facility operate with fewer errors, comply with today’s regulations, and recover quickly from unexpected disasters. Our electronic health records (EHR) systems can help your staff reliably record crucial patient health data and seamlessly share that data with other healthcare providers. Most importantly, the healthcare IT support provided here at Worldwide Services will help to improve the quality of care that patients receive from your staff.

As medical facilities across the country continue to modernize, the need for robust and responsive healthcare IT support will only increase. With Worldwide Services, your facility can find the affordable and efficient IT services you need.

The role of IT is always increasing for the healthcare industry

The Opportunities and Challenges of Healthcare IT Standards

Today’s medical facilities are built on the individual expertise of talented physicians, nurses and staff, but patients receive the best care when all these team members work together. Through legislation like the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009, Congress pushed medical facilities to modernize their IT systems, particularly regarding the use of electronic health records. These shared, detailed records allow a patient’s medical providers to act as a team and make crucial healthcare decisions based on the totality of a patient’s health record.

EHRs are now used across the medical landscape, but there are significant problems that need to be addressed for EHRs to live up to their promise. Over 85% of office-based doctors use an EHR system, but most doctors are calling for change. In a 2016 poll, 63% of doctors agree that EHRs have improved patient care, but 71% think that EHRs are a cause of physician burnout. Even worse, 69% of doctors indicated that they have less time for patients because of the time they spend writing and reading EHRs. Clearly, there’s a need for change.

The specific concerns these doctors raise highlight the value of health information technology. In the same poll, doctors called for change in the user interface of EHR systems and improved interoperability between EHR systems. A healthcare IT support partner is vital for implementing both of these changes. EHR user interfaces need to be intuitive, user-centered and easy to use, and Worldwide Services can help build such systems from the ground up. Interoperability is a larger goal that will require reliable networking and carefully constructed systems, along with cooperation of regulatory bodies and other healthcare partners. The 21st Century Cures Act, passed in 2016, charged regulatory agencies with creating standards for interoperable, usable and accessible EHRs. It won’t be enough to just have electronic records — you’ll have to be able to share and receive records from other providers, even ones outside of your system.

The new era of EHRs will bring many benefits to the medical community. For one, patients will undoubtedly benefit when they can be confident that their chosen medical providers will have immediate access to their health records, no matter where they seek treatment. However, there are many challenges that healthcare providers will face as they adjust to the new healthcare information technology standards. EHRs should be usable and available to all of a patient’s healthcare providers, and they need to be highly secure, as well. Privacy and security guidelines established by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in 1996 and since refined and expanded hold healthcare providers to a high standard.

It’s crucial to have an experienced healthcare IT provider capable of implementing services that follow the required standards. You need a professional partner that can help ensure that your EHRs are easy to record, access and share, while also private and secure.

The Role of Healthcare IT Support

At its core, healthcare information technology is all about communication — communication between devices, between team members, between patients and their medical providers, between separate medical facilities. These communication channels are enabled by carefully-selected and installed hardware solutions, and maintained with prompt and effective repair services. These components should be scalable and flexible so that your network can grow along with your facility.

Information technology’s role in communications also puts it on the frontlines of your facility’s security team. Healthcare IT standards, patient privacy rights and patient well-being all require a trustworthy, secure network that is transparent and easy for your staff to use but opaque and secure against unauthorized users. A healthcare IT services provider can help your facility initiate best practices for network security. Today’s patients expect their data to be secure, and we can help establish your reputation as a trustworthy steward of patient data.

IT is important for communication in healthcare

Information technology also plays a crucial role in ensuring the efficient operation of your facility. Research indicates that new healthcare technologies are only effective when they are designed with ergonomics and human factors in mind, when they have a robust interface with the patient and the environment and when appropriate implementation and maintenance plans are established from the beginning. IT services contribute fundamentally to all of these steps. When health information technology is properly integrated into a facility, users aren’t slowed down by awkward interfaces or unnecessary roadblocks. The systems just work.

The Benefits of a Healthcare IT Provider

EHRs are central to today’s discussions about the integration of health information technology into healthcare because IT services connect and support almost every function of a medical facility. Worldwide Services helps healthcare providers with staff management, ensuring that they are always staffing their facilities with people trained with the necessary skills and competencies. We help providers implement cutting-edge technologies like hybrid operating rooms, which use the latest assistive technologies to empower the next generation of surgery. We help facilities integrate recorded video into EHRs, patient visits and operations.

There are many exciting healthcare technologies on the horizon, and we’re always looking for opportunities to help facilities make these technologies a valued part of their practice.

The installation of new technologies is just one reason why medical facilities value our services. What are the other benefits of working with a healthcare IT provider?

  • Quality of care: Technology plays a vital role in today’s medical facility, but your staff needs to focus on patients. Well-designed and reliable technology frees up the time and attention of your staff, enabling them to focus on patient care. Furthermore, a robust network allows your facility to implement powerful new tech, like the latest monitoring devices.
  • Accuracy: Errors are inevitable when hardware and software aren’t designed with the needs of end users in mind. Our technology can help ensure that your team members are more successful as they input and verify codes, leading to fewer medical errors. Reduced errors means reduced costs — and better patient outcomes.
  • Security and privacy: Network security is crucial for any healthcare provider. It’s not merely a matter of meeting regulatory requirements, but of protecting your investments into equipment and ensuring the privacy of patient health care records. Data security is a vital component of your credibility and reputation.
  • Reduced costs: The right healthcare IT provider can save you money on the purchase of telecom and wireless networking products, give you a competitive advantage in your marketplace and save you money as you implement new technologies. Information technology can help your facility operate more efficiently in many ways, from automating repetitive tasks and managing a large staff to quickly putting the right information in front of the people who need it.
  • Seamless collaboration: When your network is working as it should, your staff always have access to the information they need to provide the best possible care for patients. Teams can only operate as teams when they can effectively communicate, and information technology makes that possible.
  • Disaster recovery: Your patient’s medical records and billing information is too important to be lost due to a power outage or a failing hard drive. Worldwide Services can implement technologies that will ensure speedy recovery of your systems and your data in the event of a disaster or emergency.

One of the most important benefits of partnering with a managed IT services provider is flexibility for the future. Years ago, few could have predicted the ways that modern technology would transform the healthcare community, and few can predict right now how future technologies will continue to disrupt and revolutionize the field. Healthcare IT support can address your needs today and help you develop future competitive advantages with carefully-selected hardware and forward-thinking strategic planning.

The benefits of working with a healthcare IT provider

Put It All Together With Managed Network Services

The foundation of IT services for healthcare is a robust and flexible healthcare network solution. Our managed IT services will allow your facility to meet today’s requirements while preparing for tomorrow’s opportunities — and save money along the way.

Scalable network solutions have helped healthcare providers of all sizes implement new technologies into their facilities. Network infrastructure provides the channels through which end users and devices communicate and coordinate. Electronic health records, electronic billing, and comprehensive staff management systems don’t function without a reliable network. Slow or unreliable networks cause delays, miscommunication and errors, all problems that are unacceptable in the healthcare environment.

Our healthcare IT support services provide the initial setup of vital networking equipment, plus responsive and effective service for incidental hardware repairs. Our HIPAA-certified security professionals and repair experts quickly resolve repair issues and bring your systems back to full operation. Even further, we’re well-positioned to help with disaster recovery and loss prevention. The effective operation of your facility depends on your network. Our solutions will keep your data backed-up, private, and secure, even when the unexpected happens.

Partner With Worldwide Services

Between new regulations, changing patient expectations and transformative new technologies, healthcare — and the role of information technology in healthcare — is rapidly evolving. As medical providers implement technologies to respond to new regulations and standards, they are finding that an efficient and secure IT services are crucial for their success.

Integrating health information technology isn’t just a means of meeting new legal requirements, though. Facilities that embrace information technology services are finding that they are more competitive in their markets. They’re operating on leaner budgets, doing more with less. They’re using the time of their staff more efficiently, leading to more positive patient outcomes and fewer errors. They’re uncovering opportunities for data-driven, collaborative processes.

The future is always uncertain, but a partnership with healthcare IT services will help you meet today’s needs while establishing a framework for tomorrow.

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