When it comes to healthcare IT strategy, data security and efficiency are two of the top priorities when budgets are drawn out. Though IT teams are no strangers to tight budgets and dwindling resources, a recent survey reported by PR Newswire reveals some good news for cash-strapped teams.
According to the report, healthcare IT budgets are expected to grow at a quicker pace than almost any other sector over the next 12 months. To be more precise, 52 percent of surveyed healthcare CIOs expected budget growth over the next year compared to just 45 percent in other industries. With a little extra wiggle room, how can healthcare IT maximize spending to make the most of their budget?
Healthcare thrives on information. Be it low-level patient diagnosis to high-level bed management, the successful analysis of countless data sources is critical to the success of daily operations. For IT, this represents both an incredible challenge and a sizable opportunity to trim costs.
When it comes to data management, one of the most costly aspects is storage and processing. Inefficiencies typically arise as new systems are added and either the data itself or the systems that make it useful are duplicated. Careful planning to consolidate storage and centralize platforms to reduce unnecessary complexity will make your data easier and cheaper to manage.
Not all costs are as concrete as hardware and software. Considerable opportunity costs exist when we bolster security strategies to prevent data loss. Health IT Security describes a scenario in which a health care data breach could wind up with a cumulative price tag of $1.6 billion over the course of a five-year recovery process.
With so much ePHI tucked inside EHR, surveys and billing information, health care organizations are at a particularly high risk for cyberattack. As such, a clear and effective strategy for protecting this information at all stages of a typical workflow process is required if we hope to avoid this opportunity cost. Solutions that provide a centrally managed view of all data environments and processes can be especially helpful here.
IT Strategy and Automation
If there's a common thread to be found in cutting costs and improving data security, automation is its name. By its very nature, automation streamlines tasks that would otherwise require manual intervention on an ongoing basis. As we all know, any time you take the human element out of the picture, costs go down and efficiency goes up.
Tasks that are particularly privy to automation include network monitoring, data transfer and data protection. By implementing automation in these areas, you'll not only free up man-hours but also prevent costly data breaches with increased reliability when it comes to encryption and data security.
In the end, cutting costs by building a better IT strategy is good business regardless of the current state of your budget. By investing in technologies that make data management and security more approachable while also leveraging the streamlining effects of automation, you can free up resources to drive successful health care outcomes.