What is not Working in Healthcare?
In the last two decades, healthcare information technology has completely revolutionized the management and delivery of health services. Virtually every physician’s clinic and hospital department possess devices and software. There has been a tremendous success in healthcare information technology but some things have failed in healthcare IT. This article brings to you a list of what’s not working in healthcare IT.
Healthcare Data Breaches
As of now, the biggest challenge to healthcare organizations and hospitals is healthcare data security breaches. Healthcare data can fetch ten times more on the underground market in the form of credit card data. In 2018 alone, the Department of Health and Human Services witnessed at least 77 breaches during the first three months alone. What makes this situation even worse is that 30% of these security violations is due to improper access by healthcare workers.
Incomplete Sharing of Records
It was expected that electronic health record systems will offer a better-connected experience allowing physicians and doctors to easily share records across any distance or clinical setting. Significant progress has been made but there’s still a lot to do and EHR vendors have taken most of the blame. Instead of setting up technology to share record with competitors, Vendors prefer to sell their products to more hospitals. However, political and industry pressure is compelling vendors to open their systems to industry standard health information exchanges.
The last 10-15 years have witnessed an unprecedented implementation of electronic systems and many of these systems have entered an ‘adolescent’ phase. Technology departments have lagged behind in system optimization to enhance efficiency of placing orders and documentation. This results in an unwieldy system that cultivate a cynical attitude with providers. Some drawbacks of inefficient configuration and rushed implementation include:
- Patient experience can deteriorate if they feel like the doctor spends more time with the computer than with communication
- The learning curve can be challenging for physicians who previously dealt with paper based documentation
- Typical tasks like writing prescriptions may include too many clicks
Additionally, physicians can also experience a loss in productivity in the short to medium term after HER system implementation.
EHR Implementation Costs
These days, many health systems buy a majority of their products from single-source vendors like MEDITECH, Cerner and EPIC. This method has numerous benefits but it can result in exorbitantly priced IT projects. Even a small or medium-sized hospital can end up spending tens of millions of dollars on house-wide projects. Additionally, large implementations can cost billions. To recover IT project costs, some hospitals issue bonds and lay off staff.