The healthcare sector has been at the cutting edge of technological innovation and deployments in the past few years, while organizations in this industry have remained steely in the face of increased complexity and challenges that have been symptoms of rapidly evolving IT frameworks. In many ways, some of the more progressive and important trends in the corporate computing market, namely cloud services, have helped to ensure that medical firms can effectively manage modern service delivery needs.
IT service management in the healthcare sector is a bit more difficult to navigate than others, specifically because of the protections that are in place to defend the integrity and privacy of patient information. However, legislation has more recently taken a turn in a more comprehensive direction, meaning that healthcare providers are now tasked with also utilizing advanced technologies in a timely fashion, facing penalties for resistance to change.
For one, the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 continues to be the most important framework of compliance with respect to security, transparency and accountability of patient information management. On the other hand, the more recent Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health of 2009 demands that healthcare entities achieve meaningful use of electronic medical record systems in a timely fashion.
These trends, as well as many more, make healthcare an exciting arena to research with respect to modern IT service management and delivery.
Medical Economics recently reported that healthcare providers are facing a higher level of financial challenges in terms of general operational management and IT resource allocation today, while many of the obstacles are not necessarily directly related to service management and delivery, nor are they controllable. According to the news provider, one study from PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Health Research Institute revealed that the average operational costs in the medical arena are set to increase soon.
The analysts pointed to pharmaceutical cost increases, technology deployments and higher salaries for practitioners, among other catalysts, to be at the root of the 6.8 percent rise in operational expenditures that is expected for 2014. Notably, the source stated that PwC believed this figure is below 5 percent when looking at the savings that healthcare providers can expect from technological improvements and other reforms.
Medical Economics noted that the researchers involved in this report did seem to be optimistic for the future.
“Healthcare providers have to operate on a far more stringent set of rules.”
“At first glance, the health sector appears to be reverting to historical patterns of bouncing back as the nation recovers from the economic doldrums,” affirmed the authors, according to the source. “The improving economy demonstrates that structural changes in the health sector have taken the steam out of run-away cost inflation. The challenge for industry executives is to continue to control spending even in the face of countervailing winds such as expensive new innovations, improved consumer confidence and an aging society that requires more medical care and services.”
Making sense of it all
At the end of the day, many healthcare providers will be leveraging new technologies to simply better enable progressive operations and patient care among their workforce, so service management and delivery adjustments should be at the top of the priority list.
Whereas organizations in other industries have a bit more wiggle room when it comes to deployment procedures, security adjustments and general service delivery, healthcare providers have to operate on a far more stringent set of rules.
By leveraging innovative and advanced technologies such as ServiceNow for IT service management needs, while using the support of implementation and management providers to guide deployments, medical organizations can meet the demands of modern technology while avoiding slip ups in compliance procedures.