These challenges show up in virtually all sizes of hospitals. Stats obtained from HealthIT.gov show that over 90 percent of large, mid-sized, and small hospitals in the U.S. are making meaningful use of certified health IT. As a result, the pressure is on health IT managers, and it’s likely to continue. That’s why we’ll be looking briefly at the most nagging health IT challenges and how to overcome them.
1. Rising Security Risks and Attacks
Attacks on healthcare databases are on the rise. A report from Protenus Breach Barometer shows that over 41.4 million patient records were breached as hacking activities increased in 2019.
While some cyber-attacks involve outright data theft, many more lock up your data and hold it for ransom. Because cybercriminals know that it’s impossible to deliver proper patient care without viewing patient charts. This makes hacking health data and preventing access to patient data a very lucrative business.
Many data breaches are caused by increased integration of EMRs with medical devices and applications. These systems are vulnerable because manufacturers and system integrators don’t provide enough security for them, or they’ve outlived their support.
To reduce cybercrime threats, all CIOs should consider working with a consultant who can handle comprehensive security and protect the entire system from phishing attacks.
2. The Explosion of Data Storage Needs
Healthcare data storage and archiving needs have grown significantly in recent years. With many providers adopting computerized physician order entry (CPOE) and integrating laboratories with EHRs, the need for increased storage will undoubtedly continue.
Fast cloud storage is now a significant need in most organizations because:
- Laboratory and radiology departments now produce high definition images with analytics for improved care
- Big data collection occurs in all facilities for better integration and improved population health
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning help physicians make smarter diagnoses and create more effective treatment plans.
Obtaining the right mix of adequate storage space and high-speed access needed for efficient patient care without breaking the budget is still a leading source of concern for health IT leaders.
A workable solution is to operationalize data archiving to free up space for efficient daily operations. But this requires staff with the right expertise and tools to set up.
3. Expansion of Telehealth
Non-conventional healthcare delivery systems are multiplying. The coronavirus pandemic created an unprecedented need for telehealth for both primary and specialist healthcare. Data obtained from the Human and Health Services website showed that before the COVID-19 pandemic, just 0.1% of patients received primary care through telehealth. But in April 2020, close to half of primary care (43.5%) visits occurred through telehealth.
To provide sustainable telehealth services, providers need to create an ultra-fast network between remote offices or between patient homes and physician offices for high-quality transmission of real-time video and diagnostic data.
Contact MediQuant for More Healthcare Data Management Solutions
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