Healthcare is increasingly facilitated by IT systems. From electronic medical record (EMR) and electronic health record (EHR) software, to medical office workstations, to telehealth systems – so much of modern healthcare is built on technology.
Increasingly, this means that healthcare IT service is critical.
Ready to learn more about healthcare IT? Read on.
What are healthcare IT services?
To begin, let’s define our term at its most granular levels.
IT services, according to Gartner, are “the application of business and technical expertise to enable organizations in the creation, management, and optimization of or access to information and business processes.” That’s a great industry definition, but it’s a little wordy. At a practical level, an IT service is simply the provider you call when you need help with your business’s technology.
The other part of the term is the word “healthcare” – which is simply “the organized provision of medical care to individuals or a community.”
So, taken altogether:
Healthcare IT services are the support and optimization of any technologies that facilitate provision of medical care to individuals or a community.
What’s unique about IT services for healthcare?
At a practical level, IT services for healthcare involve two major considerations that are unique to the industry. These include:
Support for the unique technologies that facilitate healthcare.
As HealthIT.gov notes, there are a variety of systems that commonly constitute health IT. Electronic health records (EHRs) allow doctors to track health information. Personal health records (PHRs) give patients control over the input of their health data. Telehealth is becoming ubiquitous.
For IT services to deliver quality support, they must have an understanding of how healthcare IT systems work. To provide any semblance of IT strategy, they must understand how these systems are used and how they can be optimized to add value.
General IT services will not have this level of expertise.
Compliance with healthcare regulations like HIPAA.
Standard IT service does not have to account for governmental regulations around healthcare data. Healthcare IT must.
For instance, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was designed to protect patients’ personal health information (PHI). It stipulates that healthcare organizations need to meet certain requirements for storing, transferring, and generally securing patient data. If organizations don’t meet HIPAA standards, they can face steep fines.
Healthcare IT services must be familiar with these requirements and be able to help organizations on the path toward HIPAA compliance. Again, general IT services will not have this specific expertise.
What are the benefits of healthcare IT service?
While part of the reason for working with a healthcare IT service is to avoid costly mistakes, the truth is that such services also provide several major benefits.
Healthcare IT services help to minimize technology issues.
Proactive IT support delivered via a managed IT service model can reduce the probability of technology issues like data breaches and downtime. For office staff, this can mean peace of mind and increased efficiency.
Healthcare IT services allow for scalable growth.
Many healthcare organizations reach a point where the technology solutions they’ve used to grow actually become restrictive to future growth. For multi-location practices, for example, there may come a time when new technologies need to be deployed to enable continued quality care.
A healthcare IT service can reduce the total cost of IT support and provide access to strategic expertise. By standardizing systems and guiding organizations along a viable technology roadmap, IT services can make scalable growth possible.
Healthcare IT services can lead to better patient care.
Finally, the bottom line is that healthcare IT can enable healthcare organizations to provide better patient care.
Through optimized technology systems that enhance efficiency (think scheduling platforms, patient data systems, and admin workstations) and ongoing access to responsive support, health organizations can deliver care that’s faster and more personalized than ever before.
Ultimately, that’s what healthcare IT service is all about: allowing providers to better meet the needs of their patients.
Want to learn more about how healthcare IT services can help your organization?
At ATB, we’re honored to serve multi-location healthcare organizations around the St. Louis area. From group practices, to assisted living organizations, to regional hospitals, we help healthcare organizations with IT so that they can focus on serving patients.
Thanks to the high quality of our IT service, we haven’t had a dissatisfied client in over five years.
And if you’d like to have specific questions answered, we’d love to speak with you. Get in touch with one of our expert consultants today and we can begin charting a path toward IT service that will never let you down.