How to keep up with evolving healthcare IT services
Healthcare IT services are on the verge of a dramatic makeover thanks to technologies like artificial intelligence and blockchain. This comes as both an opportunity and a challenge for healthcare enterprises. On the one hand, these technologies are improving quality of care and patient outcomes while at the same time lowering costs and boosting efficiency. But on the other hand, it can be challenging for organizations to properly assess the implications of these new systems and effectively migrate away from legacy environments.
Intelligent healthcare IT services
Perhaps the most significant development confronting the healthcare industry is artificial intelligence. Deborah DiSanzo, general manager of IBM’s Watson Health unit, notes that AI’s ability to redefine how large data sets are interpreted produces clear advantages for applications ranging from drug discovery to clinical data analysis. And the technology is advancing faster than anything she has ever seen. In just two years, the Watson Health platform has been deployed at more than 120 hospitals serving upwards of 20,000 patients.1
However, despite its computational prowess, even AI is limited by the quality of the data it can access. To meet this need, distributed ledger technology is emerging as a key healthcare IT services asset. IBM and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have joined forces to break the data silos currently occupying large swaths of healthcare IT infrastructure.2 The project aims to equip public health agencies to share information in a secure, transparent and compliant manner, which will allow intelligent analytics engines to produce valuable insights based on more comprehensive data sets.
For the individual healthcare provider, this level of functionality represents a significant shift from today’s operational environment, which will require IT teams to deploy new technologies and adopt new management and support practices. To accomplish this, businesses should consider an IT support services contract with an organization that can deliver expertise on cutting-edge technology and converge multi-vendor platforms into a seamless data ecosystem.
IT support services benefits
A properly devised support regimen should provide the enterprise with improved availability, rapid problem resolution and reduced outages through a combination of proactive, reactive, on-site and remote services. This environment should provide life cycle maintenance support to improve performance of existing systems and prepare for the transition to next-generation technology. It can also offer single-point-of-contact support for full data center infrastructure, as well as robust network and security patching and upgrades.
A support services program can streamline the deployment and management of key hardware, software, communications and collaboration tools. With proactive and increasingly predictive services, IT staff will be able to stay ahead of support problems that would otherwise hamper service delivery or lead to full outages. They’ll also be able to reduce the daily management burden and concentrate on core activities.
As a rule of thumb, a managed healthcare IT services contract should:
- Bolster availability management
- Enhance hardware and software delivery and support
- Optimize reporting and invoicing
- Manage warranties
- Improve life cycle maintenance
- Streamline vendor management
- Enrich inventory and asset management
- Control change management
Healthcare organizations are in the business of providing care for patients, not building and managing information technology. By adopting a managed services approach to IT, the entire healthcare chain will be able to implement cutting-edge technologies like AI and blockchain at a more rapid pace and reorganize their cost structures around core, revenue-generating functions.