Healthcare Technology Management for Better Informed Decisions

health care technology management

The healthcare information technology market currently has an estimated market value of $380.8 billion. With all the technology that exists within healthcare, significant resources must be devoted to maintaining it. Unfortunately, most clinical providers, including physicians and nurses, are incredibly busy utilizing said technology and patient information in order to make clinical decisions. As a result, they have limited bandwidth to help improve its management.

While the technology tools to help with decision-making within healthcare have become increasingly adopted and utilized by administrators, providers, and patients, more advancements can take place to enhance decision-making for all healthcare stakeholders.

This blog post highlights how technology currently influences decision-making within healthcare from the perspectives of providers, patients, administrators, and suppliers and goes over how partnerships with technology teams can add value to future decision-making endeavors.

The Provider Perspective

Clinical providers like physicians and nurses are highly dependable on excellent healthcare technology management practices because today’s clinical environment essentially requires these providers to be tied to technology in the form of electronic medical records (EMRs), imaging analysis software, and electronic communication tools to coordinate care.

Poor healthcare technology management, such as poor cybersecurity, can greatly impair a healthcare organization and lead to expensive class action lawsuits (as with the recent case of HCA Healthcare). Moreover, poorly designed healthcare technology management systems can slow down providers in their clinics by increasing their documentation time and visit labor costs via additional staffing needs for managing the EMR system.

While technology for providers has improved data storage capacity, healthcare technology managers still need to find ways to enhance providers’ abilities to use technology more efficiently to best deliver care. It also influences providers through its ability to collect and analyze large amounts of data, leading to a “big data revolution in healthcare.”

While more clinical decision-making technology tools are being implemented, such as risk prediction calculators for diseases like brain cancer, heart disease, and obesity, new tools are at risk of exhausting and misleading providers if technology managers do not ensure that high-quality data is collected. This can lead to diagnostic errors utilizing artificial intelligence and severely affect patients if provider tools fail to properly collect, organize, and interpret patient data.

The Patient Perspective

Healthcare technology management is making it easier for patients to have control over their healthcare. For example, patients now have online patient portals where they can access information about their health, receive education, communicate with their providers, and upload social and clinical details that could influence how a provider chooses to take action. Particularly in settings where providers’ and patients’ time is limited, the ability to proactively communicate health information helps a more knowledgeable clinician partner with the patient to make a shared decision.

It has been established that in certain circumstances, patients may want to communicate sensitive preferences in advance, such as sex life concerns and impotence when considering the risks and benefits of prostate cancer screening. Social problems, like those related to homelessness and food insecurity, can also be communicated. As a result, healthcare technology is enhancing the patient’s involvement in their healthcare decision-making and outcomes.

Technology is also emerging for patients to provide feedback on the patient experience and give insight into how it can be improved. Tools like HCAHPS scores are being increasingly embraced. However, technology managers must ensure ease of use of patient-oriented technologies as they are often too difficult to understand. Moreover, privacy and security concerns will remain on patients’ minds as they decide whether to embrace healthcare technology.

The Administrator Perspective

Healthcare technology collects data to drive how managers and administrators should allocate resources like staffing and equipment. Administrators are utilizing technology and artificial intelligence tools to streamline scheduling processes and identify surgeon and operating room availability, enabling health systems to maximize their resources to help as many people as possible. Moreover, technology is playing an increasing role in medical coding, billing, and revenue cycle management as these tasks increasingly contribute to healthcare expenditures.

Administrators also face challenges with managing their technology, such as collecting and organizing quality data, manualizing processes like claims corrections, and adhering to data security best practices that often hinder the staff’s ability to make decisions, thereby wasting hundreds of billions of dollars in excessive administrative spending.

The Supplier Perspective

Care delivery teams are highly dependent on having the right tools and medications at the right time. These can include things like donated plasma, organs for transplants, surgical equipment, personal protective gear, and imaging equipment. A few of these items, such as organ donations, have complex logistical networks and depend on data and tracking systems like UNOS software to ensure appropriate and accurate delivery.

Suppliers and healthcare organizations need excellent technology management systems to avoid supply procurement issues, which 86% of healthcare organizations experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Partnering with Technology Experts to Improve Technology Management

Healthcare technology offers value to providers through data storage, to patients through communication tools, and to administrators and suppliers through operational technology. These tools are leading to a more reliable healthcare ecosystem where patient outcomes are becoming the focal point. However, the inundation of the vast range of technology systems makes it challenging for organizations to keep up with technology maintenance and ensure that the users of purchased technologies are having a great experience.

With problems like security concerns, poor data quality, and provider efficiency, healthcare technology managers have plenty of complex challenges to improve in order to enhance patient outcomes and trust. It can be overwhelming for these managers to understand both the healthcare and technology components of these tools. Healthcare technology managers who are more comfortable with healthcare delivery should embrace partnering with individuals who focus on technology development, enhancement, and security, as one single manager or department does not have enough resources to deeply understand all that goes into building and implementing useful healthcare technology.

Organizations like OtterSoft specialize in being a technology development partner and can help augment your team to more quickly improve your existing technology in order to deliver an excellent experience for your providers, patients, and administrators.

Here at OtterSoft, we help healthcare technology providers drive innovation and integrate systems to seamlessly enable healthcare organizations to identify areas for improvement and implement changes to enhance patient experiences continually. See how we can help you overcome healthcare innovation challenges by strategically partnering with a development team.