Top 5 IT challenges in Healthcare

Top 5 IT challenges in Healthcare

The healthcare industry faces many IT challenges. Providers must take data security and reliability extremely seriously.

There is simply no room for error — unlike other industries, people’s health and well-being are directly at risk if something goes wrong.

It’s important to know what problems you have to face when working with IT in the healthcare industry, as you need to know how to prevent anything that could pose a risk to your organisation.

After all, with the global healthcare market growing rapidly each year, healthcare institutions have both become an increasingly high-value target for anyone looking to cause damage and have also grown more and more in demand for customers. This means that there are a host of new challenges regarding IT than there were 10 years ago.

In this article, we’re going to go over the top 5 IT challenges and risks in healthcare, and how your organisation can solve them to ensure nothing goes wrong.

Data Management and Integration

The first major challenge for healthcare institutions is the ability to integrate all of the data that they receive from several different sources. Examples of some of the data types are —

  • Notes and physical writing
  • Treatment plans and documentation
  • Lab results
  • Referrals
  • Other data and information

Whether coming from the NHS or other healthcare providers, having access to separate types of data in one place can be a challenge. This is why good file organisation and data management are crucial, as you could lose important data if you don’t ensure that everything is filed away correctly.

Ensuring that data is easily accessible throughout your institution is also important, which is why good file management and reliable systems are vital to any healthcare organisation. If an employee in another office needs to urgently access the healthcare records of a patient, they need to be instantly available.

Ensuring Compliance

Security is incredibly important for any healthcare organisation, as is institution-wide organisation and standardised methods to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

By making sure that everything is done in the same, correct method, you alleviate the risk of something going wrong or going missing. Having strict standard routines for data processing, logging into and out of systems, and entering and leaving the workplace is the best way to do this.

With this, it’s important to train employees on standard procedures to ensure compliance is met throughout your organisation. This means emphasising the importance of compliance and training employees on compliance at the earliest point you can.

Strengthening Security Posture

Over 81% of healthcare institutions in the UK were hit with a ransomware attack last year. That’s enough evidence that healthcare institutions are being targeted by hackers and other bad-faith actors, and it only takes one of those attacks being successful to cause long-lasting damage to your organisation.

This is why it’s so important to ensure that your security posture is strong enough to withstand most (if not all) of the attacks you’ll face.

  • Security Compliance: In the same fashion as above, security compliance should be followed throughout the institution. At the employee level, things like good password hygiene and not using external devices should be practised.
  • Protect Yourself: Using antivirus software and other suitable methods of either preventing attacks or having a safe fallback — to ensure that your institution won’t be crippled — is incredibly important.
  • Educate Yourself: Knowing to keep your institution safe can be the key deciding factor in your security posture. The Cyber Essentials Certificate scheme and other security-related resources are a great place to start for this.

Healthcare organisations also have other strict requirements on security. A great place to start is getting in touch with us now, and figuring out what your needs are by talking to one of our cybersecurity experts.

Secure Communication and Collaboration

Healthcare institutions require communications and collaboration at an organisation-wide level to ensure that everything gets done and is handled correctly. Especially when handling the data of a patient or another external party, ensuring that data is handled securely is imperative.

Most communications nowadays rely on WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication), a technology that is unsuitable for environments with restricted environments. This is a severe problem within healthcare, as it can cause systems to not work properly and communications to fail.

There are a few different solutions to this problem and many different services that can provide secure communication throughout your organisation. Contact us now to evaluate what your organisation requires!

Modern User Experiences

Lots of healthcare organisations are still running on old and legacy systems, which aren’t exactly a great user experience for users in the modern day.

Whether patient-side or employee-side, an outdated user experience can lead to frustration. This can have a lot of issues both with satisfaction and also accuracy — a frustrated user will sometimes cut corners or make mistakes when giving or handling important information.

It can be difficult to upgrade your user experience, as a lot of institutions rely on these legacy systems completely. If you’re looking to modernise your user experience, why not reach out to us for our help in strategising the move over?

How We Can Help

These challenges can be difficult to face for any healthcare institution, but failing to address them can be risky or even catastrophic for your organisation in the long run.

By ensuring to keep knowledgeable about the risks that your organisation can face, you’re able to solve them effectively and are equipped to swiftly take action to ensure the health and safety of those relying on you.

If you need help with implementing changes to alleviate these challenges, why not get in contact with us today? Our expert team is here to help and can easily guide you through the process of improving your organisation’s IT infrastructure and methodology. Whether it’s security or even just data management, we’re here to help you along the whole process.

Contact us now and see how we can help!