Data privacy is a notable and growing concern for organizations, regulators, and individuals, both here in the United States and abroad. In the past year, the issue has made headlines repeatedly, from Cambridge Analytica’s use of personal data during the 2016 election cycle to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Facebook’s API update designed to further protect users’ information.
While this topic has exploded across all industries, for healthcare providers that manage the most sensitive data on behalf of their patients, privacy concerns have always been a primary focus. Of course, protecting patient data while utilizing it to provide optimal care is an enormous challenge for healthcare organizations that require a comprehensive and agile strategy. At HealthTECH Resources, Inc., we work with many of the nation’s leading providers to help them execute on their data strategy. From our more than 20 years of experience, there are three characteristics that seem to lead to a successful data program:
- Investing in the correct data management technology: Healthcare technology has greatly evolved in recent years and staying up-to-date with emerging innovation and evolving regulatory considerations can seem overwhelming. Still, investing time and dollars into the correct Electronic Health Records (EHR) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, analytics tools, and cybersecurity software is a critical step to keeping data secure and making it useful to your medical teams so they can provide the best care for patients.
- Training and planning to ensure ongoing improvement: Yes, technology can be entirely burdensome to implement, but it becomes much more challenging to manage once real, live human beings start using it. Successful healthcare organizations recognize the need for comprehensive training of their end users, process planning, and in many cases, ongoing technical support from third-party experts.
- Finding highly-specific talent that can work with an integrated approach: It can be understandably difficult to simultaneously ensure your staff and your technology are working properly on a day-to-day basis while also setting in motion new processes, systems, and project plans to address a desired future state, but successful organizations we’ve worked with are able to do so without becoming overwhelmed. Doing so requires a combination of strategic and technical talent that can work together to optimize current systems, react to industry updates, and proactively prepare for innovation and growth.
Certainly, these characteristics are not the only ones that organizations must have in order to achieve a successful data management strategy, but they often present the biggest hurdles for healthcare technology leaders that we work with. As new regulations continue to crop up, and patients demand more transparency and accuracy in their care, it will be critical for healthcare providers to have the right technology, the right people, and the right strategies in place.
If your organization needs support in its technology strategy, please feel free to reach out and I can connect you to a relevant expert for a consultation.