Healthcare is a continuously evolving sector, and the introduction of new technologies is increasingly becoming an integral part of its functioning. However, despite the advances in the field, IT systems in the healthcare sector still face common problems that can lead to delays and disruption of services.
From data security to software compatibility issues, these problems can be costly and time consuming to resolve. By understanding issues and their solutions, healthcare organisations can ensure that their IT systems remain secure, efficient, and reliable.
Any type of data loss can be very expensive, disruptive, and damaging for a business. Healthcare organisations are no different, and data security issues can be particularly costly for them. Healthcare data is already sensitive and regulated by data protection and privacy laws, meaning that simple data security measures can be difficult to implement.
Some issues healthcare organisations face are:
- Unsecured devices
- Unprotected networks
- No data backups
Data security can be managed with up-to-date, reliable cyber security services and antivirus solutions. Consulting with a managed service provider will help you find the right security for your data.
In some cases, it might be necessary to use older hardware or software in healthcare organisations. However, this might create compatibility issues with other devices and software. For example, an old system that is no longer supported by its manufacturer might stop communicating with other devices in the organisation. This can be particularly troublesome as it might lead to delays in providing critical services.
To prevent software compatibility issues, healthcare organisations can use two main strategies: use open source software, and virtual machines.
Open source software is usually free to use and can be customised for a specific organisation’s needs. This can be particularly useful for older software that does not have a suitable new version.
Virtual machines are computer systems that run on separate hardware from the other organisation systems, meaning that they can be used when two systems cannot communicate with each other.
Digitisation of records
Many healthcare organisations still use paper to store patient information. Although paper records are easy to use, they are not secure and are not easily accessible for patients. This can lead to delays and errors when looking up information, and can cause problems when transferring records between doctors.
To make the transition from paper to electronic records easier, organizations can invest in electronic health records (EHR). EHRs are systems that store patient information digitally, usually on server systems. These can be accessed remotely by various healthcare professionals, such as doctors and nurses, and can also be easily transferred between different organisations.
Adapting to telehealth
Telehealth, also known as telemedicine, is the use of technology to provide healthcare remotely. Telehealth has been increasingly adopted in the healthcare sector, and is particularly useful in rural areas with a lack of healthcare providers. It can also be used in situations where patients are unable to visit a healthcare provider, i.e. lack of transport, movement issues.
There are different types of telehealth services, such as videoconferencing for medical consultations, remote medical monitoring, and the use of remote medical devices to monitor patients. To support telehealth services, healthcare organisations can implement a large and fast network with an emphasis on network security, remote access, and storage services.
Get expert help to solve your IT problems
Although healthcare organisations are making progress in digitasation and cyber security, there are still concerns about interoperability and compatibility issues.
Fortunately, these issues can be managed with expert assistance. The IT specialists at Itopia specialise in partnering with healthcare organisations to modernise their IT systems, enhance cyber security, and digitise records.