The healthcare sector has remained one of the largest and fast-growing industries globally. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has increased the many challenges faced by the healthcare sector, showing the critical need to provide modern and innovative healthcare solutions. Just over half of health practices are starting to increase their spend on upgrading technology solutions to enable use of mobile apps and telehealth.
As the entire industry changes quickly to meet demand, the technology underpinning service and operations may start to struggle to solve any of the problems being faced.
As outdated IT infrastructure becomes more challenging to maintain, there is a real risk this older technology could take patient care backwards, rather than improve the services and support needed, and end up costing the healthcare sector more to keep up.
What impact can outdated systems have on the healthcare sector?
In today’s fast-paced digital world, change is inevitable. For those working in high-pressure and time-intensive environments such as the healthcare sector, it is vital to be able to adjust to new innovations and practices. It is not always the case with maintaining a oudated system in hospitals and healthcare settings.
Systems that are outdated can cause healthcare organisations to miss out on updated patient information and data, often when most needed to ensure quality treatment and best practice healthcare. Unsupported applications and outdated computer systems may not offer access to the most accurate and comprehensive patient data, jeopardising patient outcomes.
Access to the most up-to-date patient and treatment information enables clinicians, researchers, and healthcare workers to make the best possible decisions when it comes to healthcare. Patients are also able to utilise digital technologies outside a clinical setting such as smart devices and software that allows fast access to treatment options.
Outdated healthcare system technology can create time and financial inefficiencies, as outdated medical software and operating systems slow down administration business processes. Support and maintenance of outdated systems can be problematic, with maintenance costs far outstripping budget allocations for IT infrastructure. There is also an increased security risk that sensitive patient data could be lost or accessed by unauthorised users if unsupported software and systems don’t meet data protection requirements.
Maintaining outdated and unsupported systems
Healthcare organisations rely on the seamless interaction between multiple components, including people, software, and hardware. Over time, software gets old and it can slow the rest of the organisation down. The decision may be to keep outdated software and systems running at all costs, for any number of reasons:
- It is familiar to staff, who can perform their daily tasks without the stress of learning a new system
- It was developed for a particular purpose and gets the job done
- It was paid for in full a long time ago and using it isn’t costing the organisation anything, aside from hardware replacements and maintenance.
Maintaining an outdated or unsupported healthcare system might not seem like the best choice. However, it can often be the best solution with the help of a managed service provider, who specialises in keeping unsupported systems functioning to the best of their ability until improvements can be made.
Is modernising your healthcare IT worth it?
Healthcare organisations often make the mistake of thinking that upgrading to more modern IT architecture would be too expensive and disruptive to operations. Staff need to learn to use new tools, which can be challenging and take time as well.
While these disadvantages are a concern, they can be minimised with proper planning and a robust strategy for streamlining and upgrading systems. The benefits of an integrated and seamlessly functioning system will eventually tip the balance in favour of shifting to updating your healthcare IT.
Modern technology, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, offer one of the most effective ways for healthcare facilities to keep pace with changing work needs amid growing demands from employees and patients alike. Cloud-based ERP systems help connect and enhance system and data visibility within the organisation’s network. This is especially important because it allows healthcare workers on-site or across different locations to get critical information when they need it. In turn, that helps empower providers with the tools necessary for delivering even better patient care while also improving their experience for patients too.
Furthermore, leveraging cloud-based ERP systems and other solutions allows healthcare settings to refresh systems and operational processes at a reduced cost. Cloud-based ERP systems let healthcare organisations streamline the process of managing data without having to spend additional resources or time on maintaining cumbersome unsupported software.
Healthcare organisations can reduce costs by moving away from outdated IT systems which are expensive and require maintenance. Adopting cloud-based solutions gives healthcare organisations the ability to rapidly scale up and down, making it easier for them to manage resources and deliver high-quality services. This also creates an environment where organisations can easily rebrand and pivot without having investments in technology, allowing them to reap cost benefits over outdated IT systems which are expensive and require maintenance.
Modernise your IT system with the experts
The need for efficient and fast-responding healthcare IT is more important than ever before as the world becomes digitised. If your business’s current IT infrastructure could become obsolete, it is time to start making plans for modernisation. Talk to the IT experts at Itopia today about how they can help you move forward into the future of technology.