Reducing Burden on Your Maxed-Out Healthcare Technology Team

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By Joel St. Francis | Oct 27, 2023

3 minute read Blog| IT Help Desk| Managed Services| IT Strategy

Is your IT organization feeling the burden of accomplishing all the priorities on a tight budget during a talent shortage in a complex industry with high expectations from every stakeholder? Are your opportunities to innovate stifled, your technology investments compromised? You’re not alone. 

Industries across the globe are searching for burden reduction strategies that accomplish more on budgets that are stretched and employees that are burning out. The technology industry is no exception, and the healthcare technology industry is particularly hard hit given the finite number of experts and the ever-present demand from patients and providers for improved experiences and innovations. How can CIOs lead their organizations through these challenges while ensuring care quality, mitigating risk, engaging employees, and advancing on strategic priorities? 

At CereCore, we are familiar with the burdens placed on IT teams charged with exceeding expectations while ensuring quality, operational efficiencies, accuracy, privacy, and more. Read on for effective burden management strategies for healthcare organization leadership teams. These are approaches that have worked for others and could work for your organization, too.  

Consider Managed Services for Efficiency and Culture 

Healthcare IT managed services professionals specialize in day-to-day technology operations such as help desk and IT support services, application maintenance, network, hardware and cloud management to name a few. 

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Organizations using a managed services approach are changing their HIT team reputation with stakeholders and reducing burden on their staff by: 

  • Expanding services for experiences that define provider and patient engagement 
  • Serving immediate system user needs timely on night, holiday, and weekend shifts 
  • Managing software updates and testing to minimize short- and long-term disruptions 
  • Enabling professional development and core competency focus  
  • Relying on guidance from an army of experts and experience with best practices for the EHR, network, and other software their care teams depend on  

Given how managed services can introduce new capacity to burdened HIT teams, for many, the decision is already made. As reported in our Managed Services vs. Staffing Decision Guide, our recent survey found 47% of CFOs responded their health system is highly likely or likely to use an IT managed services provider for day-to-day operations. These leaders understand how the cost of managed services engagements can closely resemble that of hiring a single new employee but afford access to considerably more expertise and hours of support. 

An IT managed services provider can expand the resources and expertise of an organization 

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For example, organizations can receive hundreds of access requests per month. Working with a support services partner to manage basic access services gives your access control team the capacity to address more complex issues such as dual or multi-role requests. 

Employ AI, Analytics, and Automation to Engage and Advance 

AI, analytics and automation offer unprecedented potential to address burdens, solve problems, and mitigate future issues in healthcare. Responsible, strategic implementation ensures positive outcomes for your organization and the patients you serve. Consider the following:  

Start with low-risk ways to integrate AI into key workflows. For example, generate first drafts of discharge instructions for physicians to proofread and revise as necessary. Or use AI video generation for staff training and onboarding. Tools can make production steps more efficient, and your organization’s subject matter experts can help ensure accuracy. 

AI is promising but complex, so consider carefully the use cases, and needed governance structures and remember to consider sources, security, and integrity of the information generated by AI. Ensure you know where your data is going, if it’s secure, and have experts assess the quality of any AI deliverable – particularly those with clinical workflow or patient care implications. 

For clinical use cases, analyze readings from devices to perform predictive analysis and produce alerts for your care teams to assist them with prioritizing care and realizing improved outcomes. On the financial side, consider analytics technology for expediting business office functions such as insurance claim submission. 

Not only can automation eliminate data entry, improve accuracy, and save time, it can mitigate burnout by focusing your resources on higher priority tasks that offer validation and engagement beyond that of simple, repetitive tasks.

Include Demands on Your Infrastructure as Part of Your Cloud Strategy 

As cloud technology evolves, several factors become powerful motivators for organizations to migrate including: 

  • Data capture, management, storage, and insight 
  • Large Language Models (LLM) integration  
  • Data science escalation  

While the cloud enables innovations ranging from collaboration to back-office functions, organizations must be diligent in addressing redundancy and overlapping costs. CIOs should understand that cloud migration offers data management capabilities, scalability, and efficiency possibilities, but it cannot be assumed to be a quick cost-saving solution. For all the possibilities the cloud affords, just moving to the cloud doesn’t solve cybersecurity challenges, and it doesn’t eliminate the need for legacy data archival, legacy system support, and the capital and operating expenses that go with both. 

Keep Patients the Top Priority 

Paramount to any burden reduction strategy is commitment to patient experiences and outcomes. Prioritizing patient digital interactions cannot create a fragmented, disconnected journey for patients. The average health system has 18 different EMR vendors, with data residing in disconnected silos. For digital patient offerings to provide value, the applicable data must be connected, appropriately accessible, and positioned for producing the insights and advancements that healthcare demands for improved patient outcomes regardless of the technologies involved. The burdens of maintaining the technologies exist, and strategies to minimize or eliminate some of the burdens can help without compromising quality or efficiency.  

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About the Author:
Joel St. Francis

Vice President, Client Outsource Services, CereCore

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