CIO survey results imply that the presence of technical debt is pervasive in HIT, and where there's technical debt, there are cybersecurity considerations. What can a Healthcare IT organization do to preserve and improve patient care and patient experience while combating the effects of technical debt and preventing further deficit?
Four ways Technical Debt Impacts Healthcare IT Priorities
Productivity. In an age where clinical team resources are difficult and expensive to retain, technology should support clinical decisions and patient safety and integrate with workflows for patient care, not distract them from it because of technology issues.
Speed to market. Are your quick-fix solutions sustainable post-pandemic? What was once necessary to accommodate COVID-19 likely will not yield improved outcomes in the future.
Product lifecycle. Maintaining functionality requirements and services for solutions implemented during emergency situations could put a strain on training, development, and support teams.
Institutional knowledge. Since 2020, employee turnover poses a big obstacle when trying to address technical debt, especially if the individual who originally helped implement the solution is no longer with the company.
Financial and operational implications of technical debt are bad enough, and the impacts it has on patients are contradictory to all we try to achieve in healthcare IT. Intuitive, seamless technology for patients and care providers is the goal that has yet to be fully realized.
Ways to Mitigate the Impact of Technical Debt on Patients
As members of the healthcare IT community, let’s take the actions necessary to address technical debt and mitigate the risks and inefficiencies it poses. These are some priorities:
Protect patient information. If routine maintenance has fallen behind and only select fixes applied, consider cloud or network management services for addressing technical debt associated with cybersecurity.
Maintain regulatory compliance. If you are facing Failure to configure, test and move software updates to live by indicated dates, consider contracting with a managed services provide who can help you compny with regulatory software releases and reporting deadlines.
Embrace digitization. Risks accelerate when users perform workarounds from new functionality being postponed or not integrated. Consider an EHR implementation partner for optimization and to speed delivery of upgrades.
Invest strategically. The average organization wastes 23 to 42% of their development time on technical debt. Develop a roadmap for infrastructure and application modernization. Also consider partial IT outsourcing so engineers can focus on development.
Download the full eBook for information on how technical debt impacts patients, ways to mitigate patient impact, and a self-assessment.
Ready to address technical debt?
Understanding how technical debt can impact patients and HIT priorities can improve patient care and experience. Discover advice in this eBook:
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CereCore® provides IT services that make it easier for you to focus on supporting hospital operations and transforming healthcare through technology. With a heritage rooted in our nation’s top-performing hospitals, we serve as leaders and experts in technology, operations, data security, and clinical applications. We partner with clients to become an extension of the team through comprehensive IT and application support, technical professional and managed services, IT advisory services, and EHR consulting, because we know firsthand the power that integrated technology has on patient care and communities.