It’s no wonder that you’re saying that more and more. People in your healthcare organization are clamoring for reliable IT solutions to:
- Reap the full benefits of electronic health and medical records (EHR/EMR) systems,
- Avoid technology issues they are unprepared to handle,
- Maintain the flow of life-saving health information, and
- Instantly connect with whatever resources they want or need.
Having adequate IT experts on staff at hospitals, medical practices, and other health care providers is becoming a necessity, as technology becomes increasingly integral to daily processes, especially when a patient’s health—or life—may depend on them.
With everyone depending on healthcare IT systems, you’d think that there would always be sufficient IT staff. But unfortunately, that’s not usually the case in the healthcare industry.
What’s causing the lack of adequate healthcare IT support these days?
The answer is simple (but often frustrating). Healthcare organizations historically invest less in IT staff than other companies in similarly technology-dependent industries, such as finance or e-tail. With these staff shortages on top of your myriad responsibilities, it’s getting increasingly difficult to handle everything.
At the same time healthcare IT spending is remaining steady (or even decreasing), available on-staff jobs in this field are projected to increase 15% to 37% by 2020—far faster than employment growth for other types of jobs, according to Modern Healthcare. So, it will get harder and harder to fill these staff positions.
Can healthcare IT staff shortages negatively impact your organization?
You bet they can!
Not having sufficient IT personnel on staff could cause numerous adverse effects. These can include:
- Limiting access to fast, easy, dependable access to patient records, which can, in turn, limit appropriate, personalized patient care, treatment options, preventive care, and recommendations.
- Preventing medical professionals from leveraging data to aid in patient care.
- Slowing down access to lab tests and other online results.
- Inhibiting caregiver mobility, including their use of smartphones, tablets, and other devices to monitor patient records and progress. (Consider that a recent study reports that 97 percent of nurses will use mobile devices for bedside care by 2022.)
- Restricting healthcare and other staff communications.
- Affecting cloud based and remote monitoring connectivity, which is especially important with EHR systems increasingly moving to cloud based platforms.
- Reducing prompt billing and payments…thus, affecting cash flow.
- Not having experts on hand to correctly train personnel in proper use of new technology, (which can increase problems and cause errors in the future) and empower your people with the software skills and expertise vital to managing critical patient information in today’s complex operating environments.
- Restricting the ability to keep networks and systems safe and secure from breaches and intrusions with improved cybersecurity.
These are all serious concerns that can negatively impact the efficacy, timeliness, dependability, and ease of patient care, system effectiveness, security, and your organization’s bottom line.
What organizations can be adversely affected by IT staff shortages?
Practically any healthcare organization can suffer from IT staff shortages. These can include:
- Health/hospital systems, integrated delivery networks, clinical integrated networks
- Accountable care organizations
- Health insurance providers
- Academic medical centers and community hospitals
- Independent physician groups
- Urgent care centers
- Behavioral mental health facilities
- Post-acute care, long-term care, and home health organizations
What can you do to help counter healthcare IT staff shortages?
The healthcare industry in general (and specifically healthcare IT) is going through a significant shift as they adapt and change along with continuously rising health care costs and pressure from changing market dynamics influenced by regulatory reform and evolving security and technology.
The problems are substantially exacerbated by healthcare IT staff shortages. That’s why it’s so critical to change staffing methods to optimize patient outcomes, reduce unnecessary costs, make the most of large software investments. and maximize reimbursements and profitability.
The solution is to turn to flexible staffing to help make up for any IT personnel shortages on an as-needed basis with experienced, expertly trained temporary outside consulting help.
What should you look for in flexible healthcare IT staffing?
You should make sure that any and all consultants you bring on board have real-word operational experience and:
- Are well-versed and experienced in the healthcare environment
- Understand the implications of regulatory changes in health care
- Appreciate the market pressures dictating shifts in the care delivery and reimbursement models and the resulting effect on operations
- Have deep knowledge of electronic health records (EHR) and related technologies
- Will deliver actionable insights and positive, quantifiable outcomes
- Help you implement, maintain, and maximize the efficiencies of your core business applications, and will NOT sell you software or other tools
- Fully tap into the technologies you need every day
Even with serious shortages in healthcare IT staffing, you should not have to settle for less than the best staffing solutions. You deserve to have the people you and your organization need to make your technology and software work for you and your patients.
Blue Eagle’s healthcare IT consultant/subject matter experts can analyze your IT environment, understand your pain points and objectives, and help your organization craft sustainable and scalable solutions that meet the challenges triggered by the industry’s IT staff shortages. If you have a project coming up or a need that we can fill please call us at 1 (866) 981-1095 or email firstname.lastname@example.org