Health care providers, government agencies and others have endeavored to completely overhaul the medical sector and patient care, all under a relatively tight timeline that is at once achievable but highly difficult. Think about the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009, which forced medical firms to adopt electronic health record systems and achieve meaningful use of digital patient files within only a few years.
In this situation, the incentives were plenty to get more medical organizations involved and behind the concept of overhauling what were decisively antiquated systems of file storage, sharing and analysis. Thanks to those financial incentives, a wealth of hospitals and others in the field have already started to achieve meaningful use, and this snowballed into several other trends that all have the potential to improve patient care significantly.
However, it is not all apple pies and ice cream when looking at health care technology, and a combination of supply chain sourcing and supply chain management is expected to have more weighty implications with respect to the average patient. From security and privacy concerns to leveraging more advanced technologies in shorter periods of time, the lion's share of effort will need to be placed on the acquisition processes involved in IT provisioning.
Teamwork is an issue
Regardless of which industry might be in the discussion, a division between IT and operations staff has appeared and grown in the past few years. Considering how important digital assets are to virtually every department in each organization, this might just represent one of the more significant challenges leaders face and, in the case of health care, it is an obstacle that must be hurdled as soon as possible to actually strengthen patient care.
HealthcareITNews recently reported that point-of-care technology is certainly becoming more advanced, effective and efficient, but many have become concerned about the interactions between IT personnel and clinical staff. According to the news provider, the division is leading to lackluster productivity and enhanced issues at the point of care, which inherently leads to less than desirable performances in both areas of the business and could reduce returns on investment.
PC Connection manager Gretchen Jakway affirmed that teamwork might be a very widespread issue.
"Oftentimes it can feel like a game of tug of war going back and forth between IT and the clinical staff about what is the right device and making it work in your environment," Jakway told HealthcareITNews. "Spending time sifting through the constant flow of requests from the clinical staff on what they would like to see used for a device – from everything involving CPOE to patient data to the ability to view images at the bedside – takes an enormous amount of resources and time."
So, should medical firms begin to be a bit more proficient in streamlining collaboration and workflow between various departments, the ability to improve will be enhanced.
How sourcing helps
Completely eradicating miscommunication, poor collaboration and similar issues is not only something that is unattainable for health care industries, but also an endeavor that will likely be impossible as long as human nature remains as is.
Focusing on perfecting the ebb and flow of objective creation, procurement management and evaluation is a far more feasible pursuit that can yield similarly advantageous outcomes for any business, health care-related or otherwise. In the coming years, those firms that optimize relationships between professionals in each department with those in IT will likely enjoy more fluid, resilient and productive operations, and better sourcing can be the ticket to that greener pasture.