December 8, 2015 – Think for a moment about everything that goes into designing and building a boat that’s operationally ready. Before ever pushing off from the dock, there are countless tasks and build processes that must be completed before placing the boat into the water. Things like: design, procurement and construction just to name a few. Without planning and the proper build experience, that boat will end up as a sinking ship!
Healthcare IT bares a stark comparison.
Like sailing, IT initiatives are heavily dependent on the architectural and planning phases of a project to determine its technological success. Failure to properly plan any aspect of IT procurement and you might find yourself scrambling to build or repair your metaphorical ship as you sail it (and you can probably guess how that usually works out).
The easiest way to avoid that scenario is to adequately prepare and plan today for the things you need to accomplish in the future. This is particularly true at this time of year, when budgets are typically being proposed and specific plans are being put into place.
So, as you begin to look toward 2016, here are three key technology questions to keep in mind:
1. How are you approaching End-User Experience?
One of the biggest buzzwords in clinical environments is “End-User Experience”. More specifically, the ways in which healthcare organization are enabling better point-of-care experiences for patients and clinicians. But what does that user experience really look like? There are specific products and services that can be leveraged to fill known gaps in your Point-of-Care system strategy, but it’s important to understand how those technologies work together to address a specific end user need and their expectation on how they want to use technology.
2. Windows 10 Readiness?
For the last few years, many healthcare organizations have been focused on how to migrate away from Windows XP. Now, Windows 10 is here and it won’t be long until those migration conversations start all over again. To prepare, you need to start thinking now about how much internal resources you have to dedicate to a project like this. Does your organization own the proper tool sets to manage and control this new operating system? Do you have the internal knowledge to integrate it? How much will it cost? How long it will take? The sooner you do that prep work, the better off you’ll be in 2016 and 2017.
3. Are you prepared for technology “end of life”?
While some healthcare organizations may have already made investments to address the questions above, the reality is that most technology has an expiration date. The question your health system must answer is when that “end of life” period will come. This issue might not feel like an immediate need, but instead of waiting until the last second, you should start to map out when tools and systems will reach end-of-life and create a strategy to most effectively and efficiently managing those transitions.
So, where do you stand?
In sailing, there are ship builders and there are sailors — and IT is no different.
Ensuring that your healthcare organization’s IT environment is continuously updated, supported, and operating efficiently is a big job, but it doesn’t have to fall entirely on your shoulders. There are other organizations that can help your team fill that gap — acting as the ship builders who work behind the scenes to architect and update solutions, and passing off the keys when the ship is ready to sail.