National Health IT Week Puts Focus on Information Technology and Security
National Health IT Week 2017, observed from October 2 – 6, demonstrated the many ways information technology and information security in the healthcare industry adds value to individuals, communities and the economy as a whole.
Supporting 21st Century Healthcare
As technology continues to grow and evolve, healthcare facilities and organizations will need to be proactive in their efforts to meet changing industry, patient and regulatory needs. Looking closely at infrastructure, technology and workforce requirements now, and revisiting requirements periodically, can help ensure healthcare organizations are well-positioned to serve patients’ needs.
In addition to supporting a patient-centric experience, healthcare organizations’ IT infrastructures need to also be provider-friendly. However, meeting patients’ and providers’ needs cannot come at the expense of information security. As digital threats increase in sophistication and scope, providers must ensure that technology infrastructure is designed to keep sensitive health and financial information secure.
Advances in technology have led to exciting innovations and developments in the ways healthcare providers diagnose and treat patients. Minimally-invasive surgical techniques leveraging technology and advancements in instruments and tools are just some of the examples. Nobody knows exactly what path technology will take, however it is clear that technology to support healthcare providers’ systems will need to keep pace with this continued evolution.
With the second decade of the 21st century winding down, it is clear that organizations will continue to need, and depend on, workers with information technology knowledge and aptitude. Electronic records have become widespread across the country, as have the means healthcare workers use to gather, analyze and retain patient information. Demand for highly-skilled and technically-trained personnel is expected to grow.
The Economic Impact of Health Information Technology and Security
Information technology and security for healthcare organizations affects more than just the business itself or its patients/customers. Rapid advancements in technology have transformed health systems and communities across the United States.
Information technology jobs, including those in healthcare, are expected to grow by 22 percent by 2020 in the United States, adding 758.800 new jobs. The increase in technology jobs should create a ripple effect, improving economic outlooks in communities across the country.
An increase in the use of technology by healthcare organizations and their patients also impacts GDP, as more people and organizations use electronic means to conduct everyday business. End-user technology, internet usage, data usage and more all impact the country’s GDP.
Technology has changed the way healthcare organizations interact with patients and potential consumers, providing powerful tools for reaching people in new ways. While not easy to quantify, these innovations have indirect economic impacts. For example, providers sharing electronic records and giving patients the ability to access their own health information on-the-go changed what used to be manual, time-consuming tasks and completely automated them.