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The Future of Technology and the Medical Industry

Published: Tuesday, November 10, 2020 written by Andy Flagg
View Count: 338
Keywords: Medical Technology, The Future, Progress, Regression, Data Flow, Work Flow, Usability, Performance



In the past 30 years, I have had the opportunity to take care of hundreds of technology solutions in a dozen and more industries. The most intense was the medical industry per se and that is where the problem exists today.
 
With the need for more data to provide medicine, there is an inherent risk in losing access to that data. Plus the data has to be bullet proof in terms of privacy, protection, and devoid of data cross contamination.
 
How does one do that? How do the systems do that?
 
1. privacy - that's what we call PII and HIPAA on steroids.
2. protection - that's what we call hot, warm and cold backups in business continuity
3. devoid of data cross contamination and consistency - that is what we call checksum on steroids
 
So, you have how many medical systems in a medical facility, a general hospital? typically 21+ system types for the various patient types. Can you conglomerate that into one system? of course, EPIC, IHS, etc. In a private specialized practice, just one type of data and patient type is typical.
 
I prefer to focus on the following when it comes to systems, any system; 
 
1. work flow - let the human be flexible to do their job and change easily. automate what one can.
2. data flow - let the business and humans dictate the data flow, not the system and databases
3. performance and usability and stability, all at once - no questions asked.

This leaves me with an overarching focus; daily support, training and performance with the least amount of errors.
 
What is the future? Ransomware is causing a hiccup, a big one. In a closed system, not so worrisome. In an open system for data exchange and interchange, the plot thickens. The hardware is easy, the data and software is a bit different.
 
Reporting requirements to various internal and external entities requires a certain degree of specialization in terms of pulling data, analyzing data and keeping the data free from privacy violations and of course accuracy while remaining anonymous to a point to externally required reporting agencies, DOH. etc.
 
let me write a whitepaper on the subject to help professionals up and down the food chain better understand how one can keep control and keep costs to a minimum while maximizing patient care and patient mortality.
 
what are the problems that need addressing?
 
1. aging IT staff and replacement of them
2. more complicated systems and their upgrades
3. overall information integrity and security to avoid ransomware and infection
4. data accuracy and verification while keeping privacy of patients and their diagnosis and care
5. keeping medical staff trained up and letting the business drive innovation, usability and performance
6. keep the costs to a minimum and under constant budgetary control
7. keep quality of care #1 while keeping an ease of use and interchange of medical information between approved organizations local and abroad
8. maintaining quality control and full audit of the data and its consistency.
9. making sure data keeps medical professionals from making the wrong decisions on patient care
10. keeping stakeholders close to the business and operations while remaining strategic and tactical at 1, 3, 5, 10 and 20 years on the outlook over the horizon and avoid regression
 
if you want a copy of the white paper, contact me. andrewflagg @ mountaincomputers.org
 
#ehs #ehr #epic #ihs #medicalrecords #billing #informationtechnology
#covid #renown #stmarys #nnmc #carsontahoe
 
What is the future and how far have we come and where should we not go back to? take a look at some independent research done on some of the world's largest healthcare systems and where is your investment strategy moving forward? Epic is a fine monolithic system and is one of the largest yet monolithic like Microsoft is/was. Moving forward, there are not too many complaints about the technology other than it does not fair well with 400+ other EMRs systems in the world today.
 
If you are looking to work in an EPIC environment, remember to work on interoperability and ease of data exchange while maintaining integrity of the system and keeping costs low. A legacy system EPIC is yet it is a fine beast to manage one you have tamed it, and it's overriding ticky-tack costs associated with GoLive change management and reporting.
 
Remember, the focus of medicine should be on the patient not the system you choose, and the costs associated with patient care because of technology management should not put patients at risk. Caveat Emptor.
 
If you are in an IT position supporting EPIC, make sure you work a week or two in the shoes of the each and every department's medical professional in their work space and watch how they use the system and how it can be improved based on their usability and interactions with patients and others. That is a great tip.
 
EPIC will be great given all the vast feedback and improvements when done quickly and when prioritized.
 
In the hands of the right IT management and staff, medical systems can be advantageous and in the hands of the laissez-faire, well, you know what happens then. More expense, loss of data, lack of patient trust, and fines and penalties from government agencies and oversight, and quite possibly closure and forfeit of business.
 
REF 1: 
https://www.healthcareitnews.com/blog/epic%E2%80%99s-weaknesses-are-vista%E2%80%99s-strengths
https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=epic+medical+system+weaknesses
 

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