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Tackling Healthcare Priorities with Technology

Edward Prewitt, for HealthLeaders Media, February 14, 2012

So who's going to help healthcare executives with their priorities? Or, as our survey puts it, who's going to save the healthcare industry? Seven percent of leaders look to technology, but the largest share say it will have to be hospitals. And hospitals are looking to IT tools such as business intelligence systems to help them figure out how to control costs and where revenue possibilities lie.

But technology is no panacea. It costs—a lot. IT and clinical technology are the third and fourth highest cost drivers in our survey. And technology doesn't always work as intended without a lot of human intelligence behind it.

Next week, I'm heading to the HIMSS annual conference and exhibition to see what's new in health technology. I will be meeting not only with many technology companies but also technology users. As always, HealthLeaders Media's emphasis is on how healthcare leaders and organizations can achieve their ends.

Although I like cool new gadgets as much as anyone (okay, maybe more than most), the discussions I most look forward to at HIMSS are panel sessions with healthcare leaders discussing complex, critical issues such as operational efficiency, care collaboration, and risk management. In other words, how they use technology to achieve these ends.

Back to our Industry Survey: nearly twice as many healthcare leaders say the industry is on the wrong track (46%) rather than the right track (25%). (The remaining 29% are on the fence.) Healthcare faces a host of challenges today. Regardless of what they think of the particulars of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or its chances for overturn, our readers tell us almost unanimously that reform is needed. Technology is part of the solution.

 


Edward Prewitt is the Editorial Director of HealthLeaders Media.
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1 comments on "Tackling Healthcare Priorities with Technology"


Chris Fox - Avantas (2/15/2012 at 8:50 AM)
Mr. Prewitt hit the nail on the head with his statement, "technology is no panacea." Without the proper strategies/policies in place, and ensuring your organization's practices match, any technology will likely not be effective, and at best, not nearly as effective as it should be/has to be. With regard to labor management software, and this is transferable to most healthcare technologies, our view is this: Your software is the tool that automates your plan. Good software and a bad plan only automate a bad plan. Without the necessary groundwork, all you end up with when you implement a technology is automated chaos. The first step is the planning – the inward focus on what you are currently doing that can be improved – and then finding a vendor that can help your organization effectively implement those plans. Technology is no panacea, but if it is paired with sound strategies, policies and practices and backed by buy-in up and down the line, it certainly can work wonders. More about effective planning here: http://avantas.biz/effective-labor-management-starts-with-a-plan/