Whether in a small clinic, a large hospital campus, or an insurance provider’s corporate office, healthcare IT professionals face many challenges: managing a mountain of patient and administrative data, making up for outdated equipment and applications, increasing threat detection and security measures, maintaining the flow of data between disparate systems, and more.
The key is to implement forward-looking technology solutions that help provide an outstanding level of patient care while also increasing efficiencies and reducing costs.
Today’s Healthcare IT Challenges
Faced with the reality of having to keep critical patient data secure, private and always available, healthcare IT administrators are under immense pressure.
Here are 6 of the biggest challenges:
Managing electronic health records (EHR) is much more complicated than simply storing the data from a patient’s yearly physical until the doctor needs to review it again at next year’s appointment. EHR and EMR (electronic medical records) data must always be available and accessible from any device at any time. Even seconds of delay in accessing a patient’s file could have life or death consequences.
The transition from paper files to a doctor entering a patient’s data into their tablet, laptop or other mobile device in real-time has not only helped to improve the accuracy of the data but it has increased efficiencies and the speed with which patients can be seen. But this benefit to healthcare professionals has created a challenge for healthcare IT professionals who must provide secure wireless access to the network, increased bandwidth for the ever-growing amounts of data being transferred, and management for personal mobile devices, better known as BYOD (Bring Your Own Device).
Sharing Patient Data Outside of The Primary Network
Electronic health records may be easily shared between physicians but sharing patient data with pharmacies, laboratories and other medical facilities may require special applications or computer systems. Bringing together disparate data management systems to enable the quick and efficient sharing of a patient’s medical history is an important hurdle to overcome.
Disconnect Between Medical and Clerical Systems
Even within a single hospital, there can be a disconnect between the medical and administrative teams. Patient data is often entered into medical applications by doctors or nurses using specific terminology or treatment codes. However, this data must be mapped correctly to insurance and billing systems so that clerical personnel can accurately submit insurance claims and bill patients. The integration and configuration of these separate systems can be time consuming but is required to ensure accurate billing and reporting.
With the very personal nature of a patient’s health records, preventing data breaches can be costly if not implemented correctly. Healthcare IT professionals need to balance the need of multiple doctors to review a single patient’s file, the ability for patients to access their own health records, and the need to implement stringent security measures to protect all electronic data.
The Ponemon Institute reported in their 2017 Cost of Data Breach Study, that healthcare data breach costs are the highest among all industries at $7.35 million in the U.S. That is a 5% increase over the previous year. In addition, it also had the highest bill per patient record at $380/record compared to a global average of $141/record across all industries.
The security of patient data is not limited to how it is transferred across networks but also physical security. The IT administrator of a small medical practice may need to monitor physical access to a server closet while a hospital IT administrator may need to monitor physical access to a large server room. No matter the size of the facility, without video cameras, biometric scanners, badge readers and other devices, effectively securing the physical area where servers and other equipment are stored may be virtually impossible.
How Can Evocative Eliminate the Challenges of Healthcare IT?
Provide Unmatched Security
A purpose-built data center offers built-in security that your server room cannot match. Evocative provides industry-leading security systems which include 24/7/365 monitoring by trained professionals along with video surveillance, mantrap entries, badge readers, biometric scanners and locked cages.
Deliver Consistent Top-Notch Performance
When trying to achieve peak performance from internal workloads, you can rarely, if ever, reach it across the board. At Evocative, we deliver top-notch performance across all areas of the data center with:
- Carrier Neutrality – providing access to multiple network carriers within the same data center. You can review the services offered by each carrier and are free to select the right one for your specific needs and budget.
- Redundancy – delivering redundant bandwidth and power to ensure a quick and smooth transition can be made to alternative resources if an outage should occur.
- Low-Latency – meeting low-latency, high-density requirements with direct connection to the largest connectivity providers.
- A Focus on Scale – continually planning for your organization’s growth, we enable you to seamlessly grow from racks to cages to suites as needed without incurring a costly and time/resource intensive move to another facility.
- Flexibility – providing colocation and hybrid cloud options enables you to more easily manage your workload on an application-by-application basis.
- 24/7/365 On-Site Management – providing on-site supervision of your network and the entire facility around the clock ensures that the security, availability and connectivity you need is always available when you need it.
Help You Meet HIPAA Requirements More Quickly and at Lower Cost
All Evocative data centers are HIPAA certified, having undergone thorough and rigorous testing by an independent third-party auditor for the management and secure storage of electronic health records. But don’t just take our word for it. At Evocative, we provide a copy of the complete audit report to anyone who would like to see it.
Our HIPAA certification not only safeguards your data but makes it easier for your organization to comply with your own health regulations as well. With the use of Evocative data centers to store, manage and maintain your technology infrastructure, you can achieve your own compliance requirements in less time and at a decreased cost.
Maintain Always-On Availability
In healthcare, when seconds could literally mean the difference between life and death, always-on availability is not “nice to have” but a “must have.” A colocation data center which combines high availability with a 100% uptime SLA and has a proven track record of continuous availability will help ensure that patient data is always available on-demand. Evocative has delivered a 100% uptime SLA for over 10 consecutive years.
Evocative data centers offer healthcare organizations a variety of solutions to eliminate IT challenges and improve patient care, provider productivity, organizational efficiency, and data security. Our suite of fully customizable IT services is flexible enough to meet your specialized requirements yet help you maintain the strict HIPAA regulations you are required to meet. We have over 100 networks and 50 cloud and IT service providers throughout our data centers across the U.S. and provide instant access to data and workload support whenever and wherever it’s needed.