10 IT Initiatives Your Hospital Should Undertake in 2012

October 19, 2011
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As the new year approaches it’s time to think about new IT approaches. The following are 10 intiatives hopsitals should undertake in 2012. 

As the new year approaches it’s time to think about new IT approaches. The following are 10 intiatives hopsitals should undertake in 2012. 

1.       Meaningful Use: Meeting Stage 1 and 2. More providers are currently attesting for stage 1 meaningful use; although it is still unclear if stage 2 will be delayed until 2014. Meaningful Use compliance will continue to the top priority health IT initiatives for years to come.

2.       ICD-10. Providers must meet CMS regulations for the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10. Providers should be performing ICD-10 assessments that provide a readiness assessment, impact assessment, and implementation plan to prepare to meet ICD-10 deadline. Specifically, IT should focus on sending vendor surveys to all vendors that are impacted by ICD-10 to specifically state what their upgrade/remediation efforts they have in place to comply with ICD-10 regulations. ICD-10 touches everything and impacts every point of delivery in healthcare.

3.       Health Information Exchange– Interoperability is key as it relates to Meaningful Use’s objectives of electronically exchange clinical information, summary of care, submit lab results to public health agencies, etc.

4.       Virtualization/Cloud Computing– As healthcare organization deal with competing priorities from HITECH/ARRA, Meaningful Use, 5010, ICD-10, and ACA, hospitals are constantly trying to reduce costs while providing accessible health information. Virtualization can streamline IT operations and improve continuity of care.

5.       Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity– As healthcare providers move towards EMR/EHRs, it is imperative for hospitals to have disaster recovery solution in place handle potential downtime occurrences.

6.       Mobile Applications for Physicians and other clinicians. With the increase of mobile applications e.g. iPads, iPhones, etc. utilized by physician, nurses, and other clinicians, hospitals will have to support all of these new devices. This will present many challenges as organizations will have to determine which devices and/or platforms are suitable for use and will be fully support by the organization.

7.       Business Intelligence. As hospitals deal with the increasing volume of data produced by technology, business intelligence can help increase revenue and reduce costs utilizing dashboards, analytics, etc.

8.       SSO (Single Sign On). Single sign on technology improves physician access times to EMRs, time/cost savings for all clinicians, and increase PHI compliance.

9.       Picture Archiving and Communication System/Data Storage. Increasing amounts of data being stored may present data storage concerns for some hospitals as they may not be able to handle all the increasing “digitization” of digital documents including medical imaging.

10.    Security.  All e-PHI created, received, maintained, or transmitted by an organization is subject to the HIPAA Security Rule. It is also one of the core Meaningful Use measures for entities to conduct or review a risk analysis.