Is health care struggling due to a lack of IT training?

22 May 2015

One would be hard-pressed to identify a technology that is at once advanced and manageable by virtually anyone, regardless of what their training and educational background might entail. At the same time, a massive skills shortage is burdening a wealth of businesses in virtually all industries, as IT talents are now required by all companies given the rapid and immense digitization of processes, strategies and client demands that has accelerated in recent years. 

A good place to begin the conversation of why IT training is so critical in today's markets is health care, where innovation and advanced deployments have been more regular than almost any other area of the public and private sectors. Health care firms are under the gun to deploy modern solutions that improve patient care, all the while maintaining exceptional security of patient data and compliance with federal regulations. 

This has been an incredibly challenging flow of demands for virtually all medical-related organizations, but one that can certainly be overcome with the right combination of training, provisioning strategies and policy refinements. Considering how much these entities are investing in new technologies, they ought to be ensuring that their staff members have the skills, certifications and confidence necessary to maximize returns on the purchases and optimize their functionality for progressive performance improvements within operations. 

Case in point
Hospitals and Health Networks Magazine recently reported that many medical firms still need to do a lot of work to ensure that their practitioners are actually engaging with modern electronic health record systems. For some background, EHR systems are used by the vast majority of Canadian health care providers, while American firms are just now beginning to approach the adoption rates that were required within legislation enacted six years ago. 

These systems come with significant benefits to patient care and hospital efficiency, as they effectively standardize information management practices and formats related to data across the entire industry. Officials in government have hailed the tools as representing a major step in the right direction for population health management, as the big data implications relevant to these deployments are vast. 

Now, in terms of functionality and engagement, Hospitals and Health Networks Magazine pointed out that many firms are being held back by a lack of context within the systems and policies, hindered awareness of benefits among physicians, poor personalization and slow input speeds. According to the news provider, these types of issues can be overcome through enhanced efforts related to interoperability, more input from practitioners regarding their experiences, the incorporation of patient-facing projects and acknowledgement of needs. 

Finally, the source suggested that a complete overhaul of physician workflows to more closely align with real, everyday EHR system interaction might be necessary to improve engagement and boost the returns on these investments. In this conversation and many others, skilled professionals will be key. 

EHR and more
Whether a health care provider is working to improve its EHR system performance, deploy new telemedicine initiatives, optimize mobility frameworks or otherwise, it will need to have employees who possess the knowledge necessary to complete the projects accurately and efficiently. In the coming years, big data and other trends are expected to have an even greater impact on the medical profession, meaning that the need for skilled IT professionals will only continue to increase. 

While medical firms will certainly need to be quick to the punch when it comes to educating their employees, other businesses should recognize the similar transformations taking place across the private and public sectors. Without training and certification in IT matters, the chances of capitalizing on new opportunities in technology will be inherently lower. 

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