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2024: Time to say Goodbye to these 5 Healthcare IT Trends
Posted by:Russ Berkun, February - 23 - 2024


In my recent engagements with various healthcare companies during their 2024 budgeting process, I’ve noticed a pivotal shift: a critical re-evaluation of investments in Information Technology. Amidst rapid technological advancements and changing pricing models, it’s become clear that traditional IT strategies are falling short. From these observations, it’s evident that companies aiming for success must urgently realign their budgets to focus on cloud-driven solutions, integrated systems, and digital patient engagement. This shift represents not just an upgrade, but a strategic imperative for staying ahead in the evolving healthcare landscape.

As we explore the shift in healthcare IT strategies and the heightened focus on innovation, let’s pinpoint the specific outdated IT trends that demand our attention and understand where companies are redirecting their efforts.

  1. The Ongoing Legacy Systems Enhancements

As healthcare companies confront the challenges of enhancing legacy systems, a significant shift is underway. These systems, once the foundation of healthcare IT, are now recognized as impediments to innovation. Their design, while effective in the past, now presents challenges in terms of rigidity and compatibility with newer technologies. This is particularly problematic as the demand for real-time analytics and efficient data management grows. The limitations of these outdated systems often result in operational inefficiencies and slow responses to business needs. Consequently, many organizations are now pivoting towards cloud-based, modular systems for 2024. This move, essential for improved interoperability and scalability, enables organizations to quickly adapt to evolving technologies and client needs. For company leadership, adopting digital solutions that facilitate this transition is crucial, ensuring that their services stay competitive and are not impeded by the limitations of legacy systems.

2. Spreadsheet and Paper-Based Processes

In an era where data accuracy and efficiency are crucial, continuing to rely on manual spreadsheets and paper-based processes has become a hindrance. These traditional methods, time-consuming and error-prone, lack the advanced analytical capabilities essential for modern data management. As we look towards the upcoming year, a notable shift is expected towards digital workflow and data management tools. These tools go beyond mere digitization; they utilize AI and Machine Learning to dynamically adapt and evolve. This transition streamlines operations and significantly enhances data integrity and accessibility. It reduces reliance on subject matter experts, turning routine data handling into a vital component of the company’s intellectual property. Embracing this change in data management is fundamental to informed decision-making and improving patient outcomes, placing healthcare organizations at the vanguard of technological progress.

3. Stand-Alone Electronic Health Record (EHR) Systems

Stand-alone EHR systems, while foundational in digitizing patient records, now pose a challenge in the integrated healthcare landscape. These systems often lead to data silos, limiting the exchange of patient information across different platforms. In 2024, healthcare providers need to shift towards integrated EHR systems that support bidirectional data flow. Such systems enhance interoperability and provide a complete view of patient health records, crucial for delivering coordinated and effective patient care.

4. On-Premises Data Centers

The traditional approach of maintaining on-premises data centers is becoming increasingly unsustainable, due to financial investment in infrastructure, security, DR and staffing shortages. These centers demand significant capital investment, constant maintenance, and are not as scalable as their modern counterparts. As the volume and complexity of healthcare data grow, cloud storage solutions emerge as a more practical choice. They offer scalability, enhanced security, and cost-effectiveness, addressing the limitations of traditional data centers. The shift to cloud storage in 2024 will not only reduce overhead costs but also provide organizations with the agility to respond to evolving data needs. Additionally, exploring Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) should be a key consideration for organizations looking to move away from dedicated data center operations.

5. Traditional Patient Engagement Methods

The reliance on traditional, often in-person, patient engagement methods limits the reach and effectiveness of healthcare services. As digital literacy and technology usage continue to rise, incorporating digital channels for patient engagement is becoming essential. This includes telehealth, mobile health apps, and online patient portals. The 2024 budget should embrace these digital channels to enhance patient engagement, offering convenience, personalized care, and a broader reach.

Charting the Course Forward

The healthcare IT sector stands at a crucial juncture, where embracing change is not just advantageous but essential for the sustained success of organizations. For financial leaders and key executives, the call to action is clear: reallocate 2024 budgets towards addressing these evolving strategies. By doing so, organizations can significantly boost operational efficiency and patient care, ensuring they remain at the forefront of a rapidly changing healthcare technology landscape.

In my own experience, it’s essential to continuously evaluate and update our approaches to technology. Being adaptable and forward-thinking is key to ensuring that healthcare IT not only meets the current demands but is also prepared for future challenges and opportunities.

What other outdated Health IT trends have you encountered, and how are you steering your organization toward adopting more advanced technologies?

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Russ Berkun

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