An increasing volume of data creates new opportunities for healthcare advancements. But healthcare organizations also face ever-present and growing challenges: staying agile, protecting patient data, and gaining insight from the extraordinary amount of available data.

To address these issues, healthcare organizations are turning to IT service management. Through a series of recent articles, Future Healthcare Today reported on the role of integration in healthcare. Here are four ways that healthcare organizations use data integration and service integration to improve patient care.

1. Making Predictions for Better Tests and Procedures

Healthcare organizations are finding advanced methods to determine which tests to run and which procedures to implement. One breakthrough is healthcare analytics, which takes advantage of the vast amount of patient data being created and made available to healthcare organizations.

But to implement an advanced analytics system, there must be support from the CEO. And to use it effectively, it must be part of the organizational culture. The analytics initiative can succeed when the healthcare organization views analytics as an investment rather than just an expense.

How does integration help? When you integrate your service management tool with your data warehouse, you can combine that data with existing organizational data, giving you a more complete picture. In addition, the reporting features in BI tools usually surpass those of the service management tools, giving you stronger reporting.

2. Protecting Patients’ Data

Healthcare providers face regular ransomware attacks and other security threats. So it’s imperative that they proactively prevent access to personal health information (PHI).

Last year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) redesigned a form, sending customized privacy impact assessments to healthcare providers and letting these providers review these forms and submit corrections. At these healthcare providers, ITSM can ensure that the latest, most accurate data informs those reports to the CMS.

The challenge is that patient privacy and IT security are often handled by two separate teams. A patient privacy team runs its own tests, including simulated attack scenarios.

How does integration help? IT service management can offer help with bridging the gap between the teams. When ITSM deploys integration and replicates data for the patient privacy team, attack scenarios and other security assessments can be based on real, up-to-date patient information and behavior.

3. Streamlining the Process for Ordering

What would happen if a request for a healthcare item automatically created an order? When procurement, IT, and medical staff agree on a workflow, the healthcare organization benefits greatly.

Rather than dealing with emails, phone calls, or multiple logins, a healthcare organization with an automated process for requests can streamline ordering and reduce the number of vendors. With an integrated service catalog, the healthcare organization saves itself considerable expense.

How does integration help? When a healthcare system integrates their ITSM tool with that of their providers, they can automate service requests. This instant connection eliminates the need for inefficient “swivel chair” duplication via email or phone calls.

4. Offloading the Data Burden to Focus on Healthcare Mission

The amount of data that healthcare collects makes advances possible in the field and for particular healthcare systems. But as that amount of data grows, it can overwhelm the IT departments at those healthcare organizations.

How does integration help? Because such organizations are not in the business of big data and transferring the relevant data, it makes sense to rely on a provider that is. Any integrations that make insights possible must be scalable, in order to handle the increasing volume of data available and the growing number of staff that would otherwise need to maintain such integrations.

Healthcare Providers with More Agility and Visibility

Healthcare continues to deal with an exceptional amount of data. With a projected compound annual growth rate of 36 percent through 2025, the volume of big data is growing faster in healthcare than in other sectors.

To confront their data and workflow challenges, healthcare organizations are relying on providers who deliver integration as a service. To see how one healthcare organization used integration for better visibility and a stronger service catalog, read the Intermountain Healthcare case study.

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