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An Open View

The Pulse of IT Healthcare in 2018

It takes effort to follow the latest opportunities and challenges in a rapidly changing IT landscape—even in a sector as regulated as healthcare. There are a lot of smart efforts in our space that require, beyond IT expertise, a clear sense of the changing economics, policies, and practices governing service delivery and administration.

Vizuri knows this as well as most. My firm works closely with Red Hat on deploying solutions for leading healthcare IT organizations. We help firms adapt to new regulations and integrate new services, provide customized and timely information to improve patient care and education, and speed up approvals and authorizations for critical medical care.

As part of our very own Snapshot survey series, in which Vizuri takes a pulse of industry-specific IT professionals to help IT managers and leaders understand how their efforts benchmark against their peers, we set out to understand the state of practice in healthcare IT in 2018. In case you’re interested, we also summarize our survey approach later.

Here’s What We Learned

  1. Nearly everyone is in the cloud.

This will be no surprise to many. Respondents reported a mean of 45% of their systems in the cloud. It also makes sense that there is a strong correlation between IT staff size, budget, and level of cloud adoption—but it’s not an absolute. We were surprised to note that some of the largest organizations reported the lowest levels.

Large IT organizations cited varied reasons for slow adoption. One organization noted the challenge of training staff and keeping them up-to-date as a key consideration. Another organization simply noted that their leadership doesn’t understand the value of the cloud.

  1. Interoperability is the biggest challenge organizations face with their IT systems.

Among a host of potential issues that we identified, interoperability was identified by nearly half of respondents as their biggest challenge. About a quarter of respondents indicated that workflow was their biggest challenge. And the long tail? The ability to customize, data security, lack of data sharing, and ease of use.

  1. Interoperability approaches tend to take advantage of API-based models.

Perhaps because of these challenges, about half of respondents indicated that they are leveraging API-based models. About a quarter of respondents noted that they were planning to implement the same. The remaining quarter of respondents were either evaluating such a model or had decided against it.

  1. Customized workflows and business rules are not fully supported by existing systems.

About sixty percent of respondents identified at least one workflow, business process automation, or business rule that was not fully supported by their systems.

  1. Planned investments focus on the shortcomings identified above.

Among nine areas of potential investment, respondents identified that they planned to focus over the coming year on data analytics, system upgrades, security, and workflow improvements / business process automation.

Want to know how you benchmark against your peers in healthcare? Take the Snapshot and we’ll be happy to tell you how your results compare.

Here’s How We Got There

What inspired this Snapshot?

At the end of 2017, I delivered a webcast Using APIs to Improve the Business of Care Delivery in partnership with Harvard Medical School International Healthcare Innovation Professor and the Beth Israel Deaconess System CIO John Halamka, MD, MS. Healthcare APIs have the potential to modernize the way providers, patients, payers, and other stakeholders interact with and use data.

My team was keenly interested in exploring the extent of interoperability issues following this webinar, but we also decided to use a survey as a broader opportunity to understand how interoperability fits within a broader context of culture and performance, technology adoption and challenges, and outlook for the future.

How did we approach this Snapshot?

To ensure high completion rate, our Snapshots have a limited set of questions; this Snapshot had a longer-than-average set of 20 questions. To drive participation, my marketing team ran paid social media campaigns in February and March of 2018. As inducement, we offered a customized report of how each respondent’s efforts compared to others, and we included a Starbucks gift card as additional thanks.

We were asked by Red Hat to share some of our insights with the broader open-source community. While we did not intend to develop a traditional survey report—our focus is on providing customized read-outs to help organizations understand where they lead, where they fall behind, and where they align with others of their size, location, and specific work—we are excited to have the opportunity to share key takeaways we found.

What questions should we ask for our next Snapshot? Let us know. Email: solutions@vizuri.com.

Joe Dickman

As Senior Vice President, Joe is responsible for overall operations of Vizuri. Joe has over 19 years experience as a technical architect, developer, and business leader.