Technology Priorities Healthcare CIOs Must Address in 2022

Published On: January 10th, 20224 min read

Thanks to the rate technology that continues to advance, healthcare organizations find themselves in a unique position.

On the one hand, IT has made it possible to register the type of innovation in care that would have been unthinkable as recently as a decade ago. On the other hand, factors like patient management evolve so rapidly that even keeping up with modern tech and utilizing it effectively can feel like trying to hit a moving target.

This is especially true given everything going on in the world right now as far as the COVID-19 pandemic. According to one recent study, many organizational leaders in healthcare have had to “rearrange their priorities” thanks to the Coronavirus because the bar for quality digital health experiences is now higher than ever. 

Digital transformation in this sector has become critical. And because something of a precedent has been set (albeit under duress), this is a trend that is not expected to slow down even after the pandemic is behind us.

It’s up to healthcare CIOs to be as proactive as possible when it comes to what technologies they embrace and, more importantly, how they integrate them into their organizations. There are a few priorities they should be paying close attention to in 2022 and beyond.

The Changing Landscape of Healthcare IT

The overarching theme of these trends has to do with patient engagement — in other words, making sure that people are not only getting the care they need but that they’re doing so most efficiently and safely.

Case in point: experts agree that healthcare CIOs are facing a considerable amount of pressure to make sure that the telehealth capabilities of their facilities are as strong as they can be. This, too, is something that is expected to outlast COVID-19.

Patients expect their experiences to be A) very well-coordinated and B) digital when possible. They want access to mobile-driven tools that allow them to manage their care and their personal health information. The pandemic has shown that if a patient doesn’t necessarily have to come into the office to receive care, and they don’t want to, then they’d prefer to have a consultation or meeting in the comfort of their own home.

Because of that, those healthcare organizations that are incapable of delivering those digital experiences are the ones that will soon find themselves left behind by their much savvier competitors. 

Of course, healthcare organizations are still “businesses” in a sense and they need to maintain a profit to keep their business running. That, in turn, leads directly into another one of the technology priorities that healthcare CIOs will have to address in 2022: rebuilding their companies from the ground up with an emphasis on their operating margins.

Several facilities, like hospitals, in particular, struggled to remain profitable during the onset of the pandemic. Not only were they dealing with staffing shortages but they also had a sudden disruption to the level of service they were able to offer. Because of that, the CIOs had to look for opportunities to cut costs in any way that they could.

Having said that, most of these chances to reduce overhead have dried up, and things are beginning to return to pre-pandemic levels. Because of that, CIOs will need to be more thoughtful about how they leverage technology to A) continue the level of service that people have come to expect and B) do so while steadily improving margins.

This means using not only high-quality data sources but the most trustworthy information possible when it comes to how they’re making decisions. It also means adjusting clinical practices with an eye towards continuous improvement. It involves leveraging technology at all points of the patient care process; although, the approach itself will vary depending on the practice you’re referring to. 

Soon, healthcare organizations will turn to a wide range of different IT concepts to accomplish all of this and more. Artificial intelligence (AI) is already being used to monitor patient management in real-time. Machine learning is being used for risk identification to help make sure professionals can intervene as quickly as possible before a small problem becomes a much bigger one. 

Yes, it’s a difficult landscape to be operating in. It requires a completely new way of thinking from the best practices of ten years ago. Though, it’s also one that will not only help us get through the pandemic but will lead to a healthier (not to mention more equitable) outcome over the next few years and beyond. When you consider it from that point of view, it instantly becomes clear that all of the efforts are more than worth it. 

If you’re curious to learn more about how digital transformation is affecting patient management in healthcare, contact DMI today

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