The global pandemic has had significant and far-reaching impacts on nearly every industry, and nowhere is that more apparent than in healthcare. Patient demands for faster and more accessible personalized care coupled with clinicians need for tools to drive discoveries have pushed the accelerator on digital transformation.
Digital transformation sits at the intersection of personalized patient care and what is often referred to as a faster time to science, or the ability for researchers to use innovation to develop therapeutics and life-saving treatments faster than at any time in history.
“As patient care becomes more personalized, it will become more commonplace for people to provide their genomes to be analyzed, and for their care to be personalized to exactly what that genome says about them,” said Steven Lazer, global healthcare and life sciences chief technology officer at Dell Technologies.
Moving away from the four walls of the healthcare system is going to be a top priority over the next few years,” added Lazer. “Staffing shortages have pushed facilities to innovate on how to provide the same level of care with fewer staff. That will come through technology.”
Recent research from MeriTalk and Dell Technologies shows that telemedicine and remote diagnostics were the leading drivers for digital modernization in healthcare. But to get to the point where healthcare transitions from episodic care in a facility to personalized care from anywhere, healthcare facilities need to leverage an avalanche of data.
Being able to collect, analyze, store, and access that data requires connectivity through 5G and a modern infrastructure that can scale. That same MeriTalk research found that 85 percent of IT leaders in growing healthcare organizations experienced data center downtime that left them unable to provide the care their patients needed.
“Healthcare facilities working through modernization roadmaps are strangled by technical debt, which leads to operational debt, and affects their ability to deliver that coordinated, borderless care,” said Michael Giannopoulos, healthcare chief information security officer and chief technology officer, Americas and Federal healthcare director for Dell Technologies.
Healthcare facilities can prepare to modernize their infrastructure by doing a cost benefit analysis and looking at their hardware, network, and storage needs.
“The number one thing healthcare organizations need to do before any kind of transformational discussions is to open the dialogue with caregivers and ask them what they need to provide more personalized care,” added Giannopoulos. “That is our North Star – we are working for the patient.”
Another key consideration on modernization roadmaps is to ensure that the technology simplifies an environment.
“The data and the application have to be seamlessly connected and easy to use,” said George Morris, global healthcare chief information officer, Dell Technologies. “The desired outcome will dictate where you land that application, how you move the data, and how you make it accessible.”
Data security is another key consideration. There is no one product to solve data security. It’s a process of securing all the layers following the principles of zero trust. It is crucial for organizations to then build resiliency plans to avoid any downtime.
“When looking at resiliency plans, healthcare organizations tend to concentrate on data and not the application ecosystem, which is equally important,” said Morris. “Also, make it a best practice to test your resiliency plans so you know what to do if disaster strikes.”
Between data, applications, connectivity, data governance, and security, it’s easy for healthcare technology teams to get bogged down in the day-to-day operations of just keeping all of the systems working. Innovative solutions that move to a borderless care environment may fall down the priority list.
“Healthcare facilities are at an inflection point between technical debt handcuffing them to legacy systems and the push to do more with data,” said Giannopoulos. “They really need to take a step back and ask themselves if they want to be in the data center business or in the healthcare provider business. Many issues and roadblocks can be overcome by choosing to manage the application of the technology, not manage the technology itself. That can be done by technology partners.”
From patients having the ability to take their own vital signs and transmit them in real time to mapping a prevention plan based on a patient’s DNA, the future of healthcare is arriving fast. With a strong modernization roadmap and the right partnerships, healthcare facilities are poised to push the boundaries of innovation and patient care.
Learn more about the impact modern healthcare data centers have on patient care in Modern Healthcare Data Centers Impact, a webinar hosted MeriTalk with Dell Technologies.