Home CIO Perspectives Ensuring Preparedness for Healthcare Organizations

Ensuring Preparedness for Healthcare Organizations

by Heidi Bullman

While it’s far from over, COVID-19 presented myriad challenges and barriers for healthcare organizations. In this news roundup, we’re covering how healthcare organizations can bolster preparedness in anticipation of any future public health crises.

Scale Up Telehealth Initiatives

Although it’s not a new concept, telehealth quickly became a necessity amid COVID-19. According to an interview in GovDataDownload, during the initial outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic NetApp’s Lisa Hines explained that, “as part of the emergency funding package, we have reduced the restrictions on telehealth at a national level, which then has trickled down to the state level. This action is tremendous for the future of telehealth and how it can now be more quickly adopted to protect citizens in the midst of this public health crisis.” Months later, with the relaxed telehealth restrictions now permanent, varying by state, telehealth implementation is easier now more than ever before and just as important for preparedness.

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Integrate Insights for Preventative Care and Personalized Medicine

For outcome-based care – especially amid a public health crisis – interconnected patient data, including the information derived from electronic health records (EHR), is critical. According to industry expert, Tim Waters of Equinix, “Personalized insights into patients’ health will enable precision well-being and real-time micro-interventions that allow doctors and medical researchers to get further ahead of sickness and catastrophic disease. Patient and research data can be collected from multiple sources, analyzed using AI, and shared in real time among various systems (physical and virtual) to enhance all aspects of personalized patient care and treatment development.”

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Enhance Cybersecurity Practices

Thanks to the widespread, and rapid, adoption of telehealth in addition to the need for integrated patient insights, battling the novel coronavirus, or any future public health crisis, presents a multitude of security issues. In combating COVID-19, “health systems rapidly rolled out technologies to provide broader access to care, sometimes neglecting security in the process,” explained Kat Jercich in an article for HealthcareIT News. “Reports have emerged about bad actors, including nation-states, using the virus as a wedge to obtain information.” Jercich’s message to healthcare systems? It’s never too late to assess security, understand where the opportunities for phishing and other cybersecurity threats are present, and make the changes needed to keep hospital and patient information secure.

Read the article here.

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