If you asked any patient in your organization’s care if they wanted the IT team to part of their healthcare team, they’d probably say no. After all, while Sam in IT is excellent at integrating applications that give clinicians an holistic view of a patient care plan, she is not one of your organization’s highly skilled clinicians.
However, Andrew Pritchard, Director of Marketing at Perspectium says you might want to reconsider that decision. “Healthcare organizations are facing some big challenges that IT can help to solve if they’re empowered to step out of their silos,” he said.
Through his work helping healthcare systems improve their backend operations through IT service management (ITSM) and integration, he’s noticed opportunities for IT to deliver services to clinical teams that can help address some of the common pain points they experience, such as inventory management and cost containment. “For healthcare organizations that are using ServiceNow, Salesforce, or other platforms to support IT provisioning, these tools can enhance their service catalog functionality to deliver real benefits from streamlined ordering to reducing the number of vendors the hospital has to work with.”
In practical terms what this ITSM approach looks like is a comprehensive service catalog that includes clinical care staples such as warming blankets, IV needles, catheters, and other frequently used supplies. While there’s an obvious simplification on the front end in terms of ordering, the real genius of this integration happens behind the scenes. “By integrating the hospital’s service catalog with the suppliers, the requests being submitted into the catalog automatically creates orders,” Pritchard shared. “This eliminates the need for orders to be entered manually by phone call, email, or logging in to the supplier catalog to replicate what has already been requested in the hospital’s catalog.”
“On the surface, an integrated catalog helps streamline ordering and the mental load for nursing staff since they know supplies will be automatically re-ordered once the threshold is reached,” said Pritchard. But it also streamlines ordering across the hospital by identifying where departments are ordering the same item from multiple suppliers. “If you can identify those redundancies and reduce the number of vendors and increase the savings, then the IT has made a significant contribution to not only hospital operations, but patient care.”
While the concept of an IT service catalog is not a new one, expanding the idea beyond traditional industries and domains is certainly transformative. “Healthcare systems that choose to run with this idea are not guinea pigs,” said Pritchard. “There’s a strong body of evidence to support both the technology, the execution, and the benefits. It’s a rare opportunity to be innovative and deliver broad-based returns without assuming any risk,” Pritchard concluded.