How Predictive Analytics Will Improve Patient Care

How Predictive Analytics Will Improve Patient Care

In healthcare, meeting the needs of patients is an ongoing challenge. Doctors, nurses, IT staff, clerks, janitors, equipment providers, and more must work together to provide the best patient care possible. With technology being a core component, predictive analytics has been a fast-growing industry. Due to its broad uses, it’s expected to grow annually by over 20% across the next five years.

Throughout the day-to-day functions, healthcare providers generate massive datasets. For example, the MRI of a human head takes over 20,000 pictures. Due to technology improvements requiring increasingly more data, interpreting it can be a complex task. There can be interactions between very different types of information. That has created a demand for newer methods, like predictive analytics, to convert data into a more usable form. In doing so, healthcare IT companies can help facilities make more accurate decisions for their patients.

What Is Predictive Analytics?

Predictive analytics is a type of analysis that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help predict future events. It’s done with current and historical data, where it can support anyone from doctors to IT staff with healthcare-related decisions.

The datasets used are not limited to internal statistics either. Outside sources like local events, national holidays, weather changes, time of day, tourist traffic, etc., can have an impact too. These can predict many situations, like when extra staffing is needed or what types of health issues are more likely to happen.

Why It Can Improve Patient Care

The digital transformation of healthcare has created large amounts of valuable data. Electronic medical records (EMRs) are used by nearly 90% of office-based physicians and aren’t bound by the same limitations as paper records. With the help of AI-driven predictive analytics, that data can be looked at in new and innovative ways to improve the quality of patient care.

Increased diagnosis accuracy

One challenge for any doctor is a quick and accurate medical diagnosis. Patients will often have more than one underlying symptom, and it requires years of training and experience to judge. Predictive analytics doesn’t replace the doctor’s role but instead acts as a tool to support the process.

Proactive treatment

Medical providers try to decrease the chance of problems. Predictive software can detect patients that are at higher risk. Those risks can be observed through medical history and family genetics. By flagging people as being at increased risk for specific issues, lifestyle changes can be made earlier on.

Personalized care plans

Every person has unique lifestyle needs, dietary habits, chronic symptoms, and other factors that can impact their health. Data analytics can help develop personalized care plans, letting the doctor better identify areas of improvement while reducing the impact on other aspects of a patient’s life.

Reduced medical costs

More effective care means less wasted treatment and a reduced risk of an issue becoming more expensive. It can help in other ways too. Insurance plans can be developed with statistics from healthcare providers, creating ways to reduce overall costs by analyzing patient needs and trends.

Shorter wait times

It’s hard to anticipate surges, long appointments, or surgical complications. Walk-in clinics and ERs are especially vulnerable to a lack of schedule. That can leave patients waiting longer for treatment. Better predicting these factors can lead to shorter wait times through more accurate staffing.

Other Healthcare Uses

In addition to EMRs, many other data types are tracked and stored. That includes accounting, health insurance, cybersecurity, and other statistics like patient lifetime value. That allows predictive analytics to be useful for more than just patient care. It can also help with other healthcare-related areas.

Improved patient retention

Identifying areas and methods that patients are more responsive can improve care. Even if two people have similar health issues, they may be more responsive to different strategies. This not only enhances the quality of care but also decreases the chance of readmissions for the same problem.

Resource prioritization

Providers have a limited budget, staff, time, and medical supplies to meet patient needs. That can make it difficult to judge where best to put extra resources and where to trim down. Predictive analytics in healthcare will not only look at historical and current needs to better utilize resources but can help project future ones too.

Managing large data pools

When looking at a mixture of data pools, ranging from medical records to admission peaks, interpreting how they correlate can take a lot of time. AI-driven analytics can look at those interactions and more quickly present the information in a usable form. This makes it easier for healthcare staff to act upon it.

Cybersecurity

Cybercriminals are a constant threat to healthcare. They often target medical records which hold valuable patient data. When ransomware is used, those records are locked by a hacker, forcing the target to pay a fee to unlock the files. Data breaches can cost over $400 per patient record that’s stolen.

Threat monitoring

Using a combination of predictive analytics and standard security methods makes it easier to monitor for unknown threats. This is done by detecting unusual patterns in real-time and alerting IT staff. Even with cybersecurity built to handle the top IT problems, monitoring is vital to maintaining it.

Closing

From top to bottom, the healthcare industry uses data in various ways. It’s crucial for everything from medical records and treatment plans to admissions and cyber threat detection. This information can be better interpreted and used to support staff at all levels by using predictive analytics. Not only does it improve the quality of patient care, but it also helps providers get the most out of their budget and available resources.

As practical as it is, many offices aren’t prepared for the changes needed. That’s in part due to overhauls being a long and expensive process. It can include updating computers, software, networks, security, and training. Predictive analytics software must also be compatible with current systems, such as patient health records. With expert help, that process can go much more smoothly. Third-party healthcare IT companies like ITonDemand can assist by providing comprehensive and affordable services to meet your growing needs.

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A Guide to Managed IT for Healthcare, Medical & Dental

A Guide to Managed IT for Healthcare, Medical & Dental

The healthcare industry has continually adapted to the patient, staff, and regulatory needs. Information technology (IT) has been a key component of healthcare globally to support those demands. It’s allowed medical and dental practices to modernize their workflow and improve patient engagement, allowing for a higher quality of care.

As part of those changes, there’s been a steady demand for home care through telemedicine. Not only is it convenient, but 86% of patients were satisfied with the service provided. Other innovations include predictive analytics for patient care, using AI to automate tasks, virtual collaboration tools, and expanding services offered by local providers. With technology integrated throughout the process, IT is essential for maintaining those systems.

Managed services have been critical in handling IT challenges due to the high adoption rate of healthcare technology and a growing need for experienced staff. This guide will discuss what managed IT services are, the top 7 challenges, the top 7 benefits, and how these services can help your clinic.

Table of Contents

What are Managed IT Services for Healthcare?

Healthcare-managed IT services outsource their technology needs to a third-party organization. That helps with HIPAA compliance, cloud services, cybersecurity, data backup, software, and more. They can coordinate with in-house support teams or completely handle services from top-to-bottom.

A managed IT provider specializing in healthcare focuses its efforts on crucial areas of the industry. Medical and dental practices are patient-driven, making the technology experience for both the patient and the provider a priority for improving the quality of care. Electronic health record (EHR) systems need to be responsive, accurate, and easy to use. Website information and patient user accounts should be simple to navigate.

Even with a well-designed IT infrastructure, cybercriminals are a constant threat. 83% of physicians reported experiencing some form of cyberattack. This causes cybersecurity, data recovery, and monitoring to be invaluable services to prevent and react to hazards. With so many interacting layers of technology, this creates many complications that are best solved by managed IT services.

Top 7 IT Challenges Face by Medical & Dental Practices

There are a lot of IT challenges faced by medical and dental practices throughout the world. With changes in patient needs, threats of data breaches, and rising maintenance costs, keeping pace with the IT industry has become difficult. That has led to smaller in-house IT teams losing value and effectiveness, as they don’t have resources or experience overhauling larger-scale systems.

Telemedicine

Between ongoing health concerns and added convenience, telemedicine has been an essential element for many medical and dental practices to stay in business. These systems require cross-communication between various systems, like user accounts, medical records, and video chat software. Setting these up can be a lengthy and convoluted process, especially if a complete overhaul is required.

Data management

Medical and dental practices process and maintain a vast amount of patient data. That includes medical records, insurance information, payment processing, and other private material. Processing and accessing all this information can be a challenge since it must be stored in a usable manner. EHR backups must also be maintained. Emergencies are rarely anticipated, and reacquiring lost data can be difficult and damage patient trust.

Cybersecurity

The healthcare industry has been an increasingly attractive target for criminals. Selling private health information from patients and ransoming high-value networks can have catastrophic consequences for medical and dental practices. Outdated cybersecurity methods are now more easily bypassed, making way for the need for stricter and more effective measures.

Mobile applications

Many healthcare clinics are now using mobile applications as part of their patient experience. This makes it easier for them to schedule appointments, check medical records, and ask questions directly to their providers. Designing and maintaining these applications requires ongoing IT support. They need security updates, bug fixes, feature changes, and more based on their utilization.

HIPAA compliance

Managing data is crucial, but meeting industry standards for IT compliance is also necessary. Due to the sensitivity of the acquired information, there are additional guidelines for storage and cybersecurity. Assessing whether a practice meets these regulations requires an experienced staff familiar with HIPAA compliance, can spot areas that come up short, and can implement fixes promptly.

Staff Training

As more healthcare offices integrate technology changes, staff may be hesitant to embrace and try out changes they don’t understand. Training them to understand and trust these updates isn’t always easy, especially if a practice uses outdated and inefficient methods like paper charts. Having a reliable and trustworthy IT team makes it easier to train staff and integrate new changes in a way that’s beneficial for everyone.

Financial limitations

Even with good intentions and proper planning, financial limitations are an ongoing obstacle for IT. Serving patients is the core of healthcare, and the role technology plays in that process is often understated. That leads to underbudgeted IT departments asking to do more than they have the staff or resources for, creating a gap in services.

Top 7 Benefits of Using Managed IT for Healthcare

Medical and dental practices have many IT needs that can be difficult to navigate. Not only can managed IT services help with industry challenges, but they also provide additional services that proactively improve IT capabilities. Whether using co-managed or fully outsourced IT services, there are many benefits to using managed IT services for healthcare.

IT staff recruitment

Recruiting and onboarding new IT employees can take a lot of time and money, with no guarantee that they will be successful. The average cost-per-hire is $4,425 and takes over a month to fill, which can scale upward depending on the specialization. Managed IT services internally train and onboard their staff, bringing them up to speed with their solutions and services. As a result, the cost and risks of hiring new IT staff are completely outsourced.

Cost savings

Besides bypassing expenses from staff recruitment, there are several ways managed IT services for healthcare can create cost savings. Inefficient and outdated IT infrastructure can generate a lot of wasted time. This diverts staff away from patients as they deal with hardware and software bumps that slow them down. Managed services can also provide solutions to those issues at a lower cost because IT staff is already specialized in doing so.

Scalability

Managed IT services can scale based on current needs, anticipated growth, and long-term goals. That helps better utilize budget and IT resources by reducing wastage on projects that are low priority, ineffective, or poorly designed. By not paying for unnecessary services and implementing long-lasting solutions, healthcare clinics can save up to 40% on their IT costs by switching to managed services.

Customized Solutions

Every healthcare provider has a unique set of challenges, needs, and goals with their continuous functions. There’s no single best solution for every situation; some may be more effective than others. Managed IT services for medical practices can develop customized solutions that factor in those situations. This allows for higher effectiveness while minimizing costs.

24/7 monitoring

Monitoring IT infrastructure can be a daunting task, especially for smaller IT teams with limited time and resources. By using managed IT services, 24/7 monitoring can be completely outsourced, which shifts the workload to a third party that is better suited to handle the task. Their staff will conduct monitoring and disaster response, allowing them to respond better to any issue than most in-house teams.

Helpdesk Support

Not every issue is going to be a calamity. Managed IT services have staff able to help on an as-needed basis too. An outsourced helpdesk can assist with matters of any size, including answering end-user questions and providing guidance on new system functions. Availability covers standard business hours and often includes 24/7 support options depending on the needs of the healthcare clinic.

Increased productivity

By using managed IT services, employee productivity can be improved in various ways. Well-built IT infrastructure is easy to access, use, learn, and understand. Software changes and computer upgrades are made more quickly based on evolving needs, rather than leaving employees struggling with inefficiencies long-term. With on-demand helpdesk support and monitoring, unexpected issues are quickly reacted to and fixed.

How Can Managed IT Help Your Medical Practice?

With increasingly complex and expensive EHR systems needed to manage vital data, serving the needs of both staff and patients has outgrown the capabilities of many smaller in-house IT teams. Every medical practice has its own workflow and obligations, making specialized solutions a more effective way to use a clinic’s limited IT resources.

Managed IT services can provide larger-scale support on everything from hardware and software to mobile apps and HIPAA compliant cybersecurity. Outsourcing IT challenges to a third-party team shifts the extra burden, risks, and cost externally. At the same time, the additional expertise, resources, and monitoring make for reliable support and more effective solutions. Better services, lower costs, and fewer risks make outsourcing a practical choice.

ITonDemand’s healthcare IT services offer an experienced team to take on any IT challenge. We’ll help you solve inefficiencies and cost inflation with enhancements that save time and money. In addition, our team will prepare your infrastructure for changes in staffing, logistics, and patient needs. Your technology should work with you, not against you. With help from ITonDemand, we can make that happen.

Contact Us for Managed IT Services

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