Out With the Old — The Business Case for IT Transformation
Forward-thinking community hospital CEOs are giving information technology leaders a voice in strategic planning sessions.
The reason? Increasingly, technology solutions are able to help advance organizational goals. Unfortunately, the converse is also true. IT solutions that are obsolete or heading in that direction — such as on-premise servers, desktop computing and legacy systems – can hold a hospital back from achieving its goals.
On the cusp of healthcare’s digital transformation, even resource-constrained rural and community hospitals face an imperative to adopt new digital strategies and tools that support their clinical and financial success.
Indeed, the business case for retiring and replacing legacy systems and other outmoded IT solutions is straightforward and compelling — and taking a strategy-driven approach to IT transformation helps hospitals resist hard sells for shiny new technologies that overdeliver on flash and underdeliver on utility and ROI.
Here, then, is the broad-strokes business case for strategic IT transformation.
Reducing risk exposure is one of the most compelling reasons to retire legacy operating systems — especially those that are no longer supported by the manufacturer. Discontinued manufacturer support generally means a lack of security patches and operating system upgrades, which increases the threat of security breaches and data losses. According to a study published in Health IT Security in November 2021, cloud hosting adoption by healthcare providers can help prevent data breaches and ransomware attacks.
Running clinical and administrative processes on outdated infrastructure, platforms and applications has become increasingly costly and cumbersome for hospitals, and certain business objectives aren’t attainable using outdated IT. A strategically driven IT transformation can support strategic goals and provide the framework for financial and clinical success.
Return on Investment
The costs associated with running outdated IT keep rising. Moving away from legacy systems and shifting to a cloud-based model produce several areas of savings and revenue enhancement. Additionally, strategic IT investments support patient care and experience. Benefits of IT Transformation include:
- Reduced expense of servers, maintenance, software licenses, backups, and hardware upgrades.
- Ability to shift IT financing from an ever-escalating capital investment to a more manageable line-item expense.
- Revenue enhancement opportunities include streamlining billing and claims processing; improving budgeting, forecasting and reporting capabilities; automating repetitive manual tasks; and bringing data analytics to bear on organizational decisions.
- Modern IT solutions offer analytics that drive decisions around patient care and population health.
- IT solutions help hospitals stay competitive by improving patient engagement and experience. For example, patient demand is growing for telehealth services and other digital technologies, including electronic health record access, remote patient monitoring and patient portals for appointment scheduling and bill paying.
- Increasingly, patient engagement requires consolidation of data from disparate sources, from various providers’ charts to health-monitoring wearables.
- Employees benefit from new systems that are more intuitive, easy to use and accessible from any location.
IT transformation is an important part of a hospital’s plan to improve operational and financial performance. Get started by calculating the potential ROI for an IT Transformation. The CHC IT team is here to help.