Healthcare organizations (HCOs) have been quick to implement point solutions to address urgent issues. This has been especially true as HCOs pivoted to meet the challenges brought about by the pandemic. For instance, many providers implemented telehealth point solutions to support access to care and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
As HCOs continue to navigate the changing healthcare landscape, they may want to reassess point solution deployments and think about their organization’s strategic approach to enterprise technology. “Point solutions will always have a place in healthcare,” said Kathryn Howe, Healthcare Digital Transformation Director, Americas Industries, Cisco. “But implementing a comprehensive, enterprise technology infrastructure is really the key to helping organizations meet future challenges.”
Howe identified five ways foundational infrastructure can support an HCO’s digital transformation:
Enhance clinical collaboration
“The hybrid work environment is here to stay,” Howe affirmed. In healthcare, contact centers were some of the first organizations to transition to hybrid work. Technology that supports the hybrid work model for clinical staff is still emerging. Innovations – such as introducing holograms and 3D augmented reality into the collaborative meeting environment – are going to be game changers with respect to clinical staff collaboration. “The possibilities of the latest collaboration innovations are limitless,” Howe explained. “Through augmented reality headsets and hologram technology, patients and physicians could receive expert opinions from leading authorities from anywhere in the world. They could see what you see, and interact as if they were in the room with you. It is a new era of personalized patient care.”
Increase the organization’s agility in the face of future challenges
“Point telehealth solutions helped HCOs respond quickly to the pandemic,” she said. “But point solutions that focus on a single competency area can hinder future growth if they aren’t wholly integrated into the HCO’s technology platform.” Implementing comprehensive infrastructure can ensure that all critical aspects of new technologies – including privacy, security, visibility, mobility and more – are fully addressed each time a new technology is deployed.
Expand network access without sacrificing security
The right technology infrastructure can increase network access while still protecting network security. For example, Adventist Health leveraged its comprehensive technology platform to deploy AI endpoint analytics across its network. This allowed the health system to automate the identification and security vetting of the tens of thousands of IoT devices accessing its network every day.
Support clinicians, staff, patients and guests with frictionless connectivity
Additionally, Adventist Health leveraged its comprehensive technology platform to ensure secure access to Wi-Fi 6 and Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) OpenRoaming. This means that clinicians, staff, patients and visitors can connect securely and seamlessly to the network without entering login credentials. It also enables clinical staff to move throughout medical facilities without losing connectivity by automatically shifting connectivity to the most available access point or strongest signal.
Facilitate and prioritize innovation
Innovation in healthcare is constant and accelerating. “Even providers that have a chief innovation officer may find themselves struggling to decide which innovations to invest in now and which can wait,” said Howe. That is where a comprehensive technology partner can help. The right partner can bring a global perspective to the challenges HCOs face. In addition, she noted, “the right partner can help HCOs prioritize innovation options, ensuring that organizations stay on the cutting edge – but not the bleeding edge – of new technology.”
Ultimately, a comprehensive, enterprise technology strategy serves as a roadmap, aligning emerging technologies and care delivery value.
To learn more about how Cisco’s healthcare infrastructure supports healthcare’s digital transformation visit https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/industries/healthcare.html.
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