Equipment Planning & IT Integration Overview
Medical facilities and campuses are entering a new, connected era. They can no longer stand as silos of information where one branch does not communicate with the other. Not only is that poor patient care, but it is also extremely inefficient and hampers the acquisition of the best equipment for the organization. For that reason, healthcare IT is becoming more and more crucial. Firms are investing in upgrading equipment, networks and other technology. They have greater planning and have more specialized staffs. IT is helping to define the future of the health care industry. There are a few things to consider with equipment planning and IT integration in particular.
Medical Equipment Planning
Virtually all hospital equipment is now being transformed into medical equipment technology. Technology is a standard part of the health care industry at home and around the world. These devices are becoming connected to the internet so that they can perform several tasks. Firstly, they are “smart” so that any diagnostic test automatically uploads into the system and the patient records. It shares the info with physicians and other systems that need the knowledge to make a better diagnostic. Additionally, they are tracked on campus and wherever they are. If they are stolen they can immediately be reclaimed and the perpetrator can be found. That reduces waste and crime, helping to save money.
Lastly, medical equipment technology is constantly upgrading its computational capability. It began by having stronger and stronger chips to save and analyzes EKGs, radiology results etc. Now the capabilities have grown infinitely with their connection to the cloud. Platforms like Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and others can provide virtually unlimited computational power at low cost thanks to their massive server farms. Medical staff allow their equipment to conduct the test and instantly compare it across a wide range of results to return the optimal diagnoses. That makes the error rate go down dramatically and the efficiency up dramatically. The equipment is integrated into a campus wide network and built out to inform all of the relevant departments and staff based on each patient’s needs.
Equipment Planning Process
The project capital equipment and budgeting process is a six step process that is becoming more and more enabled by IT. The software systems manage the whole process with several important goals. Firstly, they intend to get the lowest price for the service or product by matching competing bids and optimizing for the most value. Secondly, they invest early to get ahead of the game and grab the biggest potential cost savings from new innovations. Lastly, they link the entire process so nothing gets lost in the shuffle through the acquisition process. At the end, everything is aggregated so management has a clear view of the process and the results.
There are six key steps that occur in the capital budgeting process. The first step is to design the requirements and the overall need. Secondly, health care campuses create a plan to run acquire the products or services and the vendors. They also allocate the funds in the budget for the product. Third, they specify exactly the criteria that are needed for the vendors to fulfill. All of this information is compiled and sent in the form of an RFP. Vendors then send back their various bids.
Fourthly, the medical campuses determine the winner and procure the goods. This includes various logistics teams that may need to ship in extremely heavy or sensitive machines. The winning bid is determined through an objective process determined by the software program and validated by management.
Fifth, they install the product. This could require expert installers or simply a contract with a team of service providers. It may also include training of staff and customization. Lastly, the product or service is commissioned.
Medical equipment planning solutions now have thousands of templates and customizations to make the process easier than ever. There are many layouts and recommended configurations as well. Of course, local groups can develop their own templates and share them among one another. That standardization helps more vendors compete and provide a more complete bid.
Managed Architecture Integration
Medical equipment planning also includes additional requirements for managing information storage. Medical campuses are producing infinitely more data than in the past and need a hosted solution with industrial design and capacity.
Typically, the architecture includes several layers such as the security layer, the application layer, the informatics layers, the data layer and finally the integration layer. These layers help to integrate the entire organization into a cohesive unit. The same standards are applied and help to place all the software on a single network. That increases efficiency and improves outcomes.
Delivery Utilizing IT Innovations
The delivery of health care is now being revolutionized by IT. There are several key areas where this is occurring. Firstly, the emergence of pin point accurate diagnostics is finally becoming reality thanks to incredible advances in IT. These devices can get down to the cellular level to determine where problem areas are occurring and provide extremely tailored solutions using customized therapy.
Secondly, IT is delivering on the long held promise of genomics and personalized medicine. After all, no two people are exactly alike. It stands to reason that their medicines should also not be exactly alike. Now, IT is able to deliver on much more specific diagnoses and recommendations. Not only does IT help to provide guidance on specific dosage, it also helps to inform physicians about the correct mix of drugs and perhaps even the molecular combination that will be best suited for the individual patient. Of course, we are still waiting on the most promising of these discoveries but the road to achieve them is clear.
Lastly, IT is helping to manage life long and chronic diseases. We know that these diseases constitute a very large portion of our healthcare system. Assigning case workers and physicians to manually track and monitor each patient would be simply impossible and too overwhelming. However, advances in IT allows constant notification, tracking data upload and analysis on one system. That makes the job infinitely easier for medical staff. At the same time, the patient is able to follow along their progress in real-time and adjust as necessary. That makes the system much more efficient and able to deal with managing the huge amount of these patients.