As it turns out, there can be too much of a good thing. Technology has transformed the healthcare industry, allowing providers to reduce treatment costs, work more efficiently, and improve patient outcomes. However, the rapid acceleration of the healthcare tech industry has resulted in a number of different tools that providers need access to keep up in the modern age.
From electronic health record (EHR) and telehealth systems to technology for patient portals and beyond, healthcare practices now turn to countless solutions to maximize profits while optimizing patient care. In fact, many healthcare organizations have tech stacks that include as many as 10-20 different vendors—and of course, each has different maintenance requirements. Additionally, many of these solutions don’t natively integrate with one another, which can cause additional headaches for providers and an inconsistent experience for the patient.
The problem is, maintaining a complex web of healthcare IT integrations can be challenging and detrimental to the patient's experience and further complicate an already complex practice workflow. One of the keys to streamlining practice workflows and creating a great patient experience is to simplify the tech stack your practice is currently managing.
Why It’s Important to Simplify Your Healthcare Tech Stack
With so many systems to manage at one time, it’s no wonder many practices use as little as 30 percent of the capabilities each solution offers. Adding new technology each time the need arises can compromise efficiency and lead to siloed patient data that’s stored in multiple locations.
On top of that, managing so many different systems at once leads to a myriad of privacy and security concerns. Providers are required by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to maintain healthcare data security and privacy; however, ensuring compliance is difficult when tech stacks are fragmented and overloaded.
By analyzing (and ultimately simplifying) your healthcare technology stack, you can significantly improve practice workflows, drive efficiencies that allow you to operate with more precision, and offer enhanced care to your patients. A consolidated tech stack is also easier for IT teams to monitor and maintain—not to mention more flexible to adapt as your practice evolves.
Questions to Ask When Evaluating Your Practice’s Tech Stack
To effectively assess and improve on your practice’s tech stack, you need to ask the right questions about your current setup. Here are six questions to ask when you’re evaluating your practice’s healthcare technology stack:
Are multiple disparate solutions limiting our potential?
Are you managing multiple tech solutions that don't communicate with each other and would make sense to consolidate? Consider reducing disparate solutions and their associated management burden if a consolidated solution would optimize potential with less management.
Do I know where all the data is going?
To make the most of the patient data being collected from the various systems in your tech stack, you need to know where data is going and how it’s stored. The best healthcare technology stacks allow for seamless integration and the ability to exchange data without any restrictions or interoperability concerns.
Are our tools helping us achieve our goals?
What goals are you trying to reach with your healthcare tech stack? The most effective solutions will improve your processes and care delivery, all while also reducing costs. Evaluate whether your current tools are helping you achieve your goals for your practice. (If not, it’s probably time to move on!)
How are our tools impacting the practice and patients?
The tools in your tech stack should benefit both your practice and your patients. If any of your solutions are not having a positive impact—or especially if they’re having a negative one—it may be wise to make an upgrade.
Do any of the tools in our tech stack pose security concerns?
To maintain security and comply with privacy laws, you need to be aware of where patient data is being stored and whether or not your tech stack poses any concerns. Learn where all of the data collected is going and what security measures are in place to prevent a potential breach.
Simplifying Your Tech Stack with All-in-One Solutions
With all of this in mind, how do you find the right tools for your healthcare technology stack? All-in-one tools, or platform products, that limit the number of technology and integrations required are the ideal solution. This allows providers to reap the benefits of all the capabilities each tool offers—while only managing and maintaining a relationship with one vendor.
Intelichart’s Healthy Outcomes solutions suite is just that. With touchpoints from the initial patient registration and intake to satisfaction surveys after-the-fact, the Healthy Outcomes platform has everything you need to engage patients before, during, and between visits.