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Chris Grady08-Aug-2023 13:00:004 min read

5 IT challenges to overcome in the Healthcare industry

These days, it’s almost impossible to find an industry that doesn’t rely on IT in some way, shape or form. The healthcare industry is no exception. 

Whether it’s EHRs (electronic health records) or telemedicine, IT has revolutionized patient care and transformed the way healthcare providers operate. That being said, the healthcare industry faces a number of unique challenges that demand careful consideration and proactive solutions when it comes to migration and implementation of IT systems. 

Now, let's explore some of the biggest IT challenges in the healthcare industry and what organizations can do to build a resilient future.

Data security and privacy in Healthcare IT

From the simplest medical issue to the most serious, we trust our healthcare providers and organizations to have robust data security, privacy policies and software.

Healthcare organizations handle vast amounts of sensitive patient data, making them prime targets for cyberattacks. Safeguarding patient records, protecting against data breaches and complying with stringent regulations is paramount. 

Implementing robust security measures including encryption, access controls, regular audits and staff training are crucial to mitigating risks and maintaining patient trust.

Improving patient experience through interoperability and integration

Healthcare systems can be like open heart surgery; complex and reliant on 100s of little pieces fitting together for everything to run smoothly. 
So with all these applications and technologies at play, how do you integrate these systems across the organization? 

Seamless data exchange between different systems, such as EHRs, laboratory information and imaging systems is vital for coordinated patient care. However, incompatible formats, lack of standardization and varying protocols hinder efficient data sharing. 

Patient experience in healthcare is key. The journey from point of contact to discharge needs to be smooth sailing to ensure the best possible outcome. The best way to achieve this? Interoperability of course. There’s no use having systems that don’t connect and feedback to each other. The sharing of information is crucial in an industry that is as fast paced as healthcare. 

Ultimately, interoperability is dictated by the systems and software you have available to you, but considering connectivity when building a resilient future can really benefit not only healthcare providers but patient experience in the long run.

Upgrading legacy Healthcare IT systems and managing technological obsolescence

The healthcare industry is one of the largest in the world and healthcare providers can’t just shut up shop for the weekend to install new IT systems. 

Many organizations face outdated legacy systems struggling to keep up with modern technological advancements. Aging infrastructure, obsolete software and limited vendor support can hinder efficiency, innovation and the ability to adapt to changing needs. 

It's crucial that healthcare organizations develop comprehensive IT modernization strategies, including system upgrades, cloud migration and agile development practices. It’s important to embrace emerging technologies like AI (Artificial Intelligence), ML (Machine Learning) and IoT (Internet of Things) as they can help revolutionize patient care and improve operational efficiency.

Driving strong user adoption through UX and training

New IT solutions can be scary. New ways of working and unfamiliar technology can cause serious issues when it comes to uptake and buy-in. 

UX design becomes crucial to ensuring intuitive interfaces that streamline workflows and minimize user frustration. As such, comprehensive training programs must be implemented to ensure healthcare staff are proficient in utilizing new IT systems effectively.

User-centric design, ongoing education and support play a pivotal role in overcoming resistance to change and maximizing the potential of the IT system.

Delivering ROI from your Healthcare IT spend

IT implementation can be costly, and the healthcare industry continues to face significant financial challenges year on year. There seems to be a never-ending struggle between technological advancements and budget constraints. 

Healthcare organizations must conduct thorough cost-benefit analyses to assess the potential ROI of IT initiatives, to ensure the legitimacy of carrying out this kind of work. 

One of the ways that this can be done is through understanding how best to prioritize projects. By focusing on the substantial benefits of improved patient outcomes and enhanced operational efficiency, these cost savings can help justify IT investments and garner support from stakeholders.

Define a resilient future in Healthcare IT with an SAP roadmap and business case

Right now the healthcare industry stands on the precipice of an IT revolution, with immense opportunities to improve patient care, enhance operational efficiency and drive innovation. 

However, it’s paramount that the unique challenges posed by data security, interoperability, legacy systems, UX and financial considerations are considered first and foremost. 

By adopting robust security measures, promoting interoperability, modernizing, prioritizing UX and conducting regular cost-benefit analyses, healthcare organizations can navigate these challenges and build a resilient future that leverages the full potential of information technology.

But, if you’re going to get the most out of your investments and see a strong ROI, you need a strong business case for change that is built on real, measurable business benefits. 

To find out how we can support you in creating your business case for change and an SAP roadmap click the link below.

SAP Business-case and Roadmapping


Chris Grady

Chris is a Information technology executive with 25 years of hands-on experience leading people, projects and teams; Business Development, orchestrating the delivery and transformation of services and overseeing technology programmes​ across a wide range of Industries in EMEA, Asia & the USA.