As we’ve seen with recent outbreaks like the Zika Virus in Brazil, medical conditions and diseases are in constant flux. Concurrently, the medical field has made tremendous advances over the past century. Looking at these developments, it’s important for members of the healthcare community to understand how technology can improve their ability to provide health services and deliver important medicines to those who need it most. While the amount of technology currently supporting the public and private sector can be daunting, this vast landscape of systems can be more systematically organized to help provide primary care services, expedite medical research and retain a more comprehensive view of patient history. This article will explore how Enterprise Architecture and Application Portfolio Management can aid in these efforts and ultimately create a stronger technology infrastructure for health systems.
Before attempting to solve these issues, one must acknowledge that the potential of healthcare technology is still very much in the process of being realized. As we have seen from some of the health industry’s leading institutions, organizations are looking to increase collaboration between the staff members of their respective organizations. For example, many pharmaceutical companies are looking to technology integration to increase efficiency and transparency in the supply chain for important drugs and medicine. The value in this is easily understood and it is something that technology can continue to encourage. Reducing the time to market for innovative medicine can only help medical practitioners and hopefully lower operating costs for those organizations working to discover valuable new medicines and vaccines every day.
Building on these points, Application Portfolio Management can serve as a highly useful methodology for healthcare organizations. With the mass of technology systems currently operating in and supporting healthcare environments, it’s difficult to monitor their importance to organizational operations. Using Application Portfolio Management, IT staff can target which applications are the most relevant to the health system’s operations and enhance or decommission antiquated systems when necessary. Healthcare priorities are constantly changing and this governance capability will enable IT executives to see when they can reduce costs and save valuable funds to be used on other initiatives.
Similarly, creating a more coherent technology ecosystem throughout health systems may extract certain benefits. For instance, better coordination between healthcare technology may reduce the time in which patient care is provided. Moreover, this coordination may assist health systems in maintaining a more comprehensive record of patient history between disparate systems and specialists. Organizations can encourage these improvements through a more clearly defined, transparent Enterprise Architecture which acts as a flexible framework for their future IT infrastructure.
Additionally, we should make note of the value in implementing and maintaining a central data repository for those in the health industry. Looking at this, an institution can place their pertinent IT processes in a centralized location where staff members from multiple departments can access it. Similar to the improvements mentioned previously, a repository can also help overall efficiency within a health network.
So how do we accomplish all of this? It won’t be a simple task. Like the Internet of Things, there is still a significant learning curve ahead. The good news is that some of the world’s leading medical institutions are already doing these things. While we can’t know exactly what the future will hold for medicine or science, we can try to spur new medical innovation through improved technology.