IT Focus Area: Leadership & Management
November 17, 2017
How to Build a Modern, Secure, Digital Healthcare Brand
Find out how your healthcare company can build an excellent brand. It just takes simplicity and scalability.
Trust sets the healthcare industry apart.
When Gallup polls Americans on the professions they trust most, care providers – nurses and physicians – annually top the list each year.
It’s clear that trust is not just critical to your healthcare’s brand.
It is your brand.
In fact, you play an essential role in protecting that trust in the face of multiple challenges. Every day brings news of attacks on patient data. An ongoing cycle of mergers and acquisitions creates both heterogeneous IT systems that can’t interoperate and duplicative legacy applications that are expensive to manage and maintain.
Patients and providers demand near-instantaneous access to a torrent of healthcare data measured in terabytes, from sources as different as iPhones and magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs).
To succeed, you need a simple—yet effective—scalable approach to IT.
Using simplicity and scalability in your approach to technology, you can focus on becoming an agile, secure, data-driven healthcare organization by balancing your three imperatives: modernization, security and digital innovation.
1. Modernization includes upgrading your legacy technologies in the face of mergers and acquisitions, optimizing traditional data center assets and developing strategies to support the demands of leading-edge health IT applications.
2. Securing data requires doing the basics well—even if that means outsourcing some aspects of your security for better protection, focusing on proactively identifying vulnerabilities, and hardening your defenses without sacrificing fast data access to the care providers on the front line.
3. Innovation. As for innovation, you will need to remain market-relevant by providing new capabilities through digital transformation, develop a clear cloud or hybrid strategy, digitize business and drive new enterprise value.
As we all know, few healthcare organizations can do everything at once. But to help prioritize – and simplify – the compelling requirements and competing demands that confront IT solutions, deploy a strategy that focuses on the “four lenses” of analysis:
1. Architectural Analysis
Use the architectural lens to identify interdependencies and integration challenges and opportunities to consolidate or simplify. For example: Can your legacy and newer technologies be merged? Can they evolve together to support critical applications? Or is a quantum change required?
2. Technical Analysis
The technical lens can be used to simplify your existing systems or those under evaluation. Are you trying to balance too many point solutions and are finding it overwhelming? How are you managing your technical resources? Do you have sufficient security resources in place? Have you considered SIEM as a service or other Security Managed Services to ensure best practices and address the challenge of finding in-house resources?
3. Operational Analysis
Gain operational simplicity with a streamlined system aligned to your critical healthcare applications. The operational lens can help ensure you meet the business needs of the organization while avoiding disasters: Can you be sure your new storage and server solution will meet application response-time requirements? Are you confident that you’ll maintain operational integrity when migrating systems?
4. Financial Analysis
The financial lens can help you evaluate the bottom-line impacts of technology, identifying ways to squeeze the most from limited CAPEX budgets, operationalizing costs and realizing the best return on your investment. It can help you specify financial justifications and solutions and tie them into your enterprise-wide goals.
After you have created your four lenses strategy for IT engagement in alignment with your healthcare brand goals, use a professional services advisor to help you look beyond IT and help you move your bigger picture objectives from a current to future state on a clear path. Consider an outside resource who can bridge the gap between IT, Finance and Marketing to create the combined synergy needed to support and drive your healthcare brand forward.
Simplicity and Scalability for Healthcare IT
When IT decisions are made in accordance with architectural best practices, technical capacity, operational efficiency and financial requirements, they will fundamentally support your organization. Optimized for EPIC and Cerner systems, IBM’s Power8 and Systems Storage solutions provide one best-of-breed, technology umbrella for IT scalability.
Five Ways You Can Support Your Brand Today with IT Strategy Definition and Implementation
What can you do to support your current, in-flight and planned IT initiatives today? Here are five ways you can improve your organization strategically and tactically:
1. Utilize consultative strategy and ongoing support. It’s always important to start with a clear strategic direction on your objectives and to align your four lenses—the technical, architectural, operational and financial views--of a given solution or planned roll-out. Using a simple, IBM-specific Power and Systems Storage applications-centric technology strategy can also help you gain key efficiencies. Find ways to be continually engaged, strategic and proactive with your IBM and other critical, interdependent technologies.
2. Approach your next migration with confidence. With numerous mergers and acquisitions in the healthcare provider space, a strategic and well-planned migration is key to ensure the successful transition and movement of your key, mission-critical workloads. A professional services consultant who knows how to plan and manage a complex migration strategy and implementation with multiple, disparate technologies should be strongly considered over a boutique-shop or single-manufacturer approach.
3. Fill in the security gaps in your organization. Are you challenged to find the key security resources you need to protect your organization? You are not alone. How are organizations dealing with these challenging security issues? A managed-security strategy as a supporting element of your organization can help you fill in the gaps. A HIPAA-compliant SIEM-as-a-Service solution is an optimal place to start.
4. Ensure your key technologies are optimized. Specialized IBM Power Tuning is critical to the performance of your IBM ecosystem. Find a resource who knows the nuances and interdependencies of IBM Power solutions and can help you optimize and align your Power systems so you are gaining the maximum value from your investment and supporting your key, patient-critical applications such as EPIC.
5. Position your brand strategy and technology with your financial requirements to ensure internal success: How can you create a clear, concise financial picture of your given solution? You don’t have to be an expert yourself: leverage a third-party consultant who knows how to help you position a combined technical, brand and financial case. A Business-as-Usual financial assessment can examine the state of your current and proposed solution and its impacting factors to help you gain approval from your board or executives. A supporting financial solution can align your brand and technology strategy to your specific CAPEX/OPEX requirements and justify your proposal at the highest level.
Using these five areas to support your current and future technology state will help you create confidence with IT and how it supports your larger healthcare organization and brand. With the simplicity of Forsythe’s four lenses and the scalability of IBM’s one-umbrella approach to your healthcare technology, you can continue to support the trust behind your brand as you evolve into a modern, secure, digital organization.