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Advancements in HIT Infrastructure Tools Spawn Digital Transformation

Understanding HIT infrastructure tools and strategies can help organizations commit to their digital transformation.

HIT infrastructure

Source: Thinkstock

By Elizabeth O'Dowd

- Allina Health announced Oct. 18 it has joined AVIA, a network of healthcare organizations committed to transforming patient care through digital transformation, to help improve their HIT infrastructure.

The recent advancements in health IT have driven Allina Health to prioritize digital transformation to increase clinician workflow and improve patient care. The health system has already seen success with advancing technology after it launched earlier this year a new patient portal built around user-centered design principles.

“As one of the largest healthcare systems in the Midwest, it’s imperative we continuously advance the care we provide our patients and the communities we serve,” said Allina Health EVP and Chief Financial Officer Richard Magnuson.

“Partnering with organizations like AVIA and its network of nationally recognized health care systems, we will be able to advance our work by tapping into expertise, while contributing perspectives that can improve health for others.”

AVIA works with over 40 health systems across the US and helps organizations understand what digital strategies are available to them and how these technologies can be used to improve business processes.

“At AVIA, it's not just digital for the sake of digital,” said AVIA CEO and Co-Founder Eric Langshur. “It's digital with a constant connection to a measurable result — growth, efficiency, outcomes. That's what makes Allina Health such a strong addition to the AVIA Network and a valued voice among the organization's peer health systems.”

Allina Health will begin their transformation with AVIA by focusing on the Medicaid Transformation Project. The project is a national effort spanning across many health systems from different states, to digitally transform healthcare for patients relying on Medicaid.

“We are passionate and purposeful about building better health for the diverse communities we serve,” said Allina Health President and CEO Penny Wheeler, MD. “We joined the Medicaid Transformation Project because we believe in collaboration, not duplication. Working with AVIA and other leading health systems will help us get to better health and care faster for vulnerable populations.”

Digital transformation is necessary but not every healthcare organization is prepared or “digitally literate” enough to evaluate and adopt the correct technology, according to a report by ISACA

“Not every organization is prepared to undertake this challenging journey,” report authors explained. “Companies that perceive their leadership to be digitally literate generally are far more aggressive and receptive to evaluating and adopting new and emerging technologies in their quests to achieve digital transformation than those with leaders not considered to be digitally literate.”

These advanced infrastructure technologies include big data analytics, artificial intelligence, public cloud, the Internet of Things, and blockchain. Each of these technologies is currently emerging in healthcare as organizations seek advanced solutions to cut back on overall costs and improve patient care.

Fifty-three percent of IT professionals polled had confidence that their organization’s IT decision-makers had a solid understanding of the risks and benefits of emerging infrastructure technology. Twenty-five percent of respondents felt that their organization’s IT decisionmakers were not digitally literate, while 22 percent were unsure.

These technologies will potentially transform the way healthcare organizations use IT infrastructure for workflow and patient care. Technological advancements need to be incorporated using a clearly defined strategy to make sure new systems are integrated correctly. Tools that are not integrated correctly can waste money and resources, as well as put patient data at risk.

IT executives need to evaluate the technologies they are considering adopting.

“There seems to be a direct connection between companies with digitally fluent leaders and those companies’ propensities to evaluate new technologies,” ISACA CEO Matt Loeb said in a statement. “To lead effectively, senior leaders have to be able to articulate the vision for the future of their companies in the context of the technologies that will get them there.”

“One reason for the difference may be that the less digitally literate simply have less experience with a new technology,” he continued. “They also may not be as firmly on the path toward digital transformation.”

“Digital illiteracy” is one of the reasons why joining groups like AVIA can help organizations improve their IT infrastructure. Understanding different digital strategies and how to plan for a digital future can help organizations adopt advanced technology more quickly to improve patient care.


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