The healthcare sector is one of the most important sectors in the economy. It is also one of the most demanding, with high expectations of IT systems and their performance.
The healthcare sector has a long history of being dependent on legacy IT systems that are difficult to manage and maintain. Legacy IT systems have been a hindrance for the healthcare industry as they have led to higher costs, security breaches, and inefficiencies.
Legacy IT and healthcare systems
Legacy IT is a term used to describe the various technologies and systems that have been in use for decades or longer in healthcare.
With the rise of digital technologies, legacy IT systems are becoming less relevant, and many organisations are finding ways to move away from them.
Legacy IT systems are hard to manage, and can be a challenge for healthcare organisations to deal with on a daily basis. They require a lot of maintenance, and are often costly to maintain.
Drawbacks of legacy systems
Costly to maintain
The cost of maintaining legacy IT systems is high due to constant maintenance and updating that needs to be done on a regular basis. This can lead to high costs for healthcare organisations in terms of both maintenance and new technology adoption.
Legacy systems may not be secure enough to meet the needs of certain organisations. Cybercriminals know the healthcare sector relies heavily on legacy IT, with over 22% of healthcare organisations continuing to use legacy and end-of-life systems without vendor support and a further 26% which are unaware of any support.
With that in mind, it is important that before an organisation begins to transition to new technology, they have a thorough understanding of how their legacy systems are affecting the privacy and security of their data.
Many healthcare organisations still store information and patient details via paper documents. It is a heavy issue that needs to be addressed in order to streamline the process.
Paper records are a great hindrance for many reasons: it takes more time to search for patient details, takes up physical space, is prone to human error and misplacement, and takes longer to write and store the records.
The use of paper records slows down every part of the process and makes it difficult for people to access the information they need at their convenience.
Lack of collaboration
The healthcare sector is a highly collaborative industry that requires significant amounts of data to be shared between different departments. However, this data is not accessible by all of the departments due to lack of collaboration capabilities. This is because most legacy IT systems were designed for individual care providers, causing communicative issues between the various departments.
This lack of collaboration capability also leads to the inability to effectively track and manage patient records, which in turn leads to poor quality of care.
Challenges of moving away from legacy IT
Moving away from legacy IT systems can also pose challenges that require significant changes in how information is stored and accessed. For example, the use of paper records can lead to a lack of visibility over patient data, which can result in gaps in care, or measures that could have prevented illness or injury.
Healthcare organisations must have a clear strategy in place to address any challenges that arise when moving away from legacy IT systems.
Benefits of modernising IT
The benefits of moving away from legacy IT systems include:
- increased adoption rates for new technologies
- improved patient safety and quality of care
- lower costs
- better clinical outcomes
- increased productivity and infrastructure efficiency
- improved security
- reduced human error
By upgrading or replacing its legacy applications infrastructure with modern technology, healthcare organisations can improve their efficiency by saving money on equipment replacement and maintenance costs, as well as reducing human errors in inputting data into computer databases
Cloud-based medical software
Modern cloud-based software can vastly improve the efficiency of admin tasks while delivering better, faster solutions and experiences to patients. Modern IT solutions like automation, wearables, video conferencing with patients, and cloud data storage can help medical professionals better keep track of their patient details and find information faster.
Furthermore, keeping patient data in the cloud allows for less human error, better organisation, and the ability to find information quickly. Cloud-based IT for healthcare organisations will improve the end-to-end experience of both professionals and patients.
Telemedicine, or telehealth, provides access to health care services via the internet. It is a combination of telecommunication, IT, and healthcare, and has been shown to improve the quality of care delivered at lower costs. It is cost-effective, convenient, and accessible for patients who live in remote areas or are unable to travel.
It allows patients with chronic illnesses and disabilities to receive treatment without having to leave home. Telehealth also helps patients with chronic illnesses and disabilities in maintaining their health by allowing them to receive care from their healthcare providers via video chat or online portals.
Discover the right solutions with the IT experts
Legacy IT can be improved, updated, and modernised, securely and efficiently without losing track of any data.
The IT experts at Bespoke Technology have all the expertise and tools to help your healthcare organisation find the right solution for your practise. Talk to them today.