The healthcare industry includes unique internal complexities around access to data, security, and workflows. Medical information is sensitive, and not every employee can have access to certain services or information. Internal efficiency can often make a tangible difference in the most important aspect of people’s lives: their health.
As the industry evolves, healthcare employees and their patients are more reliant than ever on technology. Doctors are using telemedicine. Health records are stored and shared digitally. Medical devices are improving lives. Though these are all tremendous benefits, modern technology needs to be managed appropriately in order to maximize the positive impact on healthcare. That’s why it’s more important than ever to build an effective ITSM strategy in healthcare.
Medical Records / Data Access
HIPAA and HITECH regulations are important factors to consider for an ITSM strategy. Healthcare organizations need to consider whether an ITSM product supports these regulations.
Service management software shouldn’t be used directly for storage of medical records, but Protected Health Information could appear in service requests inadvertently. It’s just the nature of the industry. Be sure to have processes set up to protect the information accordingly.
Seamless integration with Identity and Access Management (IAM) tools is another necessity for an ITSM solution in healthcare. One-Login, Okta, and Centrify are common tools for Single Sign-On (SSO) and user management, and your internal services should align with these tools. Modern ITSM solutions can integrate with these tools, so user permissions and access are updated automatically as changes are made through the IAM tool.
This is a key component for employee onboarding and offboarding. Roles can change within the organization as well, so it’s important to keep up a seamless user management strategy. Before committing to an ITSM platform, make sure it can meet all of these standards.
Routing and Priority Automations
While the need for efficiency within an organization isn’t unique to healthcare, time is particularly valuable (maybe even beyond a price) in the healthcare industry.
The early part of a ticket’s lifecycle is often the source of the most wasted time. Modern ITSM solutions allow for automations to route tickets based on category, site and/or department, and even based on keywords that appear in the tickets. Maybe all billing issues go to certain a group, or anything concerning a specific health insurance provider goes to another group. These routing decisions can all happen automatically upon creation of the ticket.
Healthcare administrations use technology for so many different things. They need a place to store and manage financial data for patients, insurance providers, equipment vendors, etc. They need asset management for their employees, and ways to monitor the need for updates on devices. When workflows or business processes need updates, they need a way to plan and implement efficiently. When a hospital needs a new emergency responder, there’s no time for a bogged down onboarding process. Requesters have issues, and technicians have limited time, so for all of the reasons already noted, technology can help with that day-to-day as well.
Today’s ITSM options should be able to address all of those needs. Multiple platforms unique to each of these workflows might slow the organization down more than they help. There’s no reason to piecemeal a technology strategy together. An efficient internal operation creates more time and resources to help people stay healthy, which of course, is the ultimate goal.
Getting a Handle on Health Care ITSM.
Though an ITSM strategy is NOT a method for storing medical records or personal data, it should support service management within the boundaries of current health regulations. As you work to manage the growing number of devices, applications and data storehouses associated with patient information, review our white paper, 101+ Ways to Automate Your Workplace.
This post is part of a series outlining ITSM strategies for different industries. Click here for more on financial services. Education strategies coming next week.
About Chris McManus
Chris McManus is a Marketing Manager with a variety of media and creative content experience. He works with SolarWinds Service Desk customers on case studies, webinars, and spotlight videos.
Read more articles by Chris