Data has become an important asset in today's digital world; moreover, increasing IT use and automation results in more of this asset being created. Interestingly, other industries pale in comparison with healthcare when it comes to the amount of data generated – ie, about a trillion gigabytes of data each year coming from a variety of sources such as EHRs, diagnostics, genomics, wearables, etc.
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For health data to be a real asset, it needs to be processed and analysed to obtain findings useful in improving people's health, reducing healthcare spending, and in predicting diseases. Hence, the technology used for "data mining" and analytics is a major factor in its value. Without adequate technology to handle this growing mountain of often complex data, clinicians and researchers won't be able to make meaningful use of health data.
Health IT Challenges
While EHR adoption has increased – already 96 percent of U.S. hospitals and 78 percent of physician’s offices are using EHRs, says the National Academy of Medicine – interoperability issues put a strain on healthcare IT infrastructure. This is because hospitals and doctors’ offices end up with duplicate EHR data that requires extensive (not to mention non-productive) search and retrieval, leading to poor IT system performance.
More data, more problems
As if managing the sheer volume of health data is not hard enough, IT departments must also take care of another problem: the performance demands of users. While IT systems & networks have become more robust and reliable, speed (performance) is a constant challenge that can get worse by the day.
Rising IT costs
The increase in cost is proportionate to the demand for these three fundamentals – applications, uptime and speed. Data processing and analytics are dependent on the overall system’s input/output performance, which, in turn, is dependent on the efficiency of the computer’s operating environment. New hardware is not always the means to address performance issues, however.
Solving HIT Deficiencies
There are different solutions that can help healthcare organisations contain IT expenses. One of these is the Data Centre Infrastructure Management software, an effective tool for analysing and then reducing the overall IT cost. With the help of this tool, the U.S. government Data Center Optimization Initiative has reported having accumulated savings of nearly $2 billion since 2016.
Virtualisation of the traditional client-server IT model is another possible solution that can lead to sizeable cost savings. New hyperconverged systems can also help improve performance in certain instances. Meanwhile, cloud computing can benefit organisations through economies of scale.
Other solutions that don’t require new hardware to improve performance are also available. For example, targeted software can be used to improve system throughput by up to 30 to 50 percent or more. A software solution can handle more data by eliminating overhead, increasing performance at a much lower cost and extending the life of existing systems.
Source: HealthCare Business News
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