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It’s no secret that the hospital and medical community is under intense pressure. It is primarily faced with a shortage of staff: according to the WHO, there will be a deficit of 10 million carers worldwide by 2030. The medical equipment supply chain is in difficulty, doubly affected by the health crisis that has caused many stock shortages and by inflation in the cost of raw materials linked in particular to the war in Ukraine. In addition, there is the risk of cyber threats: the number of cyber attacks increased by 32% in 2022 and the healthcare sector has experienced the biggest increase.
In this difficult context, resilience is the best ally of medical and hospital organizations. In this respect, digitization of the IT infrastructure is an excellent way of optimizing the organization of an establishment, improving staff working conditions and patient care.
Hospitals are complex structures and often subject to organizational rigidity. In most cases, the IT infrastructure is managed in a compartmentalized way. Sometimes it relies on aging technologies.
The digitization and modernization of the IT infrastructure is a strategic issue in several respects.
First, it makes it possible to strengthen the establishment’s cybersecurity: unlike dated systems and software, which often contain security flaws, a modern environment has the latest patches, regular updates and enhanced security measures.
Second, hospitals use a large number of applications, dedicated to diagnosis, different medical specialties, patient monitoring, etc. but data storage is compartmentalized. A digital and modern IT infrastructure is not compartmentalized, and is able to centralize the processing and analysis of all these data, including unstructured data. All information can thus be correlated in real time: analysis results, medical imaging, medical history, etc.
Digitizing the IT infrastructure also makes it possible to improve interoperability with the most promising technologies for the healthcare world, such as Artificial Intelligence or the Internet of Things. Hospitals can therefore conduct innovative experiments to improve the daily lives of caregivers and patient pathways.
Benefits for doctors
By being able to view all of a patient’s data, doctors save valuable time during consultations. No need to ask the patient about their medical history when their complete digital medical file is available. Having all this information also allows doctors to make informed and contextualized decisions.
Digitizing the infrastructure also makes it possible to effectively share medical information between the various specialists, whether within the same establishment or remotely. This strengthens the coordination of caregivers.
In addition, many digital services can be integrated into a digitized IT infrastructure. This is particularly the case for digital medical imaging technologies and image archiving and transmission systems. These allow doctors to quickly view and analyze the results of examinations such as X-rays, MRIs and CT scans to speed up diagnosis and provide better accuracy in image interpretation.
Thus 86% of caregivers believe that digital tools are a step forward for them and for patients. 83% state that collaboration between healthcare professionals has improved and 81% see time savings in their daily lives.
Benefits for the patient
In a context where some hospitals are forced to refuse patient care or have longer treatment times due to lack of sufficient staff, the time savings generated by a personalized IT infrastructure make it possible to accommodate more patients and reduce waiting times.
Patients no longer need to carry a multitude of paper documents with them, which removes a source of stress. They can pay online, view exam results electronically and perform tele-consultations from home to limit the number of trips needed.
Finally, a modern and secure infrastructure also guarantees the security and confidentiality of their data.
The digitization of infrastructure is therefore not an issue that only concerns the IT department. Such transformation significantly improves the overall efficiency of a medical establishment, from capacity for care to quality of care, including the convenience of caregivers and patients.