By Sam Wuertz, Chateaux Senior Technologist and CoE Member

Medical-Stethoscope-On-iPadTerms such as “Business Intelligence”, “Big Data”, and “analytics” have become commonplace in just about every industry. Organizations are on their way to harnessing the benefits of these solutions – that is, all but the healthcare industry. For example, Gartner estimates that software and cybersecurity in the average American hospital is ten years behind every financial company.

Why is this happening? For one, hospitals usually work exclusively with hospital-specific software companies who haven’t caught up with the current level of computing in other industries. Working within regulations such as HIPAA are strict and expensive, while very difficult to work around. Hospitals have to choose between a partner that knows how to work within federal guidelines and one that possess technological prowess. More often than not, they choose the safe route in order to mitigate regulatory risk and fines.

But the cycle does not have to repeat. The key is to focus on innovation, a results-based approach, and – most importantly – the medical staff who are your users. You don’t need to boil the ocean in one go – establish the key goals of what you are trying to achieve with V 1.0. Then, make sure you set up strategic interviews with your key medical personnel that enable you to gather the requirements and use cases that you want to focus on. Understand the systems that are currently in place, and how you can connect or extend those systems to your project. With this information in hand, you can now look to other industries to see how they enabled similar use cases. Try to keep your solution as simple as possible; organizations that attempt complex projects as their first initiative often find it involves more work than expected and in turn lose the confidence and support they need from upper management. Also, complex solutions require longer development cycles and are more difficult to support.

Chateaux’s seasoned technologists have solid healthcare compliance knowledge in addition to a modern technical skill set. We’ve worked with several heavy-hitting companies in the healthcare space such as New York Hospital Queens (NYHQ), Philips Healthcare and Hospital Inventories Specialists, Inc. (HISI) to cross-pollinate successful big data and analytics technology expertise from our portfolio of clients residing in industries such as CPG, Manufacturing, and Financial Services. The net result has been the implementation of top tier, cutting edge technology solutions that allow healthcare organizations to catch up with other industries while adhering to strong security and compliance policies.

Healthcare organizations do not have to reinvent the wheel – they just need to learn from other industries and adapt that knowledge for the specifics of the healthcare industry. Are you ready to cross-pollinate?