Getting to the bottom of the IT list

Health Management Technology | July 1, 2014

When the trade publication Computers In Healthcare debuted in 1980, hospitals and other healthcare facilities already were hip deep in information technology – albeit with closet-sized, clunky mainframes from pioneering companies largely out of the business today.

With the advent of diagnosis-related groups (DRGs), managed care and two healthcare reformations roughly two decades apart, that publication, now known as Health Management Technology, has chronicled business and clinical operations by desktop personal computers, laptops, notebooks, hand-held personal digital assistants and now smartphones and tablet PCs.

During the meteoric rise and global acceptance and adoption of IT in that more than three-decade span of development, healthcare organizations, by and large, had to perform the same, if not similar, due diligence in evaluating, selecting and purchasing IT products.

In fact, in healthcare these days IT is just about as ubiquitous as, say, air.

To keep pace with performance improvement initiatives, provider IT professionals must know what’s needed, make fast but detailed decisions and avoid mistakes.

But is there a reliable formula for purchasing IT success? The variables can resemble some of the parameters Supply Chain faces when purchasing products for the entire organization. They include such components and considerations as product price, ongoing maintenance and service, updates and upgrades, interfacing and integration with existing or new systems, overall ease of use and nimbleness to operations and, finally, relevance to the organization’s mission, vision, finances and operations.

Yet each facility may stress all of these variables in a different order. As a result, HMT posed to nearly a dozen healthcare IT executives fundamental questions about the basics of purchasing IT effectively.

What do you believe should be the top consideration for effective IT purchasing?

What are some of the essential questions that must be answered by IT departments to determine the optimal IT products and services they need?

Getting to the bottom of the IT list

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