Why are Analytics Tools Driving Healthcare IT Professionals to the Brink?

Analytics Tools for Healthcare IT Pprofessionals

In terms of job security, there has never been a better time to be a healthcare IT (HCIT) professional – and there is no glut of supply or slowdown in sight. On the contrary, talent management specialists have pegged HCIT as one of the fastest-growing fields for years to come.

While they typically don’t worry about where their next paycheck will come from, HCIT professionals aren’t lying back, putting their feet up, and counting down the clock until quitting time. Instead, they’re usually racing around keeping their organization’s IT infrastructure up-to-date, efficient and reliable – while at the same time, preventing end users from (unintentionally) damaging systems and networks, and hackers from catastrophically attacking them.

As can be imagined, there’s no shortage of challenges that can keep HCIT professionals awake at night, and stressed-out during the day: HIPAA privacy requirement, inadequate data storage, cyber threats, and skyrocketing IT project costs readily spring to mind. However, there’s one particularly thorny problem area that is arguably responsible for more exhausted “I should have gone to cooking school” sentiments than anything else: having to manage and support a disparate array of analytics tools in the environment.

The Major Pain Points

Indeed, while end users such as clinicians and administrators have their own list of valid grievances regarding this topic, HCIT professionals deserve their own stage and spotlight. Here are some of the major analytic tool-related pain points that make an already challenging day-to-day experience even more difficult for HCIT professionals who must:

  • Find time (which they don’t have) to learn multiple analytics tools, which use various platforms, technologies, integrations, workflows, and so on.
  • Invariably fail to satisfy the information needs of their organization — and therefore disappoint their colleagues — because the tools at their disposal have various limitations that they cannot resolve or eliminate (e.g. functionality, data, ease-of-use, etc.).
  • Manage login credentials and security for analytics tools and end users across the organization — which is a complex job in itself.
  • Provide ongoing support for analytics tools, which includes fielding requests and tickets from frustrated end users.
  • Continuously update and configure analytics tools for performance and security.
  • Regularly back up analytics tools and properly store and secure data.
  • Ensure that all vendor contracts and service level agreements (SLAs) are in compliance, in scope, properly managed, and prepared in well in advance for cancellations or renewals.

In light of these requirements, it’s not hard to grasp why many HCIT professionals wouldn’t be upset — in fact, they might throw a party — if they showed up to work one day and analytics tools weren’t part of the landscape. (Hey, even techies can dream.)

The Solution

The best solution to this widespread problem is for organizations to liberate their besieged and beleaguered HCIT professionals by partnering with an outside expert that:

  • Specializes in serving organizations in the hospital and health network space, which has dynamics, variables and requirements that make data management and reporting more complex and challenging than in other sectors and environments.
  • Has the proven capacity to centralize data from multiple sources into a single, comprehensive and easy-to-use tool set.
  • Works quickly to begin reducing the backlog by getting end users the information and reports they need (both customized and ongoing).
  • Uses an inclusive cost model with predictable pricing so the constant focus is on measurable improvements and results vs. billing and budgets.

And last but certainly not least:

  • Knows how to earn the respect of HCIT professionals, so they work together as a strong, trusting and unified team focuses on solving high priority problems.

The Bottom Line

Life for those in IT healthcare is always going to be challenging; that’s just the nature of the field. And it’s also just fine for HCIT professionals, who are relentless learners, voracious trouble shooters and gifted problem solvers — all of which means they embrace rather than eschew challenges and hard work. However, obliging them to take ownership of multiple analytics tools — and constantly face the pain points noted above — isn’t part of the job description, and assuming or imposing otherwise is a bad news story all around.

At Polaris, our healthcare analytics team knows how to work with a wide range of tools — and just as importantly, we know how to work collaboratively, professionally and efficiently with HCIT professionals. Ultimately, we play a key role in turning an unbearable struggle into a streamlined solution where everyone wins: HCIT professionals, end users, the organization as a whole, and patients who enjoy faster, higher quality and more efficient care.

To learn more about our solutions, technologies and approach, contact the Polaris team today.

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