When Faced with Uncertainty

Just when momentum is perhaps building around reform initiatives, new value-based payment formulas, interoperability and a generally continuous focus on improving our healthcare system… the unexpected happens.

I am not going to venture into the ugly realm of one party’s approach over the other, as my deepest concern is the politicization of health reform.  When we pick sides and draw lines and only discuss ‘right’ vs ‘left’ and not the multitude of specific issues facing our nation’s healthcare system, we all tend to lose.

In the weeks that followed election night, much speculation about what might happen has been the primary topic of most health policy discussions.  The simple truth is that no one knows what to expect as the new administration prepares to reverse the direction of healthcare and health reform as a key priority beginning January 20th.

We can, however, depend on some other simple truths to prepare for impending unknowns.  For instance, we know that costs and reimbursements of fee-for-service healthcare is not sustainable over time, and therefore must change.  In other words, major cost-reduction is a safe bet and a strategic requirement over the next 12-24 months and beyond.  Technologies that bring leaps in efficiency to our operations will be imperative.  Fortunately, modern consolidated infrastructure built as redundant, scalable, virtual and that supports automatic provisioning with a clear path to both private and public clouds allow enhanced computing, storage and network installation at a net reduced cost.  Embracing these technologies allow your enterprise to ramp up to the applications, analytics, APIs and apps that will inevitably arise in the next generation of healthcare solutions.

Another sure thing: explosive growth of data storage will continue.  Images, 3D printing, population health analytics, proactive alerting and genomic mapping are just a few high-data drivers that continue to evolve and demand storage platforms, archives and backups.  Additionally, getting a tiered low-cost object storage architecture in place, such as Scality, is an excellent investment for many institutions.

Security and Privacy requirements are yet another ‘sure thing’ in the foreseeable future.  Given the ever-increasing threats and cyber-crimes occurring every day, the pressure for ‘Covered Entities’ and ‘Business Associates’ alike are at an all-time high. We must ensure that diligence and appropriate safeguards are in place and that ongoing risks are assessed and mitigated as a normal course of business.  Security covers many dimensions.  For example, Aruba ClearPass fits into nearly every organization to secure your wireless edge for visitors and employees alike.

So rather that get bogged down with anxiety about what should, could or might happen, my advice is prepare for that which we know will occur.  Our systems and infrastructure need to be more nimble, more powerful and less costly to accommodate that which we can always count on: CHANGE.

Make an appointment for Comport to assess and review your current infrastructure needs, problem areas and goals. Learn why HPE has described Comport as their ‘go-to partner’ in healthcare.

Jim Cavanagh

Author: Bill Flatley, Field CTO for Healthcare

Bill is responsible for technical strategies and recommendations for Comport’s Healthcare clients. His extensive experience includes four healthcare systems in leadership roles supporting Clinical Applications, Digital Health, and Office of the CIO as the primary liaison between IT and the business.

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