Reducing Complexity in Healthcare IT

Reducing Complexity in Healthcare IT

Mergers and acquisitions of health systems have increased nearly every year over the past 8 years – we also see this anecdotally in story, after story, after story.  The market is driving us in this direction – standardizing care, creating economies of scale to counterbalance reduced margins, and increasing the size of risk pools as healthcare providers continue moving towards value based care contracts.

The bloat that often results from combining two large organizations will slow groups down when left unchecked.  Within IT, we end up with many overlapping and even duplicate applications.  It’s like Noah’s Ark, you end up with two of everything.

And, then it snowballs; a hospital that merged a few years ago merges again.  We can all do the math.  Two health systems merge, and then the combined  system merges again – exponential growth.  That’s exponential growth in the complexity of the application portfolio that CIOs are being asked to manage.  Once IT gets its arms around the increased portfolio of systems, it begins work to integrate and interface the systems together.  This leads to more complicated integrations, which lead to less agility.

Furthermore, each change and upgrade requires integration testing with dozens of other systems.  All of a sudden, you are managing the integrations rather than the critical applications within your environment.  This makes IT slower in serving the rest of the organization and creates more opportunity for mistakes.

Complexity in healthcare IT continues to increase.  Costs continue to go up.  Responsiveness and speed lag.  And, security breaches are becoming daily events.

The fact of the matter is that CIOs cannot simply throw their hands up and stop supporting systems.  Leaders of healthcare organizations cannot simply ignore market forces and stop considering acquisitions.

We must take healthcare IT out of the crosshairs and serve our health systems better by reducing the complexity of our IT application portfolio.

The collective knowledge we have built over the past decade in implementation, optimization, and conversion projects lend itself well to application portfolio management.  Leveraging that knowledge, Galen has assisted health systems improve IT responsiveness, reduce costs, and increase security using a unique, field-tested approach of application portfolio management.  Northwestern Memorial Hospital has already seen success in reducing complexity and driving down costs by using these techniques.

We are excited to announce our work in reducing complexity in the application portfolios our clients are managing. We believe that bringing Galen’s energy, passion, and a proven methodology to reducing the complexity that’s been forced upon us is a winning combination.  Also, make sure to check out Part II, Part III, and Part IV of this blog series in reducing complexity in HIT!

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