In 2013, automation is expected to be even more central to healthcare operations. Workforce management solutions, such as Motorola Solutions' Mobile Workforce Management tool, will increasingly be deployed to drive efficiencies across communities of task-based workforce including nurses, administrators and porters, among others. At the same time, manual processes, such as scheduling and admissions, will be increasingly automated to reduce the chance of human error.
Automation also helps to accurately identify patients when they are admitted or discharged; as well as ensuring that the correct medication or treatment is given to the right patient at the right time and in the right dosage.
Overall, the emphasis in 2013 will be on a business alignment between cost and technology in helping healthcare organisations drive increased productivity, while reducing human errors.
The challenges that healthcare operators face today do not look to be letting up in the coming years. These challenges will instead intensify as we hit the 'silver tsunami'. Healthcare providers who wish to succeed in 2013 must invest in technology solutions that boost workforce productivity, enhance patient care, increase operational efficiency and optimise IT operations.
With the uptake of technology comes, at times, the complexity of managing the technology tools. As such, 2013 will see CIOs in healthcare organisations looking for solutions to centrally manage and control the day-to-day management of the many devices and peripherals used in the healthcare facility.
In addition, increasing loads on IT infrastructure mean that healthcare CIOs need to upgrade their IT infrastructures to meet the demands for a seamless flow of data and information across both the wired and wireless environments. Furthermore, with patients and clinicians bringing their own devices to the healthcare facility, the challenge will be one of managing the security issues that a diverse set of mobile devices can bring.
In the year ahead, CIOs are expected to focus on crafting policies aimed at preparing the organisation for Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). The increased use of technology will also demand that CIOs keep devices updated with the right firmware, settings and applications, as well as proactively spot and address issues before they impact users. Solutions for monitoring various metrics related to the devices are thus expected to see increased adoption among healthcare organisations.
Mobility, device management and automation are set to become key deciders in the rewriting of the future of healthcare. Wireless ubiquity enabled enterprise mobility potentially offers a resolution to challenges in the healthcare sector by extending care beyond face-to-face interaction between healthcare practitioners and patients. This means increased patient safety and more attentive care, as real-time information can be shared anywhere within and outside of the facility.
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