Demands on today’s hospital IT Department are certainly progressing at a fast pace. Growing EHR presence, Internet enabled devices appearing in locations that didn’t seem possible even 10 years ago, BYOD extending endpoints, and all this overlaid on the long-standing day-to-day healthcare IT needs mean that these departments are pulling at the seams.
Running an efficient hospital IT department is certainly more challenging, however the nature of IT means that technology, along with effective staff management, is creating opportunities for better outcomes.
The following are four ways you can improve your hospital IT Department’s efficiency:
1. Employee asset management
As you are already aware, the staffing in your hospital IT Department is your greatest strength, and it affords the potential of being the best place to create a more efficient unit. The word “unit” is not used haphazardly here. A unified department will naturally be more efficient. Some things to consider to create that unity.
- Skill set assessment
If you haven’t already, take the time to look at your staff and determine what their outstanding skill sets are and what they bring, and could bring, to your department. The benefit for this is two-fold. First, it allows you to put the best person to the job, as well as better target room for them to mature within their job and highlight what they need to learn in order to be even better at it.
Additionally, it creates a sense of empowerment among your staff. Employees that feel that they are noticed and being cultivated are more likely to show loyalty to the department and more likely to be an incubator for new ideas.
After you make this skill set assessment, you will be better informed about what you are looking for in your next new hires. Not just that, but the conversation you have while interviewing them will be more informative and provide better engagement.
Because of the stress on resources that hospital IT Departments encounter daily, it can be worthwhile to look at how to best help your staff do their job more efficiently. Looking at cloud based SaaS and IaaS solutions might be in order.
Regarding equipment, looking to professionals that can assist in the procurement and oversight of these assets can alleviate some of the strain on your hospital IT Department. CME product life-cycle programs make sure equipment is checked on a regular basis reducing downtime, prolonging your equipment investment and freeing staff to focus on other things.
2. Prepare for multitasking
More devices, more dependence on IT services along with the constantly changing priorities that are a part of hospital life mean that multitasking is a way of life.
This ties into what was stated above about helping your staff better prepare for this environment along with additional considerations:
Learning to multitask is not an inherent skill set for everyone, but it can be taught. In-services on this topic can be quite helpful and aid in greater department efficiency.
New projects that are brought to your desk, or originate from within your hospital IT Department need to be balanced with the everyday needs in order to prevent department burnout. Having done your skill set assessment will also help determine how best to find this balance, while assigning appropriate work to the appropriate person.
3. Better management of resources
A recent survey done by Healthcare IT News for their Best Hospital IT 2016 series found that respondents (both management and employees) said they appreciated departments that offered "support and autonomy to do the work that is asked of me." Another noted that their IT team makes its employees "feel like they are of value, and very important to the department. The work we do is always appreciated."
CME has been providing hospitals with bio-med services since 1981. Aside from equipment, we have always positioned our bio-med team as a support resource to our healthcare customers.
One area that can tax IT staff is the maintenance of their facility’s many arms and mobile carts. While hospital bio-med teams typically take responsibility for the technical maintenance of these, it is left to IT to take ownership of the mechanical maintenance of them, a time consuming, but important responsibility. CME offers maintenance programs that can support IT and take care of these mechanical issues.
4. Keep abreast of technology
So much of what is driving innovation in healthcare comes with an IT focus. The need for IT to stay attuned is an imperative, and a daunting one. Making it a department effort can go a long way to keep abreast of developing trends and best practices and is another way to keep your employees better engaged. Encourage your staff to stay aware and find an appropriate way to share their findings with the department.
It’s CME’s business to stay abreast of healthcare technology trends and solutions. Because we work with every major manufacturer in the IT space, your CME account manager can offer unbiased solution oriented recommendations to meet the needs of your hospital.
Hopefully, these ideas have triggered thoughts about the unique needs of your hospital IT Department and ways to improve its efficiency. CME is always available to assist our customers and is dedicated to providing quality equipment, logistics and services to our healthcare partners.