COVID-19 was the defining highlight of 2020, and the healthcare sector bore the worst of the crisis.
Healthcare providers around the globe redirected their digital, physical, and human resources to combating the pandemic while putting a lot of their business interests on the line.
The U.S. spends more on healthcare than any other country in the world. Yet, the country’s healthcare system as a whole was caught unprepared and unable to cope with the pandemic. But neither health experts nor governments could predict COVID-19’s impact on the healthcare industry.
The only silver lining in all this is that the problematic times inspired growth in the industry by revealing areas needing improvement and driving innovation.
Healthcare IT and Tech Trends in 2021
Many industry leaders and entrepreneurs have taken lessons from the pandemic to improve healthcare service delivery, solutions, and HIPAA Compliance.
Here are some key trends to consider when planning your IT budget for 2021:
- A surge in digital healthcare solutions such as telepresence and wearable devices
- New risks and vulnerabilities in the virtual healthcare space
- Advanced EHRs with new integration capabilities
- More AI and machine learning assistants in various healthcare operations
- Intricate data interconnectivity across cloud-based platforms
- Shifting to ‘digital front door’ as the new first impression with potential customers
- A new age of security compliance and IT regulations
Some COVID-19 restrictions are still in full effect even in 2021. For this reason, focus on expanding your IT infrastructure with a strong emphasis on telecommunications, online presence, patient tracking, predictive analysis, and remote interactions among co-workers and with patients.
A Quick Guide to Budgeting in Healthcare
An IT budget is more than just a plan to allocate funds to various IT initiatives; it’s a numerical representation of your entire IT strategy.
Budgeting for IT shows your organization’s commitment to digital investments and the monetary value of its IT infrastructure.
On average, the healthcare sector is one of the lowest IT spenders, allocating only 5 percent of its total revenue to IT expenditure. However, investing in IT is not about spending more, but spending smart – putting money on investments that genuinely pay off.
With that in mind, here are a few tips for creating an IT budget in the healthcare space.
Track Your Spending
First things first, calculate how much you’re already spending on IT. Also, find out how the money is spent by looking at fixed, variable, and recurring expenses.
You can probably aggregate IT spending figures from financial and bookkeeping accounts such as profit and loss statements if you don’t have a dedicated IT expenditure record.
Set New Goals
What are your new IT goals for the year, and how much will it cost to accomplish them?
The whole point of budgeting is to draw a financial roadmap to attaining specific objectives. Determine the feasibility of your IT plans by pitting costs against the available resources and long-term investment value.
An IT budget should help you streamline spending by showing areas to cut costs. Do away with unnecessary expenses, switch things around to find and seal off all the money sinkholes in your IT expenditure.
Trimming the budget does not mean cheapening out; it’s about spending money more efficiently. For instance, consider outsourcing IT services instead of keeping a redundant in-house IT department or ditching high-maintenance on-prem equipment for the cloud.
The 2020 Pandemic Is a Real-Life Test of Business Resilience
Making the right IT investments is a surefire way of improving your business’s agility to ensure continuity and survival during crises.
Healthcare service delivery is quickly shifting to the digital space.
Processing patient records, administering and tracking prescriptions, monitoring outbreaks, and many more healthcare-related processes are now smoothly handled virtually. An IT budget helps align your business with these emerging industry standards and new customer expectations.
To learn more on how to budget for your IT effectively, contact us today.