Healthcare is a fast-paced industry that necessitates ongoing IT education.
As new information is learned and techniques are developed, healthcare professionals must receive proper training to remain relevant. A lack of education can result in unsafe working environments, dissatisfied employees, and higher business costs.
As more healthcare businesses move to a completely paperless system, a greater need for IT support exists.
Historically, patient information was filed in a paper system under lock and key, and it was considered safe and confidential. Now that sensitive information is accessed by patients and professionals using a variety of technologies, the need for security and training has only increased.
The impact of technology on healthcare shows a reduction in healthcare costs. A study from the University of Michigan revealed the switch from paper to electronic records reduced outpatient care costs by 3 percent, an estimated savings of $5.14 each month per patient.
Challenges faced by healthcare professionals
The healthcare industry faces several notable challenges that can be addressed with proper training. Among these are:
- Privacy and security breaches
- Inadequate documentation
- Patient safety
Privacy and security
Privacy and security are crucial in an industry where so much sensitive information is accessed every day. Ongoing IT support ensures proper measures are taken to keep this data confidential.
According to recently published privacy and security statistics, 84 percent of individuals feel confident their medical records are safe from unauthorized viewing.
Conversely, 64 percent are concerned about the electronic exchange of health information. Regular training is recommended to educate staff on best practices and specific requirements for ensuring privacy and security standards are met.
Inadequate documentation can lead to the misrepresentation and mishandling of information.
If procedures aren’t documented properly, staff members may perform them incorrectly. Information could also become lost.
Ongoing education will provide a starting point for updating all documentation best practices so they remain current. Staff will also have the correct information when following important procedures.
Patient safety is another challenge that can be overcome with ongoing IT support and proper education.
Doctors employ the latest technology when performing medical procedures. These tools are designed to keep patients safe, but IT support will ensure the right technologies are available and working properly.
Training all relevant staff is an equally important part of this process.
Benefits of staff training and education
Properly training staff requires a significant amount of time and effort, but it should be an integral part of every healthcare organization.
The key is to create effective training programs that target important areas.
Ongoing training in the healthcare industry increases employee retention bolsters staff morale and improves overall patient satisfaction. This leads to more profitable healthcare practice.
Overcome a lack of training
When overcoming a lack of healthcare training, you must first identify existing problems. Start with the areas that need the most attention.
Is your technology up-to-date and does your staff have proper access to it?
It can be difficult to find the training gaps, but recognizing them is the first step to implementing the right solutions. Determine the recurring issues that exist and formulate a plan of action.
Once you’ve identified the issues you need to tackle, decide which are the most critical and prioritize them. This allows you to find the most cost-effective means for acquiring technology or providing training.
Cost-effective training ideas
Education initiatives can be costly, especially when you will train a high number of employees on an ongoing basis. Some lower-cost options include:
- Hospital programs
- Classroom-based training
- Online training (where applicable)
The link between ongoing IT support and education
Ongoing IT support ensures all technology is current and all security standards are met.
This gives staff the technology needed to take advantage of the latest training methods and techniques so they may serve patients more effectively.