It is highly likely that in contending with the global pandemic, IT and support services leaders took whatever steps were necessary in order to support safe patient care and critical operations. While that is far from over, and those efforts continue, most organizations are determining how to resume a full portfolio of operations and patient services. However, this resumption is happening within the framework of decimated revenues, relatively new work from home models, expanded telehealth, and severe budget pressures. How do you find the shortest direct path to reducing costs, while maintaining and even enhancing critical initiatives that will go straight to the organizational imperatives? Here are 10 suggested focal points.
- If not already crystal clear and preferably in writing, help the organization to articulate the current imperatives. They will guide the steps below.
- Rationalize your software portfolio. You have probably done this before, but you now have new or significantly reshaped business models. Perform a rapid assessment with more rigid ties to top business drivers, and make the hard choices to jettison, mothball, or exercise out clauses, on whatever is less relevant. Begin a selection process for any major component replacements that are needed.
- Rationalize your infrastructure. Look at where you truly need 7X24 coverage. Move from “Gold” to “Silver” where prudent. Begin or continue your move to AWS, Azure, etc, and get out of the hardware business where it makes sense. How was your ability to rapidly stand up increased remote access?
- Take a hard look at service management. Do you have the right staff and tools to operate in a more distributed virtual environment? What about logistics?
- You likely have a number of employees who are now working from home and will continue to do so. This introduces a number of new vectors for threats that are not within your four walls. Both policy and security tools probably need attention in the new normal. Is multi-factor authentication fully deployed?
- The patient experience is even more virtual than before. What do you look like to existing and prospective patients online from first impression to ongoing care? You may have had a Telehealth presence, or ramped one up during the pandemic, but do you have a scalable solution that can extend to a broad range of specialties?
- Onboarding and Provisioning. Credentialing is a new game. Cross-state credentialing will be a more permanent part of normal operations, particularly with Telehealth. Cleanup any temporary, and emergency scenarios. Nobody wants any friction in the process of bringing new clinical and business staff onboard, but the integrity of your security and privacy process needs to be maintained.
- Analytics and modeling have heightened importance. The ability to rapidly retrieve information and insights will be even more critical for some time. Are there any human or platform gaps in your ability to support this?
- Last, but certainly not least is your staffing mix and management. Like everything else, the needs in this area may have shifted. You are now managing a distributed workforce as well, so pay attention to your internal operations. Remote workers may broaden your traditional recruitment circle. Make the tough choices. You cannot do all of the above without the right human resources and extension services.
- Make sure that you have a strong and fluid linkage to the rest of senior leadership as you make key decisions. Ensure that #1 above remains top of mind.
In the coming weeks, we will expand on a number of these areas, so stay tuned for more posts.