How Technology Affects Health Administration

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HI consultant speaking to a group of professionalsHealth care technology impacts the work of each person who serves the health care industry, including administrators. Find out how technology affects administrators who work in hospitals and other health care settings.

Health Administrators Must Be Literate With Technology

According to Sarah White, writing for leading employment website, technology skills are one of the five most important skills health service administrators must have. Consider how many work processes require health administrators to confidently use technology. These administrators must be responsible for effectively implementing new technological systems within their organizations, which include electronic health records, modern coding and billing software, electronic communication, and other imaging technology.

Mike Freel of Becker’s Hospital Review adds that health care administrators need to go beyond having a working knowledge of specific programs. Instead, according to Freel, administrators must also have a broad knowledge of technology so they can best integrate information. These administrators face daily decisions about which technology will improve their organizations’ and patient outcomes, as well as which innovations will be less effective.

Health Administrators Must Undergo Regular Training to Maintain Skills

Technological innovation does not cease, so health administrators must keep up with the latest advancements in this area, according to Freel. Some health administrators may choose to gain more qualifications in areas like health informatics to stay abreast of changes in health IT.

However, the pressure to keep up with technology can be challenging to manage. A survey by Robert Half Management Resources found more than two in five chief financial officers felt keeping pace with changing technology was the greatest challenge their teams faced. While this study didn’t look specifically at financial officers working in the health care field, the findings point to the stress that staying up-to-date with technology can bring.

Health Administrators Must Budget For New Tech Expenses

Writing for The Houston Chronicle, Kristine Tucker observes that budget constraints are one of the greatest challenges health care administrators face. These professionals must develop and maintain budgets, often with limited resources. With technologies capable of reducing operating costs and improving patient outcomes, administrators face decisions for finding room for them in their budgets.

For example, Niels Erik Hansen, writing for Pharmacy Times, cites two studies detailing how automated compounding technology helps reduce compounding errors, errors that can cost hospitals significant sums of money. Additionally, preventable adverse drug events, ADEs, resulting from injectable medications can be eradicated by adopting automated intravenous preparation devices. ADE problems can cost hospitals an average of $600,000 every year, for a total national cost of $5.1 billion.

Anna Son of IBISWorld claims workforce management systems could also help reduce health care facility costs by automating labor-intensive, time-consuming processes.

When health administrators budget for new innovations, they could reduce the operating costs of their organizations and those that may improve patient outcomes. However, administrators can face difficulties deciding which technology will benefit their organizations and where funds will be found to pay for the investments.

As health care facilities adopt more technological advancements, the work of administrators in health care technology will continue to evolve.

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