The strategic planning process is a series of steps and a tool that is used to guide entities or organizations towards a specific objective or purpose. The healthcare industry, in particular, is complex and consistently changing due to regulations, technological advancements, and medical progress. A strategic planning process allows outlining goals as to where the organization sees itself in the long-term and creating a plan for reaching that potential state (Strata, 2016). Health information technology (IT) refers to the application of IT to the healthcare sector, such as the management and exchange of information across computerized systems and the sharing of data between involved stakeholders of consumers, providers, insurers, quality monitors, and others. These concepts are interconnected, as IT is a key imperative to any organization in the modern age. Therefore, strategic IT planning is integral to an organization’s strategic planning process and enterprise governance (LeadingAge, n.d.). Strategic IT planning highlights the relevance of technology to each level of the organization and each of its long-term strategic goals and then ensures that the technology environment and capabilities are ready to meet these objectives (LeadingAge, n.d.).
The selected goal is to enhance the delivery and experience of care. It is meant to leverage IT solutions for better care ranging from the exchange of interoperable data in a useful way to making real-time data available for treatment or monitoring.
- Creating an internal organizational IT system that can seamlessly access information among databases (such as EHR, medication, and billing) while providing suggestive aid in decision-making to clinicians on the basis of that information. This goal would be greatly beneficial to increasing efficiency and quality of care by streamlining the process for clinicians interacting with data while offering the capabilities of system integration and AI for aided clinical decision-making to reduce any potential human errors. This relates to the federal plan by focusing on the improvement of clinical practice through the utilization of health IT tools which can reduce care variability among patients while also leveraging data to enhance quality for advanced capabilities of these data systems in patient matching (HealthIT.gov, 2020). The future of clinical care is more reliant on technology, particularly with growing populations and the shortage of clinical staff. Therefore, technology is expected to play a greater role than ever in using data for treatment recommendations.
- Develop an algorithm that automatically collects data from patient-clinician interaction through conversation and devices measuring key indicators. Uses that and any input data to automatically exchange relevant data, bill the patient, and provide the necessary documentation to reduce administrative burdens. A significant amount of time and resources are dedicated to administrative duties, which limits the amount of time spent with patients, and treatment effectiveness, and generally makes the experience worse for both providers and patients. Making the system autonomous in terms of data collection, analysis, and documentation can be highly beneficial. Although difficult to achieve, it is possible with growing technological capacities, leaving the time for enhanced interaction with patients. This meets the expectations of the federal health IT plan in reducing regulatory and administrative burdens extensively. It is common knowledge that healthcare costs are so high partially due to overwhelming burdens of administrative costs, higher than any other health system in the world. Using technology to centralize this system, automatizing it, and letting it learn through artificial intelligence can resolve all these issues.
HealthIT.gov. (2020). 2020-2025 federal health IT strategic plan. Web.
Strata. (2018). Why strategic planning is important in healthcare. Web.