The dynamics which existed between hospitals, physicians, patients, laboratories and other hospitalists is fast undergoing a lot of changes. Blame it on the metamorphosis of the healthcare ecosystem. It is now widely accepted that Physicians need to be connected to better insights, decision making tools, patients and other required stakeholders to be able to execute their job better. This is where active use of info systems has made a huge difference. But the result has been an explosion of digital content which needs to be handled in a secure manner given that it is expected to be shared across all the stakeholders involved in healthcare at some stage. From all this arises the need for a platform which provides the facility for efficient collaboration and communication in addition to ensuring high security. Microsoft’s SharePoint is one such platform which has stood out for the amount benefit it has offered to its users in the healthcare industry. Starting from improving the efficiency, driving down operational costs to finally improving the quality of care, the platform has rich features which can be used to develop excellent customizable healthcare solutions to suit the needs for healthcare setups.
SharePoint provides a platform which is quite comprehensive in terms of meeting the demands of the dynamic changes which have been taking place in the healthcare landscape. For instance the main focus areas for all stakeholders in the healthcare are as follows:
- Excellent data management adhering to the regulatory compliances
- Better efficiency in operations
- Reduction in costs for providing care and in running healthcare setups
These factors if achieved are expected to result in better outcomes. Now the outcomes of implementing SharePoint, as is depicted by the wheel, can easily map the aforesaid requirements. With excellent content management features, the platform makes it possible to handle varied types of data i.e. web, records, images, rich media etc. all using a single platform. It becomes a one shop solution to handle the complete content life cycle. This is well complemented by the search facility available that is based upon allocating unique identification numbers to documents. This makes it possible for each document to have a permalink and so be identified irrespective of where it is stored. Even looking for people based on identified traits for e.g. department, experience, specialty etc. is also possible. There are also solutions available to ensure that the data is handled as per the the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy and security standards.
One of the benefits of using info systems, apart from the efficiency factor, is that it gives you access to a lot of data – which can be subsequently analyzed and used in multiple ways. The Insights capability of SharePoint makes it possible for users, who need not be IT literate, to pull out customized reports and dashboards in seconds. Various types of analytics can be performed on the valuable data available to make more informed decisions. Without having to write codes, the Composites feature in SharePoint makes it possible to build collaboration platforms using easy-to-use interfaces. Thus, depending upon need, stakeholders can use customized platforms to successfully collaborate amongst themselves and share best practices besides communicating in an effective way. With its capability for process and system integration besides workflow automation, a number of actions can be easily performed using this platform resulting in tremendous increase in the efficiency levels. There is also a flip side to this. The collaborative platforms also increase chances of cyber-attacks. Since information is expected to be shared across various players in the healthcare value chain, it opens up opportunities for hackers to gain access to critical patient information. Use of mobile devices – laptops, tablets, and smartphones also put patient data at risk since data is accessed remotely in these cases. It is the job of the IT administrators to address such challenges and build impregnable networks to avoid such attacks.
Implementation of a SharePoint application can be in either On-Premise, Cloud or Hybrid. It kind of offers you the flexibility to choose the option most suited given the size of your operations. With its integrated suite of collaborative capabilities, the platform makes it possible for healthcare setups to meet the demands of modern healthcare infrastructure – provision to collaborate, achieve better clinical outcomes, high levels of efficiency and reduction in the cost of operation. Custom SharePoint development teams can help you build projects within allocated budgets and time schedules.