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Adopting a New Operating Model for Health IT Infrastructure

Increased financial flexibility can give healthcare organizations greater choice when investing in health IT infrastructure.

The outbreak of COVID-19 created financial unpredictability for the healthcare industry, forcing organizations to rein in costs and, at the same time, expand their capability to support patient care using telehealth and virtual technologies.

These rapid changes brought on the coronavirus pandemic forced organizations to make quick decisions to survive. Virtual visits replaced in-person patient interactions. Elective surgeries were put on hold. Organizations were forced to support a remote workforce and, in many cases, furlough employees.

The financial unpredictability created by COVID-19 lingers on today, and many organizations continue to grapple with keeping the lights on and transforming their practices to reopen and recover.

“The current environment has put significant financial pressures on healthcare,” says Josh Gluck, Vice President of Global Healthcare Technology Strategy at Pure Storage. “It's created an environment where those organizations have to figure out a better way to work or a new way of working.”

In particular, healthcare organizations were forced to scrutinize their approach to technology, namely their health IT infrastructure, as the previous way of thinking was ill-suited to providing the flexibility and agility needed to respond effectively during a period of increased uncertainty.

“When that comes to the way that these organizations allocate their funds toward the technology required to run their business functions, we just believe that the traditional capital expenditure model for acquiring technology has to change. It has to be improved,” adds Gluck.

Now more than ever, healthcare organizations need to lean on their strategic technology partners to put in place a new operating model for health IT infrastructure that changes as their needs do. With financial flexibility options, organizations can opt to buy, lease, subscribe, or do all of the above. In fact, the industry has already started to embrace novel approaches to health IT infrastructure — SaaS being the most common — to reduce costs and improve performance.

“Healthcare organizations for years have been working in an environment where they support remote hosting for certain applications or workloads,” Gluck explains. “Many organizations want to convert from the traditional CapEx model to an operating expense where they are able to pay by the drip, pay for what they use, and be able to tie revenue to expense for some of their workloads. We realize though that it's not one-size-fits-all, and that's why we're driving towards this financial flexibility.”

The current public health emergency has thrown into sharp relief the need for healthcare organizations to change their approach to technology. Within a dynamic financial environment, they are tasked with driving down costs and finding new ways of doing work. “It highlights the need for a data platform that can provide a modern data experience,” adds Gluck.

It’s fair to say that the traditional approach to health IT infrastructure is partly to blame for the inability of many organizations to maintain business continuity during a period of unprecedented change.

“Organizations that had relied on legacy infrastructure providers have struggled to scale, and some of them have had to scale overnight,” says Gluck.

For an industry still very much in the process of digital transformation, the present provides an opportunity to adopt technology able to scale alongside the organization. By working with a strategic technology partner whose platform is available as service, organizations can gain access to the latest and greatest in hardware while avoiding the need to rebuy capacity. What’s more, the right partner can provide the proper support, even remotely, to deploy and adjust scalable health IT infrastructure in their data centers with ease and confidence.

For healthcare organizations that had already made the move to this new operating model, “it was easy for them to continue operations,” Gluck notes. Even for those without a strong business continuity plan, access to an affordable and flexible data platform paved the way for decisions to be made that matched their individual needs even when under intense pressure to operate in a wholly different care environment.

With different parts of the country engaged with reopening and recovery, the time is now for healthcare organizations to work with a strategic technology partner that can meet their evolving needs without creating additional cost.

“Offering financial flexibility in the way that those organizations can acquire our technology is hugely important,” Gluck maintains. “Now more than ever, organizations need a reliable and proven technology partner that understands their business and wants to work in concert with them to innovate the way that they leverage technology moving forward.”

Given the uncertainty surrounding the present and the future, traditional approaches to health IT infrastructure are bound to fail, a failure that could lead an organization to shutter. Fortunately, healthcare organizations that choose the right strategic technology partner can gain peace of mind from having a managed operating cost and a responsive data platform capable of meeting their technology needs today and tomorrow.

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