Diana Ceban, vice president of federal health at Science Applications International Corp. wrote in an article published Monday on Nextgov that military health agencies should modernize core information technology systems as they advance upgrades to clinical technology platforms to improve patients’ access to services and achieve a continuum of care.
Ceban said there are three phases to health IT modernization that could be used to coordinate updates to clinical systems and core IT back-end platforms.
“Each stage offers opportunities for transformative thinking: new approaches to the processes, platforms and skill sets that will drive better outcomes and greater flexibility down the road,” she said.
The rationalization phase calls for defense health officials to audit existing and in-process systems to get a complete view of the current environment and help decision-makers prioritize technology updates, establish milestones and determine “areas that may require a complete rethinking of how health care can be effectively delivered across all providers,” she wrote.
For the accountability stage, Ceban said military health agencies should designate a master systems integrator responsible for coordinating the work of technology and service providers in order to facilitate integration and avoid redundancy.
She noted that there are three factors to consider when it comes to the performance stage of health IT transformation and those are process and policy, technology and change management.
“Because multiple agencies are involved, a collaborative approach is needed to determine how every organization and every system will interact. This will also be reflected in training to use and support new systems, and in the culture shifts that need to happen within and across organizations,” Ceban said of change management.