Healthcare providers are under enormous pressure to see more and more patients every day, each one with unique, sometimes complex, circumstance that require specialist care. Clinicians bear the brunt of this expectation, as they deliver an appropriate level of care to as many patients as possible, prioritising where needed, as quickly as they can.
Healthcare currently faces one of its greatest ever battles in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Against a backdrop of significant medical advances happening at an accelerated pace and hundreds of thousands of clinical trials taking place at any one time, it is a complex environment and traditional care pathways are difficult to maintain. It is even more challenging to keep up with available interventions.
For many in healthcare, the holy grail still remains a united healthcare system, exemplified by a complete patient record that’s shared and integrated across the multiple agencies touching the patient. A system based around a single version of the truth, where meaningful data insights can be harnessed and interpreted, can facilitate more proactive, preventative and cost-effective treatments earlier in the patient pathway. In order to achieve this, healthcare providers need a reliable and standardised way to keep track of the patient journey, to track progress, determine effective treatments, and make the best decisions at the point of care.
With the powerful combination of business process modelling (BPM) and artificial intelligence (AI), healthcare providers can create care models that directly improve decision making. BPM allows for the authoring of clinical care pathways that may be shared, studied, and improved by measuring outcomes. For operational concerns, doctors can visualise a patient’s care plan, its status, and decisions that were made to reach the current state. The model extends beyond the boundaries of the doctor’s office because it interacts with other health information technology (HIT) systems. This approach provides care providers with situational awareness.
One provider already doing this successfully is Intermountain Healthcare, a not-for-profit health system that includes hospitals, clinics, and health insurance plans. Intermountain Healthcare needed to optimise and automate its IT infrastructure to reduce costs and better collaborate to quickly create and launch innovative patient services.
Intermountain Healthcare’s proprietary IT environment made making changes a complex process, and provisioning delays hindered development work. Also, proprietary hardware and software added licensing and other IT costs. The group sought a more agile, flexible solution that would simplify its IT environment and improve costs. Collaborating with Red Hat, Intermountain reduced IT deployment time from 2-3 weeks to about 4 hours, cut IT costs by migrating to open source software, and improved cross-team DevOps collaboration.
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Combining BPM with AI modelling improves decision making. Also known as applied AI, AI modelling learns from big data analytics and can make recommendations, predictions, and probability matches for the clinician at a care plan decision point. It creates intelligent, informed systems that let you better interpret and respond to changing dynamics. Now, you can integrate real-time AI into clinical pathways. Working through massive data sets, the AI can predict, with great accuracy, which medication or treatment to prescribe to a particular patient. You get accurate intelligence faster and an instant recommendation, at the point of care, on the best treatment approach for your patient.
With business process and AI modelling, healthcare providers have the knowledge they need to provide the best possible care. This is a key benefit of Red Hat Process Automation Manager, which can be used to enable healthcare providers to create their own BPM models and connect them to AI-driven decision points to produce intelligent and automated predictive decision modelling scenarios.
Alongside process automation, the need for better IT security in healthcare is accelerating. As the industry continues to adapt to the requirements of more collaboration and data sharing under value-based care models, and increased use of devices by staff and patients at home and at the bedside, there is increasing pressure to secure systems and data. In the past, the healthcare industry was slow to adopt new technology, but with the pace of change in technology creating significant innovations in healthcare, the landscape has changed more in the past five years than in the previous 20.
Driving these changes are a number of factors, including meaningful use requirements, interoperability, and value-based care and population management. Other pressures include more patient access to self-management tools and the rise of digital healthcare options such as telemedicine and wearable health devices. The result is a healthcare industry exploding in technology and in data. With this explosion comes sharper focus on IT security, which is more critical than ever before, with so many different points of information coming in and so many vulnerabilities.
Many healthcare organisations are fearful of these vulnerabilities – and they have good reason, with healthcare historically having lagged behind in technology. With more vulnerabilities opening up every day in the healthcare environment, and hackers becoming increasingly sophisticated, healthcare IT professionals realise people alone can’t keep up. This is where automation is helping healthcare organisations deliver at scale and provide enhanced security for systems and data in a way that hasn’t been feasible before.
Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform is an enterprise automation platform that can serve as the foundation for building and operating automation services at scale, providing enterprises a composable, collaborative and trusted execution environment.
Red Hat Ansible Tower is an enterprise framework that fits around Ansible Automation Platform, allowing IT professionals to scale IT automations and brings enterprise features to users such as secure credential storing and centralised login. And because it’s a cross-platform technology, it can be integrated with the tools already in use at organisations, so rip and replace is unnecessary.
Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform allows healthcare IT professionals to automate the deployment, security features and management of their entire IT footprint – from servers to infrastructure, to containers to network devices, to applications to the cloud. It uses human readable language, so no special coding skills are needed – and it can be used by all IT teams. It can also orchestrate application lifecycles and deployment, and handle configuration management, workflow orchestration and network automation.
SCC and Red Hat
Healthcare providers are using Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform to modernise IT operations whilst maintaining legacy infrastructure; increase speed and efficiency across IT teams and systems; expand IT automation across the enterprise; enhance employee productivity; and achieve continuous delivery of security updates, which minimise downtime and the chance that patches don’t get applied across the entire IT spectrum.
Together, SCC and Red Hat are creating flexible working options in the healthcare sector, providing better patient education to enable self-service and harness AI and automation to help with remote consultation service offerings. SCC and Red Hat’s combined experience is bringing innovation to healthcare, using open source software to provide greater information for healthcare professionals – and better outcomes for patients.
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