Navigating the Healthcare Landscape

Unraveling Challenges, Fostering Sustainability, and Supporting Efforts for Financial Strength

Healthcare organizations today must rethink every aspect of patient care to become more agile, resilient and sustainable.  A key step in this journey is the ability to align with businesses that demonstrate leadership by implementing technology that supports automation without compromising security features and support environmental initiatives like sustainable product design. And they need to collaborate with businesses that have the longevity and vision to deliver a holistic level of service that can span the increasingly complex infrastructure found in large and small healthcare delivery organizations.

In a volatile environment of rapid expansion, exponential merger and acquisition activity, and financial uncertainty, healthcare organizations need to seek out technology suppliers that are equipped to handle today’s healthcare industry concerns and anticipate tomorrow’s challenges. The urgency of this collaboration becomes even more apparent against the backdrop of the dynamic healthcare landscape, where the fusion of technology, innovation, and a commitment to sustainability is no longer a luxury but a strategic necessity.

The symbiotic relationship between healthcare organizations and their technology suppliers becomes the cornerstone for helping overcome adversities and steering toward a future where patient care is not just efficient but sustainable, not just responsive but resilient. In this intricate dance of technological evolution and healthcare metamorphosis, the quest for the right relationship is not merely about finding suppliers but cultivating allies – allies who understand that the intersection of healthcare and technology is a nexus of possibilities, challenges, and, ultimately, transformative potential.

When evaluating technology, here are three things to consider:

Security features

It’s no secret that healthcare can be a prime target for ransomware attacks and malicious attempts to access sensitive information. Now more than ever, it is important not to fall for marketing speak and to instead incorporate hardware and software offerings that can meet the established standards of security and encryption capabilities. Often these levels of security can only be found among manufacturers and developers that have a long history of innovation, commitment to research and development, and the financial resources to stay on top of rapidly changing requirements. Seek out technology suppliers that can support FedRAMP-authorized solutions, support the NIST Cybersecurity Framework and are on the vanguard of adopting FIPS-140.3 encryption standards, among others.

Furthermore, as the healthcare industry continues to grapple with the evolving threat landscape, it is imperative to foster relationships with technology providers that not only meet existing security standards but also exhibit a proactive approach in staying ahead of emerging threats. Your robust cybersecurity strategy should encompass continuous monitoring, threat intelligence integration, and adaptive response mechanisms. Collaborating with manufacturers committed to advancing security protocols helps ensure a resilient defense in the volatile landscape of cyberthreats.

Sustainability 

The improper management and disposal of electronic or e-waste can produce toxic substances that can pollute soil and water and generate harmful greenhouse gases (GHGs). This can cause harm to animals and humans, creating more health problems that require more care. The healthcare sector is responsible for more than 8% of greenhouse gases in the U.S. and has a responsibility to help reduce its carbon footprint to positively impact population health. Until now there has been little incentive to do so, but with the introduction of the Joint Commission’s Sustainable Healthcare Certification Program, effective January 1, 2024, this may be changing. Now may be the time to seek out organizations that are committed to helping reduce the environmental impact of their technology through initiatives like circular product design. Manufacturers that incorporate sustainability throughout the lifecycle of their products from sourcing and transportation to implementation and end-of-life initiatives can be more resilient to supply chain shortages. This means they can keep their business running (and yours!) through even difficult times.

In addition to environmental considerations, the sustainability aspect extends to the economic resilience of technology suppliers. Those who proactively address issues related to supply chain disruptions, geopolitical uncertainties, and resource shortages are better positioned to support healthcare organizations in maintaining uninterrupted operations. Sustainability, therefore, becomes a multifaceted criterion, encompassing both ecological and business resilience.

Scope

As healthcare organizations rapidly expand, they need the support of equally large organizations that can draw in the right resources to support complex environments. Leading organizations that have capabilities to meet the needs of the entire healthcare ecosystem, from product development and manufacturing, to supply chain management digital transformation services and financing, can help create cost efficiencies and help support true digital transformation through strategic services. Some technology providers try to piece these capabilities together through competing entities, but true solutions partners have the ability to seamlessly integrate their diverse capabilities to pull in the right technology at the right time.

Moreover, the scope of support provided by technology providers should not only align with current needs but also anticipate the trajectory of healthcare industry evolution. Manufacturers that integrate flexibility into their solutions, enabling scalability and adaptability to emerging technologies, and that support your compliance efforts with regulatory changes and evolving care models, are invaluable contributors in today’s dynamic healthcare landscape. A comprehensive approach that encompasses not only product development but also strategic consulting, training, and ongoing support helps ensure a virtually seamless and sustainable integration of technology into the healthcare ecosystem.

When it comes down to it, technology suppliers that are committed to helping healthcare organizations rise to the top through efficiency, effective resource management, and cost control must have the foresight to pick and choose their hardware and software providers for the long game. It’s a survival of the fittest mindset and approach. 

As we navigate the intricate intersection of healthcare and technology, the importance of ongoing education and skill development is another important component. Technology suppliers that invest in training programs, knowledge transfer initiatives, and continuous professional development for healthcare professionals contribute not only to the successful implementation of their technologies but also to the overall advancement of the healthcare workforce.

Navigating the healthcare landscape requires continuous evolution and adaptation. By prioritizing security features, sustainability initiatives, and scope, technology suppliers position themselves as true contributors in the healthcare ecosystem’s transformation. The integration of emerging technologies, interoperability, value-based care alignment, data stewardship, and financial innovation are crucial components of this collaborative journey toward a more resilient, efficient, and patient-centric healthcare future.

Embracing the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, the relationship between healthcare organizations and technology suppliers can become a catalyst for positive change. The narrative shifts from mere technology adoption to a shared commitment to advancing healthcare outcomes, enhancing operational efficiency, and contributing to the overall well-being of communities. As we move forward, it is this shared vision and collaborative spirit that will define the success of the healthcare industry in a world where technological innovation and compassionate care go hand in hand.   

is Vice President of Marketing at Canon Solutions America