Healthcare systems are shifting their primary focus from physicians to patients, which has given rise to new approaches to patient care, use of emerging technologies, and digital transformation in their IT departments. Whether they are implementing a telehealth system to care remotely for patients during a Covid 19 lockdown, or supporting thousands of wearable medical devices, healthcare organizations are embracing the digital era and transforming outdated IT processes.
For WellStar Health Systems, investing in digital transformation has meant simultaneously reducing wasteful spend on IT resources. “Part of a digital transformation means we have to be a lean organization. We can’t shy from taking a close look at what drives cost, what drives efficiency, and how to give people an opportunity to make a difference,” said Brad Newton, WellStar Health Systems’ VP of IT Administration.
To help with IT efficiency, WellStar has deployed Apptio’s Technology Business Management (TBM) solution, which helps find excess IT resources in order to make informed cost-cutting decisions. For example, TBM has allowed WellStar Health Systems to discover how much it costs to close a support ticket due to discrepancies between teams. "We are taking a closer look at how people are documenting their work and looking at whether all tickets are providing the same level of value to customers.”
TBM is also helping WellStar Health Systems get a better understanding of application TCO (Total Cost of Ownership), which means analyzing the way applications are consumed and what they cost.
“Understanding application TCO is a huge priority,” said Newton. “I think some of our end users would be very surprised at which applications cost the most money and they would be stunned to learn which application vendors we spend the most money on.” As a result, Newton said, WellStar Health Systems has an opportunity to change how it consumes each application, which directly impacts the cost.
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Even as it examines cost and reduces wasteful IT budget spend, WellStar Health Systems has improved its ability to serve the technology needs of patients, nurses, and doctors by understanding what’s important to them. From an IT perspective, this means making sure providers and patients are getting the right information they need at the right time, and that they have the right tools.
“All of our patients are starting to ask questions about, ‘What is this going to cost?’ I want our nurses and doctors to be able to get answers when they ask me, ‘What does it cost for me to have this device? What does it cost to have this license?” said Newton. “One of the things that’s most exciting to me is the opportunity to empower the users of IT to actually do something that makes a difference from a cost perspective.”