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Remembering Those at the Heart of it All: The People Behind the Data in times of COVID-19

Remembering Those at the Heart of it All: The People Behind the Data

Over the last few months, healthcare IT teams have faced increasing pressure, and are in need of strong leadership. We’ve heard the following pleas and calls to action from executives in the healthcare industry:

From facilitating remote work: “As an IT leader, you face an overwhelming responsibility to activate and maintain the infrastructure for the diagnostic service lines needed to effectively collaborate across various functions remotely.”

To ensuring continuity of care: “Every cancer patient deserves the best possible care, even during the most unsettling of times. Optimizing the continuity of cancer treatment plans is now more reliant than ever on informatics.”

To supporting efficient workflows: “As part of determining this ‘new normal,’ informatics will be a key tool in evolving organizational protocols and workflows, and ensuring that care teams are working together seamlessly.”

To advancing interoperability: “As soon as COVID-19 spread around the world, the interoperability mindset changed. No longer is interoperability viewed as a ‘nice to have;’ it’s now a ‘must have’ for the future of patient management and care.”

This, along with a plethora of other pressures, is a lot to handle for any CIO. While it’s easy to get swept up in the technological aspects of these challenges, we cannot lose sight of those at the heart of all we do – our staff and our patients. While you navigate this complex landscape in the road to recovery and improved ways of working, Philips can be a trusted partner to help define your Informatics strategy, with the needs of radiologists, cardiologists, pathologists and others, supporting the patients they serve at its core. 

Empowering Staff and Patients with the Right Solutions

Prior to the pandemic, surveyed radiology technologists and imaging directors expressed, on average, only moderate satisfaction with their jobs. Across every geography, workload was cited as by far the greatest source of stress and burnout for imaging staff, due to mounting pressure on imaging departments, rising patient volumes, and shortages of qualified staff. It’s safe to assume that these feelings were exacerbated during COVID-19. Imaging works best when approached from the perspective of a system, and it can only deliver peak performance when all its stakeholders are empowered to do their jobs effectively. While you and your department consider ways to revamp your digital strategy in this next phase of the pandemic, continue to pause and ask yourself – will this provide department staff with the support they need?

Radiologists, Cardiologists, Pathologists, and others are on the front lines of patient care, so it’s essential to arm them with the right information and enable a workflow that gives them more time with patients. Focusing innovation efforts on their needs – including advanced data integration, workflow optimization, and consistent, predictable outcomes – has great potential to improve confident clinical decision-making and decrease staff burnout. Outside of the hospital’s four walls, technologies that enable remote work and virtual collaboration will also support convenient, flexible ways of working for staff, as well as improving safety for those concerned about exposure to COVID-19, a heavy stressor in itself. 

Staff satisfaction goes hand-in-hand with patient satisfaction. An IT strategy that enables a workflow across your enterprise that allows diagnosing and treating clinical staff to spend more time on quality patient care and less on technological obstacles, it can have a profound impact on a patient’s experience, as well. For patients, imaging exams may often be nerve-wracking and uncomfortable to begin with, and in the age of COVID-19, these feelings of anxiety are naturally heightened. Providing staff the bandwidth to spend more time with patients and reduce anxiety not only reduces the likelihood that a patient will move during an exam and need a rescan, but also supports truly patientcentric care. This is where the promise of a resilient IT backbone is most exciting.

A Source of Expertise and Support


As CIO, you have a lot of on your plate. Your role, now more than ever is front and center, focused on untangling the complicated web of technology throughout your organization. COVID-19 has exposed the dependency on digitation, the strength needed in the partnership between IT and your clinicians and patients like never before. 

The digitization transformation is well in progress and has an exponential trajectory for use in the near future. As we move to communicate and understand the staff and patients that are part of your day-today responsibilities, we know that exhaustion, nervousness and increased demands are an ever present reality. As your partner, we can help you lead the way with technology that will help you and your teams bridge historic gaps, integrate seamlessly with and advance existing workflows, and improve both the staff and patient experience.

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