A Shared Information Technology-Business-Health Model: Lessons for Healthcare Leaders on Integrating Technology from Investment

*Corresponding author: Donald M. Hilty*, John Luo, Evangelina Giron and Dong-Gil Ko

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systematic review


Objective: Technology is rapidly shifting our day-to-day existence, education, social relationships, health care and business. Psychiatric leaders have slowly explored telepsychiatric services – but few have an approach to technology in general–due to
competing clinical, educational and research demands. Technology has typically been added on, rather than integrated, to institutional functions.
Method: This narrative review used a literature search of Medline, PsycNET, PsycINFO, Embase, Cochrane, SpringerLink, Scopus, ABI/Inform, Business Source Complete, and Web of Science, using subject headings and keywords along with a manual search of reference lists of articles published by November 2020. The keywords explored four areas: 1) business; 2) service delivery; 3) system change; and 4) technology. Articles were reviewed by title/abstract, full text review and review of references. They were included if they discussed integration of technology into health care and compared literature from medicine/health, psychiatry/behavioral health, business, technology, leadership and health care administration. The goal was to explore how medicine/psychiatry has integrated technology compared to business, and apply business approaches to health care and training.
Results: From a total of 2,710 potential references, two authors found 327 eligible for full text review and found 69 papers directly relevant to the concepts. Business and medicine/psychiatry have similarities/differences from both historical and contemporary views. Many health care systems and companies lack a strategic plan for technology and focus only on short-term due to administrative demands. Clinical informatics is a rapidly expanding area and would be central to this process. It has started to facilitate patient-centered care as defined by quality, affordable, and timely health care. While in principle information systems use integrative approaches, electronic health records, electronic means of communications with patients and staff, behavioral health indicators and related digital advances are often added to existing systems rather than integrated. Effective businesses use integrative approaches to share domain knowledge and streamline practices to link information technology (IT) with research and development, production, financing and marketing management. A case example highlights the IT strategy and business leaders’ comments in shifting to straight through processing (STP) from the banking industry for investments. It also exemplifies a model of shared IT-business understanding, which improves performance via efficiency, quality of data/information processing/integration and managerial teamwork.
Conclusion: When it is integrated into health care service delivery workflow, evaluated and quality improved, IT facilitates the translation of strategic planning into organizational change. Incremental versus strategically innovative approaches to technological integration for care, education and administration are considered. Successful implementation requires a needs and impact assessment for patients, staff, clinicians and leaders across all levels of the organization. Benefits to the mission, limited disruptions of core operational workflow and reasonable costs reduce the likelihood of failure.
Health care; Business; Information technology; Shared; Leadership; Understanding; Straight through processing.