Let’s cut to the chase: Healthcare organizations that are moving to a value-based model need Citrix Workspace.

Indulge me for five minutes, and I’ll explain why. Here’s a quick summary:

  • A healthcare IT (HIT) environment with Citrix Workspace as its foundation enables users to work in the ways that best suit them.
  • Value-based care is where things are going, so you need technology that facilitates and complements this model.
  • Not all HIT environments are created equal. While Citrix Workspace is a great enabler for value-based care, a solid deployment strategy is crucial to ensuring success in the long run.

Citrix Workspace: A Healthcare Industry Game-Changer

In healthcare, “value” revolves around spending as much time as possible engaged in delivering a high standard of patient care. There’s a catch, though.

Studies show that while the workforce in any organization represents 60 percent of the overall operating expense, only 30 percent of the American workforce — across all industries — is really engaged and productive most of the time. A study in Europe actually zeroed in on healthcare, revealing that 33 percent of those in the sector don’t feel able to maximize their productivity. In other words, they don’t feel fully engaged. An interview by an Asia-based HR organization cites that workforce productivity declines are being experienced in that region, as well. The authors tie those declines to digital transformation.

The translation?

Not everyone is delivering a high degree of value in the provision of care. In the digital age, one of the reasons is technology complexity — more apps, more logins, more notifications, and more information scattered across numerous locations. For many healthcare workers, technology is overwhelming.

Digital workspace technology can cut through the clutter. With a digital workspace, secure, easy access to apps and data is delivered from a single interface. Healthcare workers enjoy familiar and consistent user experiences regardless of device, network, or location. They also get intelligent search capabilities and task automation.

Citrix Workspace is purpose-built for healthcare environments. Rather than being disenfranchised by technology, clinicians feel empowered with Citrix Workspace. Citrix Workspace provides on-demand delivery of clinical applications and tools, SaaS, traditional Windows and Web apps, and PHI to any endpoint. It delivers a near-native experience, even with graphically-intensive imaging applications. Clinicians can work in the way that best suits them.

For IT leaders, Citrix Workspace takes the unwieldiness out of managing an ever-increasing list of SaaS, web and mobile apps running on any number of clouds. It also gives IT the ability to be proactive in managing security threats in today’s distributed, hybrid multi-cloud, multi-device environments. Citrix Workspace fully aggregates apps and data across all applications — both on-premises and in the cloud — to deliver the right experience to the right user at the right time.

What’s more, tap-in, tap-out authentication ensures secure and fast access, reduces logon times, and improves clinical workflows. Citrix security is designed around people, and includes AI, machine learning, and predictive security analytics to detect anomalies in user behavior as well as external threats to the environment.

Citrix technology gives clinicians and physicians secure access to apps and data stored in multiple storage zones. Contextual access adds another measure of security by ensuring that the right people have the right access to information at the right time.

Citrix Workspace enables healthcare users to easily access the types of information necessary for compliance reporting for HIPAA, MACRA, and other mandates. Citrix also provides secure file sharing across the healthcare delivery chain. Citrix ShareFile has achieved HIPAA compliant status under Sword & Shield’s HIPAA Compliance Program (HCP).

Now you see why Citrix Workspace is a game-changer in healthcare.

The Value-Based Care Model

To grasp why Citrix Workspace goes with a value-based care model like peanut butter goes with jelly, it’s helpful to understand what value-based care really means. The concept originated in the Medicare arena and was mandated as part of MACRA. The idea was to reward Medicare recipients’ healthcare providers with incentive payments based on the quality of care they deliver rather than on the number of procedures they perform. As part of this strategy, MACRA endorses quality measures that:

  • Minimize the burden on clinicians
  • Improve outcomes for patients
  • Drive value in care delivery

Now, the idea of value-based care is being embraced beyond the Medicare provider world.

For a decade, Forbes has published remarkably accurate annual articles that outline where the experts think the healthcare industry is headed in the year to come. Predictions for 2018 were nearly 98 percent correct. In the new 2019 Forbes list, the first prediction was that “the healthcare industry will continue to transit to the value-based model.” By year’s end, Forbes predicts “up to 15 percent of global healthcare spending will be tied in some form with value/outcome-based care concepts.”

The Tie Between Value-Based Care and HIT

Healthcare IT plays a large role in the transition to a value-based care model. A sound HIT strategy is an enabler for the three MACRA quality measures: unburdening clinicians, improving patient outcomes, and driving higher quality care.

  • Unburdening Clinicians: One way to unburden clinicians is to alleviate worries about how to navigate technology and enable them to spend more time caring for patients. Clinicians need secure technology that makes it easy for them to be mobile — to roam healthcare facilities and work from numerous locations such as hospitals, remote clinics, mass transit, social arenas, their homes, and more. A great HIT strategy features security controls that never hinder mobile users’ productivity; at the same time, it ensures that all users get a consistent and familiar experience, regardless of the device, network, or location.
  • Improving Patient Outcomes: Technology plays an equally crucial role. HIT that streamlines workflows, automates processes, and enables efficient patient interaction can free up minutes each day. That may not seem like much, but adding even as little as two or three minutes to the amount of time that a physician can spend with each patient or on devising a care plan can make a huge difference in individual outcomes.
  • Driving Higher Quality Care: Secure digital workspace technology delivers value to users and to IT. Workspace technology makes information access and sharing faster and more secure for users. At the same time, it affords IT the ability to see the entire environment from a single pane of glass, to provision updates and fixes automatically, and to ensure that the entire environment is continuously functioning in an optimal way 24/7/365. Combine a digital workspace with the right networking technology and you ensure that the IT environment is secure and always ready for business challenges. The bottom line? Higher overall standards of care.

Designing HIT for the New Norm: Value-Based Care

Now that we understand the value-based care model and why HIT plays a significant role in it, let’s look at three steps that can ensure you design a savvy HIT strategy.

Design Step 1: Frame the strategy with industry best practices

Today, managing clinician mobility goes well beyond simply controlling devices. It’s about managing healthcare apps and data. It involves policies and contextual access. It means collaboratively designing strategies with input from a variety of stakeholders across the organization — IT, Security, Legal, HR, Informatics, Clinical Specialties, and many more.

The goal is to provide familiar and consistent user experiences to physicians and clinicians regardless of device, network, or location. The strategy must incorporate this without having an adverse impact on the organization’s security posture.

IT strategists must consider:

  • The devices that should be “approved”
  • Which employees are eligible for remote work
  • In the context of job function, what access each physician, clinician, or healthcare staffer needs to specific apps and data
  • How to support mobile employees
  • What legal terms of use apply to mobile work

As you can see, managing mobility is a complex proposition.

Design step 2: Clearly define the technology strategy

Carefully consider how the IT environment will be structured and why. Will it be housed on premises, configured as a multi-cloud infrastructure, or take a hybrid form? Partner with suppliers that have experience dealing with healthcare entities in various stages of the cloud journey — and with those who have a large ecosystem of healthcare-savvy partners themselves. Seek out partners that prioritize the same things you do in enabling clinician mobility:

  • People-centric security
    • Contextual access
    • Web app firewall
    • Predictive analytics
    • AI and machine learning
    • Endpoint management
  • Great user experience
    • Consistent
    • Flexible
    • Familiar
    • Easy to access (single sign-on/tap-and-go)
  • Choices and Efficiences for IT Leaders
    • Easy to manage
    • Easy to oversee (single pane of glass visibility into the entire environment)
    • Automated upgrades, fixes, onboarding
    • 24/7/365 readiness
    • on-premises, multi-cloud, or hybrid

Design step 3: Select technologies that provide 24/7/365 app and data availability

In healthcare, 24/7/365 availability is a necessity. Centralized management and delivery of clinical applications — EHRs, medical imaging apps, clinical tools, and legacy apps can be addressed through virtualization and/or cloud computing. The beauty of this is that both ensure strong security because nothing is stored on endpoints.

Apps and PHI remain secure in the data center, where they are accessed through granular, policy-based user authentication. Add real-time network and performance optimization and users get a high-fidelity experience. Finally, solutions that are quick to deploy, easy-to-use, and scale rapidly contribute significantly to ensuring that clinicians and physicians have technology that works for them 24/7/365.

Visit us at HIMSS19, at Citrix Booth 2901, Citrix Ready Partners Booth 527, and Cybersecurity Kiosk 43 in the Cybersecurity Command Center.

And discover why a people-centric security strategy is the best approach for protecting sensitive information and facilitating compliance in our on-demand webinar.