Outsourcing in the Healthcare Industry: Information Technology, Intellectual Property, and Allied Aspects
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Raj K. Goyal
Harvard Medical School
Keith A. Joiner
University of Arizona - College of Medicine
January 10, 2009
The healthcare industry is being impacted by advances in information technology in four major ways: first, a broad spectrum of tasks that were previously done manually can now be done by computers faster, better, and at lower costs; second, some tasks can be outsourced to other countries using inexpensive communications technology; third, detailed analysis of longitudinal and societal healthcare data can now be analyzed in acceptable periods of time; and fourth, the best medical expertise can be made available to patients without the need to physically transport the patient to the doctor or vice versa. Still, there are many healthcare situations in which face-to-face interaction is the only practical way to render medical assistance. After considering a number of healthcare scenarios in which one or more of the co-authors were involved, this paper concludes that healthcare will increasingly use a portfolio approach comprised of three closely-coordinated components seamlessly interwoven together: healthcare tasks performed by humans on-site; healthcare tasks performed by humans off-site, including tasks performed in other countries; and healthcare tasks performed by computers without direct human involvement. This three-pronged approach will lead to better healthcare services at the most cost-economic rates; further, it will gradually incorporate some of the principles of the 24-Hour Knowledge Factory framework. Organizations that impede or otherwise restrict the use of this multifaceted approach will see higher healthcare costs, and will gradually become less competitive in the global marketplace, as is happening with non-adapting organizations in several other sectors of the economy. Finally, this paper deals with intellectual property and legal aspects related to the proposed three-pronged healthcare services paradigm.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 30
Keywords: Healthcare Outsourcing, Healthcare Offshoring, Offshore Outsourcing, 24-Hour Knowledge Factory, Medical Outsourcing
Date posted: January 11, 2009 ; Last revised: July 16, 2014
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