What must health systems do to accelerate digital transformation
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the digitisation of healthcare in an unprecedented manner. In a post-pandemic environment, the digitally savvy consumer has high expectations from healthcare providers. The healthcare industry needs to keep the momentum of virtual healthcare going, while transforming their operations to provide patient-friendly processes.
Healthcare providers need to continue to accelerate digital transformation for several reasons, amongst which the most important is consumer engagement and satisfaction. By building a digitised platform that has a consumer-centric approach, healthcare providers will be able to provide improved patient experience, and offer multiple modes for patient care across several channels. There have been several innovations during the pandemic, which have continued in the new normal. Virtual healthcare, clinical innovations and the play of technology in nearly every area of life means that high consumer expectations need to be matched, and this is possible only with accelerated digital transformation. The healthcare industry needs to ramp up with digital tools to be able to process real-time feedback from patients, and provide innovative and seamless clinical care across multiple channels.
Step on the gas
The healthcare industry has undergone a major upheaval in recent years, and will continue to do in the time to come. Emerging technologies have several applications in medical and clinical procedures, both for real-time monitoring and analysis. The consumer is now the focus of the healthcare system, and systems and processes have to be realigned to become patient-centric. Several healthcare applications have direct interaction with the consumer. The patient journey is not just about a hospital visit; there is a “pre” and “post” experience, all of which are key to consumer satisfaction. Health systems need to focus on telehealth and remote monitoring, to complement online consultations. Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems need to be accessible across platforms. The digital journey in healthcare is a complex and tedious process, one which will lead to a massive transformation of the industry. Technology is just one part of the healthcare digitisation; healthcare providers need to develop a holistic digital strategy to accelerate the digital transformation journey.
The digital transformation of healthcare requires a close look at all processes, which need to be optimised based on customer and business needs of today. There has to be serious push from senior management and leadership with a digital governance model in place; an executive-level technology evangelist would help to expedite the effort. Transformation must happen down to an individual level. People need to be oriented to new processes, and organisational culture should promote a digital mindset.
Business goals, customer needs and transformation goals need to be in alignment. Process reengineering may be necessary, rather than simply treating it as an IT project for automation. This would be required across functions and specialities, so that the healthcare provider works as a cohesive whole, rather than having each function working in its own silo. A consumer-centric approach would help align the transformation towards meeting consumer expectations. An enterprise-wide digital roadmap is necessary for transformation leaders to be able to gather requirements and feedback, and prioritise key issues to take digitisation forward in a meaningful manner.
By building a unified data platform that consolidates data from disparate sources such as ERPs, CRMs, Healthcare Management Systems (HMS) and unstructured data such as document files, PDFs and so on, hospitals can understand the complete data narrative. Artificial Intelligence (AI)-and-Machine Learning (ML)-based solutions can be leveraged to build Business Intelligence (BI) capabilities to enable real-time and predictive analytics. To build data and application interoperability, and cybersecurity strategies, a strong technology partnership is necessary. Identifying strategic and technology partners who would facilitate the necessary collaborative data and application platforms would be key to accelerated digital transformation. An incremental approach to transformation, while having a long-term strategy in place will result in small successes that will eventually translate to bigger gains.
Identifying Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of transformation efforts is an important part of reaching digital goals. Digital metrics such as usage engagement, conversion to online transactions such as appointment scheduling or virtual consultation, utilisation and engagement rates of remote monitoring, user ratings, etc., are all indicators that can be used to further tweak transformation efforts. Healthcare companies also need to hire the right talent to build a workforce of the future. Marketing and communications are equally important to be able to reach the patient or caregiver via multiple channels.
The digitisation of healthcare is proceeding at an extraordinary speed. Building a digital-next strategy with a razor-sharp focus on patient engagement, consumer satisfaction, clinical care delivery, data privacy and security, and partnering with a strong technology partner* will catapult healthcare to the next stage of digital transformation.
*For organizations on the digital transformation journey, agility is key in responding to a rapidly changing technology and business landscape. Now more than ever, it is crucial to deliver and exceed on organizational expectations with a robust digital mindset backed by innovation. Enabling businesses to sense, learn, respond, and evolve like a living organism, will be imperative for business excellence going forward. A comprehensive, yet modular suite of services is doing exactly that. Equipping organizations with intuitive decision-making automatically at scale, actionable insights based on real-time solutions, anytime/anywhere experience, and in-depth data visibility across functions leading to hyper-productivity, Live Enterprise is building connected organizations that are innovating collaboratively for the future.