Digital Transformation (Dx) for Healthcare Systems and Providers!
In a recent survey conducted by Deloitte Consulting with Scottsdale Institute, technology health care professionals reported, ‘ leadership (80%) and management of implementation (68%) to be the key accelerators of digital transformation, and culture (60%), communication ownership, and transparency (48%) the key barriers.’
‘For many healthcare organizations, the concept of digital transformation (Dx) of all business processes and tasks, and the integration of systems and technology is still a piece-by-piece initiative that is often considered in a silo environment.’
While health care providers, medical centers and other related services plan for the transition from paper-based systems to digital systems, and contemplate the benefits of analytics, automated approval loops, and streamlined processes, the journey can be a difficult one if the enterprise does not employ the services of a skilled, experienced consulting partner – one that can analyze the requirements of the organization and include considerations for privacy, security, healthcare regulations like HIPPA and research and treatment protocols and processes.
As the Deloitte survey revealed, healthcare technology professionals understand the critical factor of leadership and organizational commitment. The transition will be challenging for some team members but, if management is not fully committed, the probability of user adoption and successful Digital Transformation (Dx) is slim.
When an enterprise plans for Digital Transformation (Dx) within a healthcare system, there are numerous factors at play. Here, we discuss just a few of the considerations the organization must include in its process and systems review:
End-to-End Patient Engagement and Care
From the outside, looking in, many people consider the healthcare experience to be one that is hospital-based but, in fact, patients often never visit a hospital. Their diagnostics, treatment plan and follow-up may be completely within the walls of a doctor’s office and today, much of it may be virtual in a ‘telehealth’ visit. Digital Transformation (Dx) must include patient portals that provide easy access so patients can login and view test results and notes from a doctor visit. If and when a patient is hospitalized, the electronic health records (EHR) should be centralized to make it easier for consulting physicians, physical therapists and other healthcare professionals to access and edit health records so that records are complete and centralized. Electronic transmission of prescriptions and test orders will simplify and streamline the patient experience and keep diagnostics and treatment plans on track.
Digital Transformation (Dx) must consider all systems and solutions that are touched by healthcare professionals and it is must consider the ways in which a patient interacts with staff. Involving patients (consumers) in the process of streamlining and automating processes provides a focus on the patient and how they prefer to see information, how they wish to communicate with healthcare professionals, e.g., messaging through a portal to ask questions and raise non-emergent issues, and will trickle down to clarify staffing issues. In other words, by understanding how a consumer wishes to receive information and what must be included in the process, the healthcare provider can also address staffing changes and process changes that will be required to accommodate the consumer requirements.
Building a Project Plan with Milestones
Unlike a software implementation project, Digital Transformation (Dx) requires a comprehensive look across the organization and a project plan that will build a foundation upon which the enterprise can expand. Organizations often set unreasonable deadlines to complete the project which can mean that the planned budget and timeline is inaccurate and that management teams will perceive that the project has failed. To avoid this problem, it is wise to be reasonable about expectations and to set milestones that, in and of themselves, provide successful closure of a task and can stand alone as proof that the project is reaping rewards. By building on these milestones, the organization can work toward the final conclusion of the project and celebrate the successes along the way. It will be easier to manage an annual budget for these milestones and to plan for resources. Keep in mind that, because the healthcare industry is changing every day, the idea of actually completing a digital transformation (Dx) project is unlikely. Rather, the enterprise should see the Dx project as a continuous improvement project – one that will evolve as patient and healthcare provider needs evolve.
Be sure that your project plan includes metrics. Measure each milestone and include factors like scalability, interoperability, security, user satisfaction (for both consumers and healthcare providers) etc. Digital Transformation (Dx) projects should be treated like any other project in that the results should be measurable, so be sure to review and choose key performance indicators (KPIs).
‘Healthcare technology professionals understand the critical factor of leadership and organizational commitment. If management is not fully committed, the probability of user adoption and successful digital transformation (Dx) is slim.’
Today’s hospitals and healthcare providers are familiar with the evolution of the electronic health records (EHR) and have come to understand the value, but at this point, the concept of digital transformation (Dx) of all business processes and tasks, and the integration of systems and technology is still a piece-by-piece initiative that is often considered in a silo environment. By engaging an IT consulting expert, the organization can take a comprehensive look at what is required to complete this transition and to optimize resources and allow the organization to become more responsive and nimble.
When a business takes on a Digital Transformation (Dx) initiative, it is important to take the time to dive into the details of operational efficiency and to gain a thorough understanding of how a consistent, dependable set of business processes can be incorporated into the Dx strategy to create a sustainable, productive environment.
Find out how the right IT consulting partner can support your Digital Transformation initiative and start you on the road to success.