Written by:

Garima Malik,

Manager, Portfolio, Program and Project Management

Regulatory requirements, fierce competition and rapidly emerging technologies are creating new complexities for the healthcare sector. Healthcare leaders are working continuously on refining their processes to reduce costs, boost patient care and improve their overall experience and satisfaction. To realize these benefits, it is crucial to remain up to date with the latest technological advancements.

Deciding which emerging technologies are most beneficial can be a challenge for many organizations and requires a versatile and risk-taking mindset. Telemedicine, artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled medical devices and blockchain electronic health records are reshaping how we interact with health professionals, how our data is shared among providers and the way decisions are made regarding treatment plans and outcomes.

In recent years, the healthcare fraternity has acknowledged significant benefits resulting from investments in AI and technology. This includes: 

  • Automatic management of patient and staff related data
  • Improved communication channels for better interactions between patients, healthcare providers and other ecosystem partners
  • Reduced risk of human error and improved overall patient care
  • Development of big data strategies to enable prognostic and diagnostic claims in a personalized manner
  • Quick diagnoses and treatment leading to high levels of patient satisfaction and retention

On-demand healthcare

The healthcare industry is entering the era of digital innovation as patients seek on-demand healthcare due to their busy schedules. The mobile phone has become particularly important given its accessibility to a broad range of people. It also offers more convenience for physicians providing on-demand-healthcare to patients in specific circumstances.

Big data in healthcare

Big data aggregates information about a business through formats like social media, ecommerce, online transactions and financial transactions. It provides preventive care and accurate staffing for hospitals, identifies patterns and trends for future use and leads to lower rates of medication errors

The rise of wearable medical devices

Wearable medical devices are becoming more popular as patients increasingly prioritize prevention and maintenance of their health. Patients are also demanding information about their health more frequently. These devices can monitor their exercise and health-related data such as calorie burn and oxygen levels, and have the potential to detect and prevent health issues before they arise.

Predictive healthcare

Clinical predications, disease progression and comorbidities, hospital overstays and readmissions, resource allocation and acquisitions, and supply chain management have all become easier to track, enabling organizations to be prepared for any demand of services.

Project management: overcoming key challenges

Every advancement is associated with a set of implementation challenges. Healthcare professionals are facing privacy and security concerns regarding patient data given the lack of laws in place to address patient autonomy. The healthcare sector is also experiencing budgetary restrictions and challenges in data quality due to the inconsistency of data across health providers.

Digitization is about much more than introducing tools and technologies and focuses on the sustainable implementation of the digital transformation to ensure long-term success. Change management is necessary to create a culture of digital transformation. Project management methodologies and principles should also be aligned with the organization’s projects and objectives. In addition, collaboration between individual employees, entire teams and locations can significantly enhance connections and cross-functional teamwork within the company.

To successfully transition to digital systems, healthcare organizations need to focus on four important dimensions of their business: critical sources of value for the company, the means by which the company delivers products and services, the company’s IT architecture, and talent, finance, and governance processes.

The integration of any new technology into a new environment can be difficult. In the same way, managing a project that integrates multiple digital solutions and stakeholders that need to work together seamlessly can also pose various challenges. However, there are companies that specialize in providing comprehensive project management solutions that oversee technology goals from beginning to end.

Successful digital transformation through project management and control requires:

  • Change management: creating a culture of digitization. This requires a collaborative process involving employees, managers and executives. It includes elements such as raising awareness, building upskilling programs and coaching individuals across the organization.
  • Collaboration: hospitals must ensure that communication takes place across teams to increase the efficiency of internal communication and promote collaboration. Deploying a collaboration software allows employees from different departments to communicate with each other in real time and interact across teams to efficiently cater to their patients’ needs.
  • An agile, traditional or hybrid approach to project management: this entails identifying which project management method is right for your hospital’s unique digitization initiative. Traditional project management methods are suitable for projects with clear requirements and for managing the whole project. The greater the flexibility required and the higher the potential for uncertainty, the more suitable agile project management becomes. Both approaches have their place in corresponding projects, but a combination in the form of hybrid project management can be useful to combine the advantages of the two methods.

Adequate consideration is required for the successful implementation of digital transformation in healthcare. This includes bringing all stakeholders on board through effective change management, training staff to help them embrace digital technologies in their work, taking a holistic approach that ensures no patient is left behind, and adopting cloud-based platforms for physicians to be able to access data anytime and anywhere.

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