• Christian Walch, Director |

Digital transformation is an important cornerstone in the healthcare sector. Its focus lies primarily on the patient. By taking a customer centric approach, digital transformation leads to improved service quality and patient satisfaction.

Digitalization needs in the healthcare sector

The corona crisis was a particularly tough test for the healthcare sector. In many areas, the crisis highlighted strengths but also revealed critical weaknesses in infrastructure and organizational processes. Along with steadily increasing costs and heightened regulation, the majority of healthcare organizations recognize the need for a sense of urgency to transform traditional processes and improve patient satisfaction and safety. But where to begin?

Digital transformation is one of the most important topics that are currently keeping healthcare players on their toes. The industry generally agrees that the following eight aspects are key to a successful digitalization transformation:

  1. Re-evaluating and honing the digital strategy
  2. Implementing a stronger IT backbone
  3. Re-orientating the business model to focus more on patients’ needs
  4. Assessing and adapting digital business cases
  5. Planning and orchestrating Big Data exploitation
  6. Reducing the complexity of IT environments and raising the level of integration
  7. Identifying and remediating cyber security risk issues
  8. Conducting appropriate change management

Another point is that many healthcare providers are still using older ERP systems. As healthcare organizations consider renewing their ERP system, many boards also see this as a good opportunity to push their digital transformation. In fact, this is perceived as a key development point to increase patient satisfaction. With the current trend of moving from an inpatient to an outpatient operating model and with many hospitals having only small IT departments, robust and proven solutions are required.

Intelligent tools to support healthcare organizations

To better explain the benefits of digitalization in the healthcare sector, let’s look at the example of a digital nurse. A digital nurse in hospitals can provide patients with basic care instructions, giving the patient the possibility to receive direct health information without needing to physically see a doctor. This eases the workload of hospitals, therefore allowing the hospitals to increase their focus on patients. Since hospitals generally have relatively small IT departments that are stretched anyway, it is important that the applications are simple to use and that they are secure.

A holistic, but standardized solution makes it easier to implement a new system, thus making it easy for small IT departments to handle. For instance, a standardized six-dimensional Target Operating Model (TOM) and execution suite can provide the desired outcome by using predefined designs and system configurations. This allows the definition of standard processes and drives best practice to enable a successful digital transformation. It also makes sure that data security is at its peak.

Utilizing intelligent business applications has the following benefits for healthcare providers (among others):

  1. Advanced reporting capabilities make data trends and patterns visible with off-the-rack and adaptable dashboards for patients, physicians and administrative staff. This makes clinical insights effortless. It is also easy to share data across departments, allowing top medical executives to make swift decisions.

  2. Healthcare apps used across a healthcare provider’s business create value for all involved. Such apps can help plan staff schedules, service and update requests from family members, and even provide patient care. Healthcare apps can support the easy registration and management of lab results and increase collaboration between teams with team planning schedules and fast communication.

  3. Advanced communication tools bring patients and clinicians together. High-quality audio, image sharing, and patient updates in real time make sharing information a cinch and on top of that, the data is all in one place. Advanced communication tools enable the collaboration across the entire organization while at the same time meeting enhanced security and compliance requirements for healthcare organizations.

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