I read with great interest last month Betty Dunagan’s article on why unstructured data is still important to healthcare providers. Overall, the article is spot on; health organizations will need to continue the shift from paper to digital, utilize a variety of data sources and types, and quickly turn information into knowledge and actionable insights.
Payers and providers face significant pressures to transform their business operations to stay ahead of the competition, grow financial margins, and meet ever increasing regulatory requirements around enterprise security and patient data privacy.
My conversations with providers and payers around the world have always come down to three topic areas: managing the rising cost of healthcare, improving the quality of health services, and increasing access to healthcare for all citizens. Digital transformation must address all three to have a meaningful and sustainable impact.
Here are three key lessons I have learned over the last decade visiting dozens of countries:
- Health organizations need an enterprise-wide data strategy to capture, store, manage, access, and use patient data. Creating a “360 degree view of the patient” will require comprehensive strategies utilizing mainstream data management technologies and solutions, but also incorporating new innovative technologies such as data analytics, artificial intelligence, machine/deep learning, and even block chain.
- Health organizations can have the best IT strategy and technology roadmap, but can still struggle with adoption if they don’t comprehend the required changes associated with business processes and clinical workflows. Change can be difficult, but manageable.
- Never under estimate the importance and value of stakeholder buy-in. If the doctors, nurses, and hospital support staff are not brought in early so they can be an active participant, success is more difficult to achieve.
Overall, payers and providers must no longer view digital transformation as strategic choice, but rather a business imperative for future survival. Enterprise data, innovative solutions, and capable technology partners are all essential elements needed to accelerate digital transformation for healthcare organizations.
What do you think?