A Future Vision for Digitally Transformed Healthcare
By Marc Edwards, B.Sc. , PMP, Content Analyticss, bpms, MBA
While I wouldn’t call them laggards, many healthcare organizations have been slow to adopt digital transformation. However, if they do adopt transformation, it will often be in the form of an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) implementation. Implementing EMRs can be a complex, difficult, and expensive operation. It’s almost like dental work; you don’t really look forward to the pain but you know that the results will be beneficial to you. The best way to manage this pain is to establish future vision of what that digitally transformed healthcare will look like, specifying what will change and who will conduct this change. To help with this, you must:
- Look at the way you interact with your client and figure out how that will change;
- Look at how your organization will change internally.
How to Improve Your Client’s Experience
When implementing a digital transformation, you should envision a point somewhere in the future where:
- There is one unified client record where data can be used for client care and programming purposes;
- The client has access to online self-serve booking and registration;
- The client is able to provide electronic consent;
- The client’s privacy is secured with access and security controls in place;
- The client has access to electronic devices at clinics when needed.
How Your Internal Processes Will Change with Digital Transformation
Now you have an idea of what future client interactions will look like once you have transformed your business. You can now start to develop an internal vision that will complement the external environment and pivot along with it when needed. Your future vision of your internal processes can include:
- One integrated system, or fewer systems that are integrated with one another;
- One client record where data can be used for client care and programming purposes;
- Records that are accessible to other health staff;
- Reduced administrative costs where the savings are reinvested into the client;
- Integrated statistical systems (where all client and demographic information is stored, documents are pre-populated to meet ministry reporting requirements, inventory management that tracks inventory, usage and billings in one system);
- Clinical information about the client that is available throughout the clinics, where systems are speaking to each other;
- Better use of storage areas for electronic records;
- Electronic devices for staff, e.g. tablets;
- Faster systems.
Two Areas of Focus When Creating a Digital Transformation Vision
Creating a vision enables you to create a pathway to achieve your desired digital transformation results. To accomplish this, you need to focus on two areas:
- You must have an understanding of your clients and how technology will change their interaction with you;
- You must then change your internal processes to adapt to your clients.