Tag Archives: healthcare

A Future Vision for Digitally Transformed Healthcare

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:

  1. Look at the way you interact with your client and figure out how that will change;
  2. 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:

  1. You must have an understanding of your clients and how technology will change their interaction with you;
  2. You must then change your internal processes to adapt to your clients.

If you have any questions about this, please email me at marc@rexteadconsulting.com or contact me at http://rexteadconsulting.com/contact/.

6 Problems with an “Uber-ized” healthcare

Uber photo

by Marc Edwards, B.Sc., PMP, MBA

In my prior post I talked about some of the opportunities available for an Uber-ization of healthcare. However, there are many obstacles as well that should be considered. Some of these are quite obvious and others not so much. Quickly, here are a few:

1.            Electronic health records (EHRs)

What role would an EHR play in an Uber-ized environment and how will this new Uber-like software interact with the EHR? Will there be much data sharing? If not, this would be a missed opportunity of significant proportions as the amount of data collected will be colossal and could be used to help treat the patient more effectively. Making this information available through an EHR would help facilitate the logistics between this new software, hospitals, and other health providing clinics.

2.            The matter of health insurance

What would be the role of health insurers in this new environment? I imagine that they would not find this new scenario ideal. Logically, this new Uber-ization of healthcare should lower the cost of healthcare overall by increasing the availability and access to healthcare, making health insurance less vital to the average American. Of course, for those of us who live in countries with subsidized healthcare, this is not an issue.

3.            Qualifications

How will the owners of this new software ensure that the health consultants providing medical advice are indeed qualified to do so? As I mentioned in previous posts, it will be a major hurdle to assure the public that this new platform will not be inhibited by quacks and frauds. And how will the software owners confirm that the credentials of the health consultants are accurate? Logistically, this would be a difficult feat indeed.

4.            Prescriptions

What about prescriptions? How does one get a prescription filled for medicine that they desperately need in this new environment? Do we now have to consider electronic prescriptions? The opportunity for misuse would be great in this instance. In addition, the health provider must take into account the patient’s medical history and the prescriptions that they have taken in the past and what they are taking right now, information that could be available in an EHR (see point #1).

5.            Physical diagnoses

And how will physical diagnoses work? Would it be enough just to take a photo of an aliment and send it to the provider? What about those problems that can be diagnosed, in part, by touch? How would that work in an Uber-ized environment?

6.            Privacy & Information Governance

With an Uber-ized healthcare, we will need to address the privacy question. How will our health information do you protected? Do any of the devices used to access this software need to be encrypted? And how will the companies that make these devices manage this? Would the companies by responsible for this or would the consumers of these devices be responsible? Where will the health information be stored? Will the companies housing such information have the appropriate safeguards in place? What will happen in the instance of a privacy breach and who would be responsible? How will the information be protected? Giving the value of health information to the user and a potential hacker, privacy and information governance may prove to be the most important aspect of them all.

Conclusions

While all of these questions may seems daunting, it’s important to realize that technology changes usually come first with the legislation and behavioral changes coming afterwards. Therefore, although an Uber-ized healthcare seems far-fetched and to some, a crazy idea, one shouldn’t be surprised if such a platform is developed within the next few years. The challenge for all of us will be to deal with such a phenomenon when it does occur taking all of the above into consideration. What else should we consider in the event of a new Uber-ized healthcare?

3 Opportunities for an “Uber-ized” Healthcare

UAXILBRNUL

3 Opportunities for an “Uber-ized” Healthcare

by Marc Edwards, B.Sc., PMP, MBA

In my previous post, I talked about one author’s perspective on a future “Uber-ized” healthcare system, and after given it some thought, I have come up with some opportunities that we can expect in the future that will make all of this more feasible.

  1. We all have access to a lot of medical knowledge

Simply go to any web browser an you can have access to a vast medical knowledge base at your fingertips, greater than ever in human history. Think of all of the different websites where one could go to get medical information:

  • Medicine/health oriented websites, like WebMD
  • YouTube
  • Wikipedia

In addition, more health apps and wearable devices allow the average person to track and record many aspects of their own personal health information. Some of these devices include:

  • Activity trackers, like FitBit
  • Smart watches
  • Smart phones
  • Singular home devices (e.g. blood pressure machines, diabetic devices)

The potential for this information ever increases as we not only have access to greater amounts of health knowledge, but we will also have greater access to our own personal health information.

  1. Increasing medical costs make alternatives more attractive

Healthcare costs are rising everywhere, especially in the Western world, where healthcare costs are increasingly becoming giant anchors to governmental budgets. The Uber-ization of healthcare could theoretically bring down costs as demand for beds decrease and home care becomes easier due to this “Uber-ization”. Mobile devices may allow users to video conference each other via apps like Facetime, so it’s not too difficult to envision a future where a health provider can use such tech to observe a patient taking his medicine as prescribed, or to diagnose a skin aliment that another patient is suffering from. There is obviously strong benefits to having this technology available, especially for patients with mobility issues, concerns about paying for transportation to hospitals or clinics, and just basically gives healthcare access to those of us who are generally prone to avoid a visit to the doctor’s office.

  1. Continual advancement of technology

One of the successes of Uber has been to narrow the knowledge gap between the taxi driver and rider so that intricate knowledge of the urban landscape is available to anyone with a computer connected to the Internet. GIS technology has obviously been an important player in this relationship. To this point, can an Uber-ization of healthcare bring about self-diagnosis? This is a very important question as it will directly impact the business model of what we are proposing here. Are we really talking about removing the healthcare provider from the circle of care? What’s missing is that “GIS-type” technology that narrows the knowledge gap between provider and patient. It’s obviously hard to predict the future but if I try, I would say that the equalizing tech could consist of two things:

  1. Tech (wearables?) that can easily measure blood tests/heart rate/blood pressure, maybe through either spit or sweat
  2. Artificial intelligence that aggregates the above data, crawls online medical content, and merges it with any patient photos taken, in order to make a diagnosis

In my previous post, I expressed some doubt about the feasibility of an Uber for healthcare because I was focused on humans continuing to provide healthcare. However, it is becoming apparent to me that technology, not us, may be the primary healthcare provider of the future. My next post will speak to the challenges of an Uber-ized healthcare but in the meanwhile, let me know what you think.