“Digital transformation is fundamentally about improving patient experience,” says Michael Monteith, CEO of Thoughtwire. It underlines the importance of technologies in transforming not just the business for healthcare companies but also the quality of care and services they provide. Simply put, digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into the way an organization communicates with patients, regulators and other healthcare providers leading to results that are sometimes radical. While processes evolve and experiences improve, they also disrupt the pre-existing and pre-established norms of healthcare. The number one reason many great digital transformation initiatives fail is largely due to the fact that they focus on point problems and not on technology that can provide great experiences. Precisely why, those like Parkar, pay great attention to finer details to ensure that technology is optimized to offer the best experience ever.
Healthcare Digital Transformation Statistics
Successful digital transformation necessitates a change in culture; one that encourages new methods of working, new ways of thinking and ensures that everyone consciously works towards building effective channels of communication with patients, providers, and regulators. Despite this, a 2018 survey indicates that as opposed to 15 percent of industries that have gone digital, just about 7 percent of healthcare and pharmaceutical companies are going the digital way.
“If you don’t have the IT train on the track, you can’t transform,” says Judy Kirby, CEO of executive search firm Kirby Partners in Heathrow, Fla. “So, you’ve got to do that first, you’ve got to do it well, you’ve got to do it exceptionally.
Healthcare Digital Transformation – Key questions for consideration
You need to look at the bigger picture to understand what you as an organization wishes to achieve and then see how different processes can be aligned in a way that they contribute collectively towards helping you achieve those goals. What you are doing now or how things should be done should help you decide how you want to leverage the technology and not the other way round. Technology should add value and acceleration to ‘how you are doing things now’
Questions you must ask:
- How well are we addressing patient concerns and how effectively are we providing patient care and support?
- Is there a way to service them in a better, more satisfying manner?
- How well are we utilizing employee skills to ensure their role matches their unique skills and interests?
- What kind of skills do we want our employees to build or hone?
- How can we optimize our processes to ensure the highest quality care?
You could ask yourselves all of the above or engage with a technology platform such as Parkar’s NexGen to ensure that everything is already factored in and solutions provided address these concerns incredibly well.
Prepare for Digital Transformation, as a culture
One thing you must get comfortable with is change. It’s about willing to be uncomfortable to do things that usher in a fresh approach, a fresh perspective and eventually a whole new level of experience.
As Dion Hinchcliffe rightly puts it, “Almost daily, the industry witnesses data points in the tech media that show us that we are currently at a high watermark for technological innovation. In this hyper-competitive yet nearly flat operating environment that organizations face today, the pressure to keep pace and deliver a wider range of digital capabilities has never been greater.”
In order to prepare yourself to offer great customer experience, you must:
- Relook at the organization’s current state of readiness and the willingness of teams to change and adapt. Frontline staff, clinicians, management teams and all caregivers should be willing to change for the better to deliver beyond expectations.
- Encourage a culture of change and continuous improvement by challenging the way things are in the present and do better.
- Mistakes should be perceived as stepping stones and lessons should be learned. Failure should therefore not be punished. It should be looked upon as a by-product of experimentation that will help you pinpoint the things you should not do.
Create a Plan for Healthcare Digital Transformation
Once you do your homework and are done with the initial assessment of the preparedness of the organization, you need to look at how the community perceives it. You need to understand the expectations of your patients to serve them better.
Once you have answers to all these questions, you can then devise a plan.
Simply ask for feedback, especially from employees and patients. Only then would you be able to keep your initiatives on course and tide over roadblocks if any. Feedback must be in real-time to understand exactly where modifications are required.
No matter how good a plan is, it will succeed only when everyone concerned is on board.
Now that you have created a culture of change, you need to move on to embrace retail innovations that will drive your goals further. An old research by Pew had quite set the tone for better breakthroughs and initiatives in digital transformation in healthcare. According to the research, 1 in 3 American adults have gone online to understand a medical condition.
It further stated that:
- 59% of US adults go online for health information in the past year
- 35% are online diagnosers who have gone online looking for a medical condition they or someone they know may have
- 53% discuss with a clinician about things they learned online
- 41% got their condition confirmed via a clinician
Meeting patients where they are: Learning from Retail Digital Innovation
The healthcare industry is fast moving away from a typical monolith hospital setting to offer greater convenience to patients. Research by the Advisory Board – healthcare consulting firm suggested that from 2006 to 2016, inpatient hospital visits had gone down to just 6% while outpatient visits had surged to a good 20.4%, and predicted a further drop of 3.7% in inpatient visits and a rise of 58.% in outpatient visits in the next ten years. Needless to say, healthcare facilities unanimously are working towards increasing their outpatient market share.
The focus was largely on offering:
- A more convenient location
- Relaxing environment
- Consistent branding
These three factors now form the core of retail.
The following are retail innovation trends that are now defining customer experiences in the healthcare segment.
Fig: Retail Innovation trends that are now defining customer experiences in the Healthcare Segment
The number of telehealth patients rose from 1 million in 2015 to 7 million by 2018. Telehealth technology is taking quality healthcare to the most remote locations thereby bridging the gap between good healthcare and the patients seeking it. So if you cannot afford to actually go to a different city or country for the best cancer treatment, telemedicine enables the specialist to connect with your doctor digitally to give you the same care and guidance irrespective of geographical constraints.
Artificial intelligence has enabled faster treatment. AI and deep learning have made CAT scans up to 150 times faster as compared to human professionals with an ability to detect acute neurological events in just 1.2 seconds. What you get is precise on-the-spot answers without waiting it out in concern and confusion. Artificial intelligence also enables faster trials and better medicines thanks to its ability to determine the most effective pharmaceutical compositions.
Those who have changed doctors in the middle of the treatment would know how frustrating it is to keep a tab on all developments and maintain records. Blockchain, however, ensures seamless data transfer offering complete medical history to doctors and specialists to treat in the best possible manner. Also, it eliminates data security issues and helps hospitals and insurance companies save big on data protection.
AR & VR
Together, AR and VR can help Alzheimer’s and dementia patients retrieve memory by taking them to a time or place in memory via a sound or experience from the past that was important to them. This is how digital transformation is altering the healthcare landscape in the most rewarding manner. Imagine, taking people back to their childhood or early years and helping them revisit experiences to think better and remember what they had lost touch with.
When healthcare providers want to experiment with ‘what if’, digital twin allows them to recreate the physical environment to test the impact of potential change by experimenting on a virtual version of the person or device. Digital twins now offer greater insights and are helping improve healthcare procedures in a big way.
Parkar NexGen Platform in the healthcare scenario
Always being at the forefront of things, Parkar uses a recommendation engine to ensure care that is personal, proactive and prompt. Remember how fast Amazon comes up with recommendations when it understands you and your requirements? Our recommendation engine relies on big data and predictive analytics to help patients with solutions and diagnoses on the basis of their case history. While doing so, we ensure that our recommendations are approved by the best healthcare specialists.
We’ve built our recommendation system using prediction and recommendation with the help of a dataset of patients’ case history, expert rules, and social media data to train and build a model that is able to predict and recommend disease risk, diagnosis and alternative medicines. All the predictions and treatment recommendations are approved by physicians.
Those who have used our platform have experienced:
- Fast, reliable results
- High conversion rate as compared to non-personalized products
- Greater patient satisfaction
- Improved personalization for the digital channels
Fig: NexGen Platform Value experienced by customers in healthcare organization
Parkar NexGen Platform – The Digital Transformation Accelerator
Digital transformation is inevitable to help provide the differentiated and much-needed customer experience.
While the right culture, service quality, organization skill is critical to successful transformation journey, technology is the enabler.
Retail digital transformation has been driven by innovations around technology like Artificial Intelligence, recommendation engine, blockchain, AR&VR, etc.
The healthcare industry can take cue from the retail innovation and apply them to healthcare to help give good patient care experience.
Parkar is all about innovation and improvisation. Through its NexGen platform, it endeavors to offer better solutions and results to its customers. No matter where you are, all you need is a Parkar edge to succeed.
Innovative Director of Software Engineering. Entrepreneurial, methodical senior software development executive with extensive software product management and development experience within highly competitive markets. I am an analytical professional skilled in successfully navigating corporations large and small through periods of accelerated growth.