Digital Transformation In Healthcare: A Necessity In The Post Pandemic World

In the fast changing post (peak) pandemic world, there is a dire need for a robust healthcare system that can provide proactive medical facilities where we are. Being built for such a rapidly changing healthcare scenario requires concrete digital transformation strategy.

What is Digital Transformation in the Healthcare Industry?

Digital Transformation means letting go of outdated business processes and welcoming new digital trends for yielding good results. Digital transformation is making the healthcare system more smarter and personalized. And it will determine who thrives in the new landscape ahead. 

In the new era of smart care, moving the healthcare system closer to patients can make healthcare providers more approachable and reduce the strain on overstretched healthcare systems. Doctors can streamline their workflows using artificial intelligence-powered systems and patients can receive better treatment with mobile phones, wearable medical devices, use of robotics in surgeries, virtual reality etc.

Using new advancements in the field of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and Telemedicine in the medical system-can help healthcare professionals to interact with patients, scan/collect patients data, monitor patients’ health, prescribe medicines and make informed decisions about treatment plans and health outcomes. At its core, digital transformation in health care is all about communication between devices, team members, patients, their medical providers and also between separate medical facilities.

While there is a big scope, the ground reality is that many digital initiatives lack the critical drivers for increased adoption, which needs to be addressed in a professional manner.  According to Gartner, 87% of senior leaders believe that digital transformation is a top company priority. Adding more to this, 64% of CIOs believe culture is a major barrier in scaling digital transformation strategies-this is why digital transformation has been slow and disappointing. What’s required is Innovation in making a north star strategy for streamlining healthcare provider’s work, optimizing existing systems, improving patient health outcomes, reducing human error, and lowering costs through robust web and mobile experiences.

How to Plan Digital Transformation Strategy for your Healthcare Company?

Evaluate and Unify: Evaluate your company’s current situation to be sure that you and your stakeholders are ready for this big change. Clarity of vision and acceptance to change amongst all the entities involved like finance, production, human resource, marketing, care givers, doctors should be there. Without such shared understanding  your digital transformation strategy is sunk down before it leaves the harbour. You should be well aware about the impact that digital transformation will have on your company’s functioning. You must make informed decisions before taking any further steps.

Like a North Star, Your Vision Strategy should be a unifying focal point for everyone in the organization.

  1. On-Boarding an Efficient IT Partner: Having an experienced digital transformation expert company by your side is a must. It will study your unique business needs to give you the best support. They will create a roadmap  for you, help you execute the plan, align the team of skilled-IT Managers, System Architects, UI/UX designers and developers to create all the elements of the software (Like Apps, Web portals, Admin Panels etc.) assuring best user experience to your patients and stakeholders.

  2. Build Roadmap: A project roadmap is necessary in obtaining digital transformation strategic goals, that  serves as a timely reminder for project’s strategic objectives. As the project progresses the day-to-day realities under which they’re working will often change. Teams go through lots of changes as per the project priority. People need to be moved to other higher-priority tasks. Strategies change, budgets are shifted. Sometimes low priority projects become higher priority as a result of change in marketing dynamics. A well led out roadmap helps project managers to set expectations right and achieve project goals.

  3. Implementation: After scoping, formulating strategies and planning, this is the time when rubber hits the road.  Implementation of a project is a complex process and requires completion of a host of tasks. A prerequisite for implementation is an Operational Plan:

    • Product Development Process: Preferably follow an Agile Software Development methodology  On the basis of this plan your digital transformation partner company will divide the project timeline into various sprints, where they break down large and complicated projects into more manageable, bite-sized pieces and work according to these sprints.
    • Align Resources on each task.
    • Creating Prototypes, Wireframes and Designs.
    • Development: Project Managers, System Architects team & Developers start working towards execution of various tasks.
    • Testing of the final product is executed by the Quality Assurance (QA) Team And if everything is properly functional then the project is made Operational and handed over to the client.
    • Support and Maintenance Plan: This stage of support & maintenance is essential for the proper functioning of the software over a period of time. Support & Maintenance wipes out lots of issues that software carried out formerly due to alter of hardware or any bugs/problems that software is facing.
    • Regular Update and Upgrade Strategy help patch security flaws that include repairing issues that have been discovered and fixing or removing system bugs. Updates often offer new and improved features and speed enhancements to make the end-user experience better. 

Critical Drivers for a Successful Digital Transformation Strategy:

    • Security: Another thing before building this system is to make sure of the security of the patient’s data. A trustworthy, secure network is important for a patient’s privacy rights. This system should be transparent for the internal stakeholders but opaque and secured against unauthorized users. This is also necessary for your reputation as a healthcare provider. Know more about Best practices on mHealth security.
    • User Experience is one important aspect that matters a lot when you plan to go digital. The design needs to be personalized and user friendly.

  • Why User Experience is  Important in a Healthcare Industry?
    User Experience (UX) is about making sure that the users of your mobile application or web portal is able to easily navigate through, without experiencing any confusion and are successfully able to accomplish their purpose for which they are using it. A successful UX requires the following factors:
    • Soothing, Brand specific color combination.
    • The time that a website takes to load and how responsive it is.
    • How well the site functions
    • How informative the content is for the users
    • How well it connects stakeholders like doctors, care givers, patients etc.
    • Positive experiences on a healthcare portal can lead to increased patient engagement.  
    • User Flow is a visual representation of a well thought of user flow design that helps display the complete path a user takes when using a healthcare product-from entry point like homepage or on-boarding page to exit point like enquiry page, form-filling page, contact page, etc. This helps save the user’s time in finding what to do, where to go, how to reach there etc. It also helps designers to determine what’s working, what’s not, and what areas need improvement.

Empowered Care: Using smart sensor devices like smart watches, mobile apps, fertility tracking devices, oxy meters etc. These devices can help identify early signs of health degradation and prevent adverse events such as readmission to a hospital. All this can be created with the help of AI. Throughout the past decade Nickelfox has been helping various healthcare providers digitally transform their services.

If healthcare organizations or any organization that wants to meet the demands of their digitally savvy users, can no longer rely on outdated digital solutions. Management must recognize that today’s digital experience extends to various channels and devices. Users expect cohesive experience in meeting their needs. Digital Transformation in Healthcare can provide users with evolved, quick and fresh user experience, saving cost and precious lives.