No aspect of the world has gone untouched by the massive digital transformation over the past few years. While many fields have been digitally transformed, digital transformation in healthcare has perhaps been the most impacted area. Indeed, information technology has dramatically impacted virtually every healthcare organization. It has cleared a path for new access and portability of healthcare records, made booking appointments and getting results much easier, and helped upgrade what a healthcare organization can do for their patients.
These days, digital transformation is no longer optional; it's necessary. Here is a look at how digital transformation in healthcare has impacted the field.
How Regulation Changes Are Paving the Way for Digitally Transformed Healthcare Services
None of the changes in the healthcare realm occur in a vacuum. Indeed, much of the need for digital transformation in healthcare happened as a direct result of regulatory requirements.
For example, consider the impact of HIPAA or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. HIPAA implemented a wide array of privacy regulations over the healthcare industry and information technology within a healthcare organization. However, this did not stop digital transformation in healthcare—in fact, quite the opposite. HIPAA regulations helped give consumers confidence that their information could only be available and exchanged on secured networks. The enforcement of such regulations has allowed patients to feel more confident when they turn to digital tools to manage their healthcare.
The same can be stated for the way that regulations impact safety standards. While not perfect, healthcare regulations helped create minimum standards that digital tools had to adhere to. These standards have allowed users to use digital tools in safe and secure ways and allowed doctors to turn to digitally transformed tools. For example, smartwatches immediately relay vital medical information, and doctors could increasingly rely on augmented reality or virtual reality tools that are safe and approved by the FDA.
Finally, the increase in information technology and healthcare organizations' regulations has given them more confidence in their ability to get involved in this field. There is an understandable hesitation within businesses interested in digitally transformed healthcare tools. After all, new regulations can come out that may require extensive and expensive reworkings of their products. But regulations also allow for stability and predictability within the market, thus ensuring that these companies won't be wasting their investments.
Digital Transformation is Needed to Meet Consumer Expectations
No industry has avoided digital transformation, and digital innovation has altered customers' expectations. Customers now expect easy access to a wide array of digital tools, allowing them to access their healthcare information and providers on-demand to give them greater control over their own healthcare. Customers also expect greater access to healthcare tools.
This digital transformation in healthcare has touched many areas, including:
- Wearable devices: Our smartphones have revolutionized information technology. It makes sense for medical professionals to use wearable devices with the same technological advances as our smartphones. These devices can record and transmit an array of medical information directly to our doctors.
- Online booking: Individuals can use information technology to book various appointments. It only makes sense that they would expect to be able to book doctor's appointments over the internet. Such innovations often require some digital transformation in healthcare, as the information technology of a healthcare organization will need to be digitally transformed to integrate with a patient's records.
- Patient portals: Patient portals can be beneficial for patients, as they can show an array of information from a healthcare organization. This information can include reminders about appointments, test results, recommended next steps, and more. They can also make it easy to send data from one doctor to another.
- Digital consultations: Individuals no longer need to wait for a doctor to be physically available: Telehealth and related tools have made it so that patients can speak with their doctor over the phone, computer, or via video conference. This digital transformation in healthcare is one of the most critical advances, as it allows a patient to theoretically see any doctor in the world.
The Benefits of Big Data in Healthcare
Big Data refers to massive amounts of data that incorporate multiple data streams from numerous sources. From a digital transformation in healthcare perspective, big data means examining the sum of all of the data from a patient on either an individual or population level. Big data is critical, and it can provide many different advantages to healthcare organizations. For example, it can:
- Lower the risk of errors: If an algorithm is designed appropriately, big data can capture all sorts of information about a patient. It can then be used to stop a procedure from occurring if it does more harm than good, or cease the administration of medication that may cause significant health problems in a person.
- Preventative care facilitation: Every healthcare organization has individuals who return time and time again to deal with some chronic problem. Big data can help individuals find solutions to the healthcare crisis that they are experiencing, thus allowing them to develop a plan that assists them on their healthcare journey and ensures that they are no longer using limited healthcare resources.
- Predictive healthcare: If big data is utilized over an entire population, it can eventually be programmed to learn when something happens. Data at the population level can be used to make predictions about healthcare outcomes and data, helping to predict when an individual may be nearing the point of a health care problem and when additional medical intervention by a healthcare organization may be necessary.
The Importance of Healthcare Data Integration
Your healthcare organization simply needs adequate healthcare technology that can continue the "consumerization" of the healthcare industry. This means that you need Enterprise Resource Planning software to manage an array of functions and be successfully integrated with all of your operations. As such, your healthcare organization needs the following:
- Integration of patient records and a patient portal, allowing for individuals to quickly set up appointments and access test records.
- One set platform that can manage a variety of healthcare-related functions.
- Programs that enable various professionals to simultaneously gain access to all the resources they need.
- ERP platforms can work with other healthcare systems and doctor's offices, thus ensuring that a patient can quickly access all of the records they need.
- Integration of this ERP with your healthcare organization's existing workflow systems, thus allowing for digital transformation in healthcare finance and patient satisfaction.
Automation, Scalability & Future Proofing
Any ERP that is worth its value must be capable of meeting a variety of important systems and goals.
First, such an ERP must provide automation options. Consumers expect specific options to exist at this point. You can create a system that ensures consumers can automatically access their own records, set up appointments, cancel appointments, and ask questions that they can reliably have answered. This system should be set up so that there is minimal effort on your end.
Second, such a system must be scalable. You must be able to upgrade its capacities and continue to integrate any of its functionalities into your overall efforts. You should be able to do this at a cost and work level that is reasonable for your healthcare organization, and at no point should future upgrades be out of reach for your organization based on cost.
Finally, your ERP should be future-proofed. This means that it must be capable of adding new functions or modules that patients may need. It is difficult to predict the future, and who knows what healthcare innovations will be available over the next few years that patients will come to expect and demand at home. Being able to predict these innovations is not necessary. What is required is that an ERP that you work with be capable of adjusting to these innovations without wholesale change. In this way, digital transformation in healthcare can be future-proofed.
How Multiview ERP Can Help
Multiview Financials ERP can help in your digital transformation in healthcare. We deliver a true partnership experience; powerful, data-centric financial enterprise resource planning software combined with a compassionate team who will guide you on your climb towards operational excellence. Click here to request a demo.