- Healthcare is undergoing significant digital transformation to improve access to care, reduce administrative roadblocks, improve organizational efficiency and most importantly, better support outcomes and patient experiences.
- Real-time information access and unified communication platforms enhance care team awareness, response, and collaboration.
- Patient-centered approaches to advancing healthcare will require an increasing digital investment in real-time communication and collaboration technologies to simplify and orchestrate the complexity of care delivery across every person, department, and resource across the health system.
Digital technology is reshaping almost every aspect of our lives, and the healthcare industry isn’t immune to a significant transformation. The integration of digital tools and solutions into healthcare organizations is not just about streamlining administrative tasks, but rather redefining the way healthcare providers respond to patients’ needs and collaborate within care teams to offer the best possible patient experience.
In fact, over half (53%) of respondents from an IDC Research survey on health technology perspectives from clinical and clinical IT leaders see digital transformation as the most important goal for their organization. Digital transformation in healthcare encompasses various technologies and strategies to enhance patient care, reduce costs, and improve overall organizational efficiency. Key components of this transformation include Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and secure messaging solutions. These tools are revolutionizing the way healthcare providers interact with patients and collaborate.
Here are three things healthcare IT leaders should consider regarding digital transformation in their organizations.
1. Fostering collaboration among care teams
One of the significant challenges in healthcare is the lack of interoperability among various systems and providers. For organizations to provide maximum benefits, including useful clinical insights, all systems must work together to connect key people and information in real time, as well as understanding the meaning of the information they share.
Collaboration among care teams is integral to enhancing patient access to quality healthcare services. A significant challenge in healthcare is the lack of interoperability among various systems and providers. To maximize benefits for patients, it’s imperative that all systems collaborate seamlessly, sharing useful clinical insights and connecting key people and information in real time. This level of connectivity ensures a comprehensive understanding of the shared information. Digital transformation serves as a solution to this challenge, ensuring EHRs and other healthcare systems seamlessly share data. These connected systems sharing data can ensure that unseen critical clinical data that passively resides in the EHR is identified and communicated to care teams for better outcomes and in some cases, lifesaving interventions.
In addition, unified communication platforms with secure communication channels allow care team members to share insights, updates, and recommendations securely and efficiently. This instantaneous communication is particularly crucial in emergency situations where timely decisions can be lifesaving. The direct impact of improved care team collaboration is reflected in the heightened accessibility and efficiency of healthcare services for the benefit of patients.
2. Enhancing care team response
Real-time communications using unified clinical communication and collaboration (CC&C) platforms provides care teams with instant access to other care team members and health system resources. CC&C solutions also enable care team collaboration, closed-loop communication, and secure messaging to enhance your hospital or healthcare system’s clinical workflows from the contact center to the patient’s bedside. Improving outcomes and patient experiences requires collaborative communication among all involved in delivering healthcare services from doctors, nurses, lab and radiology to social services, housekeeping, and transport staff. Real-time information allows for coordinated real-time care delivery, and faster and more informed decision-making.
3. Putting the patient at the center of care
At the heart of digital transformation in healthcare is the patient. By improving care team response and collaboration, healthcare providers can offer a more patient-centered experience. Patients benefit from quicker access to care, reduced administrative hassles, and a higher standard of care that results from the collective expertise of their healthcare team. This digital transformation is not only improving patient outcomes but also reshaping the healthcare landscape into one that is more accessible, efficient, and patient-centered than ever before. To accomplish this, approximately 80% of healthcare systems plan to increase their spending on digital investments, including spending on improved communications solutions, data reliability and automation, optimizing and streamlining clinical workflows, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence (AI) for clinical applications. Embracing these changes is not an option but a necessity to ensure the continued advancement of healthcare in the United States and worldwide.