The pandemic increased the dependency of people on digital technologies for their day-to-day affairs. People work from home glued to screens, groceries arrive at doorsteps while they order via mobile apps, services become accessible via their smartphones. This means that people would expect their health experiences to be equally effective and easy to use in the future.
The digital efforts in healthcare would enable people to schedule their own appointments, consult doctors virtually, pay medical bills online, renew and order medications online, seamlessly find reliable answers to health queries, manage their health plans/insurances and so on. Many healthcare service providers nominally provide such capabilities now, but may have to make them collaborative and better.
The digital adoption in healthcare goes beyond the above patient-centric capabilities. Technology plays a crucial role in optimizing processes and systems for greater efficiency and better care delivery. The pandemic has accelerated the decision-making in healthcare sector, forcing the stakeholders to work smarter and faster.
Integration of analytics is one aspect where healthcare service providers continue to lack. When COVID-19 pandemic surfaced, healthcare service providers discovered that the quality of the data is low, analysis takes a longer time and predictive models aren’t comprehensive. The resources aren’t properly trained to manage the massive data or equipped to analyze them. The healthcare ecosystem must seek remedies to solve such internal digital deficiencies as well.
Reduction of cost in digital health adoption
The healthcare ecosystem is now under the pressure to adopt lean management strategies for better outcome, but at lower cost. One such cost reduction opportunity would be to consolidate multiple technology solutions to one integrated solution. For instance, having multiple applications from different vendors to manage specialties and departments means managing multiple license fees, renewal fee, maintenance and resource cost. One comprehensive end-to-end system is a perfect alternative for this.
Cloud has emerged as a major technology boon and healthcare service providers can consider hosting applications on cloud to reduce infrastructure cost. Leveraging vendors with capabilities to deliver support software services and preventive maintenance activities virtually would reduce the cost of hiring IT staff to manage hospital IT infrastructure.
By all means, healthcare service providers must be well-aware of the ramifications of their digital disabilities and must work towards addressing them to adapt to the new normal, which is here to stay.