How to Accelerate Healthcare Digital Transformation
Even before the COVID-19 crisis, 2020 was on track to be a pivotal digital transformation year for the healthcare industry. With the emergence of on-demand and predictive healthcare, among other technologies, organizations were ready to get on board with digital shifts across departments.
Flash forward to the second half of the year, and IT teams for payers, providers, and pharmaceutical companies are under more pressure than ever before to deliver innovation as quickly as possible. The pandemic means more patients are in need of services, healthcare staff is overworked, and the public is on edge about the future.
Pair these considerations with the increased integration of the Internet of Things (IoT), new tracking and wearable devices, and new data solutions, and it becomes apparent that digital transformation is no longer an optional or incremental shift. Healthcare IT teams have to start changing now.
How Healthcare Companies Are Accelerating Transformation
Businesses of all kinds are now tasked with planning and experimenting with digital innovations to transform their workflows and processes. But they must also actively implement these solutions and improve them continuously.
Healthcare organizations are accelerating digital transformation in 2020 by implementing initiatives like on-demand healthcare, where patients have more flexibility and can perform tasks like scheduling on their mobile devices. Companies are also putting big data to work, understanding that effectively using data can lead to fewer record errors, better staffing structures, and improved preventive care.
The pandemic is creating all kinds of challenges for healthcare environments, including exhausted workers, supply shortages, and a burdened system.
While far from ideal, these challenges may prompt the adoption of changes that would have otherwise taken longer to adopt. Leaders need to adopt a big-picture perspective on how to accelerate transformation, while also understanding the small ways in which each department and process can be streamlined or updated. This requires involvement and cooperation from all departments.
So, what steps can healthcare organizations take to meet these challenges? Let’s dive into how system consolidation, low-code platforms, and DevOps adoption are helping healthcare leaders transform rapidly.
1. Consolidating Data Systems
When data is housed in disparate systems, it can be difficult for companies to build consistent experiences across touchpoints. As healthcare executives accelerate digital transformation, a top priority should be consolidating systems and data processes.
For example, some organizations choose to integrate Salesforce with their electronic record systems. This enables them to automate previously time-consuming tasks like data entry, error-checking, and information searches. Using automation saves teams time and allows them to focus more on their patients and improve healthcare delivery.
Another example of digital integration comes from accelerating the shift to telemedicine during COVID-19. New technology can provide 24/7 monitoring and data gathering for patients who must be observed remotely. Communications can be held over video and vitals can be tracked with IoT devices. But to ensure these on-demand experiences run smoothly, patient and medical data needs to be centralized in a single database. Consolidation ensures that the organization has all the right data and processes centralized to deliver connected experiences.
2. Using Low-Code Platforms Like Salesforce
Many healthcare IT teams struggle to build new features and deliver innovation quickly due to legacy systems that require custom or outdated code. In contrast, low-code platforms enable rapid, streamlined enterprise app development.
Take Salesforce as an example. The customer relationship management (CRM) giant provides a host of benefits to healthcare organizations. From a secure-cloud and HIPAA-compliant model to pre-configured solutions for post-acute care, contact centers, member care, and more, Salesforce streamlines infrastructure and customization.
With features and data models built to specifically meet the needs of business across health and life sciences, teams can focus less on building infrastructure and spend more time configuring updates to align with their critical business processes: claims, billing and payment tracking, research, patient inquiries and communication, and more.
3. Adopting DevOps Methodologies for Remote Teams
As businesses shift non-essential workers into remote workforces, they’re forced to streamline collaboration while maintaining security and accountability. This can be a huge challenge for healthcare IT teams that are deploying solutions that leverage PII. Thankfully, DevOps methodologies and tools have features packed in to help teams operate efficiently and securely — even if employees are working from home.
The primary goal of DevOps is to speed up the process of delivering software while improving the quality. DevOps enables developers, QA engineers, architects, and release managers to work in parallel, creating a continual workstream, rather than following a waterfall workflow.
Key benefits of DevOps include:
- Speed and rapid delivery
- Reliability and accuracy
- Business growth
- Better collaboration and communication
DevOps is all about constantly removing barriers among teams and within complex processes. This growth mindset is essential for any team or organization looking to truly transform.
What’s at Stake?
It’s no longer an option for healthcare organizations to remain in the past. The COVID-19 crisis has heightened the demand for telemedicine and streamlined patient experiences. If healthcare organizations fail to accelerate their transformation roadmaps, they’ll also fail to meet these growing demands.
Want to learn more about how to accelerate transformation? Watch our expert-led webinar: How to Build & Lead A Remote DevOps Team.