The current state of healthcare digital transformation
Key trends in healthcare digital transformation
- The strategic priorities for health systems are access and ease of use, managing population health, and improving operational efficiencies at the organization level.
- Health systems see the biggest competitive threats to their business from retailers and VC-financed digital health startups
- Covid has created a new set of priorities that did not exist 18 months ago. Ease of access is the top priority in 2022
- Health systems invest in enterprise-class platforms for scale and impact and deploy innovative solutions for differentiated capabilities (e.g., voice-enablement, face recognition). However, they are confused by the many possible solutions for digital health; Leading healthcare organizations embrace the cloud to position for agility and scale in the future.
- There is no consistent organizational model for digital transformation leadership. For many organizations, other than a number of point solutions deployed in an ad hoc manner to meet evolving needs in the wake of the pandemic, there is no comprehensive set of goals for digital health.
- Size and scale can be an advantage or a drag on the pace of transformation: large national organizations can commit significant investments to multi-year programs, but smaller, nimble organizations can deploy solutions more quickly to accelerate digital engagement with patients and consumers.
- The “Great Resignation” has created unexpected staffing and retention challenges for CIOs. Many are looking at expanding consulting partners and global talent pools to address their needs.
Key challenges of digital transformation in healthcare
- The biggest challenges to accelerating digital transformation are inadequate budgets and internal resources to support transformation initiatives. The budget question is debated within organizations that balance strategic priorities and ROI considerations. Large, enterprise-scale initiatives usually involve significant investments, including cloud migrations and CRM implementations of multi-year programs. See our annual survey report.
- The “Great Resignation” has created unexpected staffing and retention challenges for CIOs. Many are looking at expanding consulting partners and global talent pools to address their needs. Also discussed in this webinar: The Perfect Storm for Healthcare CIOs
How Damo Consulting’s DigiMTM Maturity Assessment and Model is helping health systems transform their digital transformation journey
One of the key drivers of digital transformation is patients’ expectations of online experiences at various engagement touchpoints in accessing and receiving healthcare services. Success with digital health programs requires patients, physicians, and caregivers to interact with each other at multiple online touchpoints facilitated by digital technology. It also involves transforming the IT infrastructure and investing in robust data management and advanced analytics capabilities.
The shift to virtual care models has also forced healthcare enterprises to review their organizational models to drive healthcare digital transformation in the post-COVID-19 era. Digital health is an IT-enabled capability; however, it is not necessarily IT-led. Digital transformation requires a deep appreciation of consumer experience journeys, cross-functional collaboration to enable seamless workflows, and robust technology architecture to implement digital roadmaps and priorities. Healthcare enterprises are at varying maturity levels today in their digital transformation journeys.
Damo Consulting’s DigiMTM Digital Maturity Model is a framework that describes the different stages of digital maturity in the specific context of health systems. The framework is supported by an online evaluation tool that scores individual health systems’ digital programs and provides benchmarks to drive incremental investments and roadmap execution priorities.
The DigiMTM Maturity Assessment tool is an online questionnaire that evaluates health systems based on responses to questions covering four dimensions. Each answer is assigned a numerical score. There are multiple response choices for a question in some cases, with each option assigned a different score.
Several leading healthcare systems have leveraged the DigiMTM Maturity Assessment tool to assess their digital maturity. The tool evaluates the relative maturity of select health systems in the U.S by assigning numerical scores to individual digital programs implemented by health systems. There is a significant variation in the scores of the health systems, as is to be expected. The larger health systems have invested more in foundational IT infrastructure and data/analytics, suggesting a more comprehensive approach to transformation that positions them better for building seamless digital experiences for consumers. Smaller health systems have focused more on enabling digital front doors to address near-term priorities. In the longer term, entities that do not invest in IT modernization and adopt emerging technologies such as the cloud may be at a competitive disadvantage. Very few health systems covered in our assessment are at Model 4 maturity level, indicating that most health systems are yet to develop or implement a comprehensive transformation.
Selecting Technology Partners to Execute Digital Strategy
The digital health solution provider landscape has evolved significantly in the past few years. Backed by billions in venture capital, today, hundreds of solution providers have launched innovative solutions to address the digital engagement needs of patients, clinicians, and caregivers.
One major roadblock that health systems face while working with their digital transformation strategy is the need to develop strategic partnerships with technology providers. However, fundamental questions about vendor strategy remain hard to answer. How many vendors should be part of the journey? How should we leverage EHR platforms? How do we engage with big tech? Should we replace parts of our existing technology stack? How do we manage the risks of digital health startups while leveraging innovation?