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Article:

Digital Transformation in Healthcare

09 December 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic made digital transformation in healthcare even more critically important than it already was. BDO’s 2021 Healthcare Digital Transformation Survey revealed that 60% of healthcare organisations added digital projects due to COVID-19, while 42% accelerated their existing digital transformation plans. Those numbers indicate the central importance of digital initiatives, but there is a risk that digital transformation can be perceived as an end rather than a means to achieving key goals. 

Ultimately, digital transformation should add value to the quality of patient care and make healthcare organisations more financially sustainable and future ready. Healthcare organisations are faced with accelerating digital transformation on multiple fronts. These digital trends prompt organisations to make certain choices, which need to be financially sustainable. We identify the following key trends:

  • Growing pressure on the healthcare system: As the population ages and chronic disease gain ever more importance, there is an increasing demand for complex and expensive care. At the same time, labour market conditions are extremely tight.
  • Consumerisation: Patients increasingly approach healthcare as a consumer. They want to be in control of their health, treatments, and healthcare data. As customer expectations rise, those expectations need to be managed and met.
  • Changing healthcare market: Healthcare is being regionalised and globalised to help each patient in a more cost-efficient way. As new commercial players and private equity enter the market, it impacts those market dynamics.
  • Seizing opportunities with technology and data: With ample healthcare and management data available, the main challenge is to translate that data into information and insights. Data forms the basis for value-based healthcare, decision support algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI).
  • Providing smart, high-quality patient care: The exchange of medical information between healthcare providers, and between doctors and patients, becomes increasingly important to delivering efficient, high-quality care. New technologies — such as personalised medicine, remote monitoring, the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) and home automation (domotics) — can add significant value to a patient’s treatment.
  • Focus on compliance and accountability: Healthcare organisations are faced with cybersecurity threats, regulatory enforcement, and potential fines. The consequences and reputational harm can be substantial when things go wrong, so it’s important to operate transparently and ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. All these digital trends affect your healthcare organisation and the care you provide. Sooner or later, they will force you to make strategic decisions regarding digital transformation. That’s why it’s so important to devise a clear digital strategy aligned with organisational goals. That strategy can inform decision-making and help your organisation become, and remain, financially sustainable and future ready.

All these digital trends affect your healthcare organisation and the care you provide. Sooner or later, they will force you to make strategic decisions regarding digital transformation. That’s why it’s so important to devise a clear digital strategy aligned with organisational goals. That strategy can inform decision-making and help your organisation become, and remain, financially sustainable and future ready.

Accelerated technology adoption is just the beginning. The future of healthcare is data-driven, digitally enabled and supported by automation. In the future, it’s likely that every step of the patient journey will be supported by digital tools, and remote care will be the norm. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) will enable more compassionate care, while automation will save providers time and money in revenue and billing cycles. Robust data analysis will support business strategy to ensure the organisation remains healthy and on track to achieve key goals

With the right support in digital transformation, your organisation can rethink care delivery and the patient experience for your community.

More information on how to move the digital network to digital transformation can be found in the attached publication: