Ask many healthcare professionals what it is that is on the top of their list of priorities and you will likely get one answer: digital transformation. According to Healthcare IT News, only about 10 percent of healthcare professionals have taken the necessary steps to implement a complete strategy for a digital setup in their operation. The variance between how many healthcare professionals know the importance of digital transformation in healthcare and how many have actually pulled it off is a key indicator of just how daunting this transformation can be.
Only about a third of the participants in one survey were attempting to make complete digital changes enterprise-wide. Another third were just getting started with gathering all the pertinent info about making such changes. Believe it or not, roughly two percent had no plans for digital transformation at all. If you are the operator of a healthcare organization who is facing the challenge of making changes to how your organization operates digitally, there are five important steps you should know.
1. Create a Baseline to Know Where You Stand Already
In order to create a baseline from which your transformation will spring, you’re going to need to look at what you currently have in place through the eyes of a true IT pro, but you also need your current clinical perspective and facilities perspective in tow as well. Take a look at things like:
- The existing legacy system you now have in place
- The type of digital patient engagement tools you use or have used
- What current systems work well for your facility and what systems and tools do not
This detailed healthcare IT assessment will help you do a proper evaluation to figure out what needs to be changed in your digital operation and where you need to eventually end up.
2. Assess Your Needs as an Organization
Before you can start building a roadmap of where you need to be, you also need to know what your needs are within your facility, as well as within each department. Be mindful of the budget you have to work with, but it is not a bad idea to get multiple department’s involved in generating a sort of “wish list” that offers what digital changes each department wants to see the most. Of course, you probably are not going to be able to carry out every list fully, but what you can do is use these lists to generate a logical sequence of technological actions that can be accomplished.
3. Create a Detailed Plan of Action
Now is where the rubber meets the road. Building your digital transformation in healthcare roadmap is going to involve working with a tech design team to map out a true, followable plan of action. It is at this time you will truly see what new technologies are the most feasible because you will be pulling in new technologies for different departments or areas of operation and making some tough decisions about what will be the more important changes to implement.
4. Execute Your Plan in a Step-by-Step Fashion
With your roadmap in hand, it will be time to get to work with a professional who fully understands IT infrastructure in healthcare. All details have to be fully minded, as a single change in one place can affect all other areas of operation. For instance, if you deploy a new program for one department, it could affect available bandwidth for another. Expect there to be some bumps along the way; that’s just part of the digital transformation process.
5. Create a Single Point of Responsibility for the Finished Product
One of the biggest downfalls immediately after implementing new technologies for a complete digital transformation is there can be a lot of players in the field who people will be looking at when something is amiss or goes awry with a new program. It is best if you have a single point of responsibility, such as the IT department, immediately after execution of your plan. This will eliminate confusion and help all staff members know who to turn to when they have an issue with a new program.