Five Areas of Healthcare Digital Transformation

Murray Izenwasser
December 28, 2017

The Five Areas of Healthcare Digital Transformation Every Healthcare Executive Must Know

Healthcare leaders in today’s hyper-connected, digital world must consider five areas of healthcare digital transformation to ensure the longevity of their organizations. Many people considering or actively pursuing digitization of their business might say they have too many decisions to make. And to a greater degree than many other industries, healthcare in the United States is undergoing a massive sea change. Consumers and patients are demanding more transparency and new models of reimbursement for healthcare services are being proposed. Moreover, an uncertain political environment, government regulations, and frequent mandates bring extreme external pressure on priorities.

As healthcare leaders move to capitalize on digital solutions to radically transform their organizations, a laser focus on affordability, efficiency, and improved outcomes in five key areas of healthcare digital transformation should be maintained at all times.

Five Key Areas for Digitally Transforming Healthcare

  1. 1. Customers & Patients – What must you do to keep our current customers and attract new ones?
  2. 2. Employees – How can employees be more productive and kept engaged?
  3. 3. Operations – What ways can operations become more efficient and effective?
  4. 4. Products – How can our current product and service offerings be altered to better serve our customers?
  5. 5. Data – What data do we currently collect or can we start collecting to help better serve our customers and create new products and services?


One way to comprehensively and efficiently digitally transform your healthcare organization is through the use of a ‘systems development life cycle’ (SDLC) approach, methodology or practice. Popular SDLC’s include:

Common Transformation Methods, Approaches & Practices:

Practice Definition
Agile Ongoing release cycles, each featuring small, incremental changes from the previous release.
Lean Seven principles: eliminate waste, amplify learning, decide as late possible, deliver as fast as possible, empower the team, build integrity in, and see the whole.
Waterfall Finish one phase, then move on to the next. No going back.
Iterative Implement a set of software requirements, then test, evaluate and pinpoint further requirements. New software produced with each phase, or iteration. Rinse and repeat until the complete system is ready.
Spiral Project passes through four phases (planning, risk analysis, engineering and evaluation) over and over in a “spiral” until completed, allowing for multiple rounds of refinement.
DevOps Development and operations staff work together in all SDLC stages. Products are small but frequent. Discipline, continuous feedback and process improvement, and automation of manual development processes.


To be sure, no single SDLC methodology or practice has any absolute advantage or disadvantage over another. The approach most firms will select depends on the organizations current digital maturity, its vision for the future, availability (or lack thereof) internal resources, its time frames and available budget – among other considerations.

Focus on Essential Areas of Healthcare Digital Transformation

Regardless as to the approach, methodology or practice used in your healthcare digital transformation journey, a focus on the key areas that can effect true healthcare digital transformation should always be maintained. In this post, we’ve outlined five areas of digital transformation that healthcare organizations should ALWAYS focus on. These focus areas transcend the digital maturity of the healthcare organization or the SDLC methodology it’s using to guide their transformation. In a series of future posts, we’ll share more of our insight, thoughts and recommendations for deriving the most value from each one of these five key areas of healthcare digital transformation.

Five Areas of Healthcare Digital Transformation

  1. Engaging healthcare customers and patients

Assisting your customer’s use of technology to enhance customer engagement and increase interaction – including self-service capabilities – is a key area of healthcare digital transformation. A modern ecommerce system, telehealth platforms and API-enabled services are three ways to engage healthcare customers in the new digital era.

  1. Empowering employees

Transforming your organization and its business processes in ways that make them more intuitive and easier for employees to use MUST occur from within your company.  Providing better mobility, increasing internal and external collaboration capabilities, and giving your staff easy access to useful data so they can perform their jobs better are key ways to empower your employees.

  1. Optimizing operations

Becoming a digital healthcare organization means modernizing your operations, becoming more responsive to customer needs and innovating to take rapid advantage of oft fleeting business opportunities. Automation, application integration and cloud migration are primary ways to optimize your operations to make it easier for your customers to do business with you.

  1. Transforming products

Radically transforming current products and creating connections to new offerings based on new data insights create possibilities for new value propositions, partnerships and business models that can reshape the cost and delivery of care. Reimagining legacy products and modernizing them for the future is a key area of digitally transforming your healthcare organization

  1. Unleashing data

The amount of data healthcare organizations have to manage is growing exponentially. Leveraging the data your company collects – or has the ability to collect – can create new offerings and enhance existing offerings. Data helps you engage your customers and improve employee productivity. By integrating your systems, back-end data stores and connecting with business partners you’ll gather data-driven insights. These insights can help to better serve your customers and provide them the capabilities to get what they need, when they need it.

Additional Details on Areas of Healthcare Digital Transformation

Focusing on these five areas of healthcare digital transformation, individually and in their entirety, are critical to a successful digital transformation of your healthcare company – especially at the start of your company’s journey. In future posts, we’ll dive into each of these five specific areas of healthcare digital transformation. We’ll offer information, insight, ideas and solutions you can use to digitally transform your healthcare organization.

Want to know more about the “five areas of healthcare digital transformation”? To remain in the know about digitally transforming your healthcare organization and receive additional insight, information, and ideas, consider following @AAJTech on Twitter and Linkedin.

Want to know more about your digital health options?  Contact us for a discovery meeting.  

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Murray Izenwasser

ABOUT Murray Izenwasser

Murray has been working on digital, web, and mobile based systems, content, platforms, technologies and marketing since the mid-‘90s, and is a recognized expert in online, integrated, and social marketing techniques. His clients over the years have included some of the world’s largest and most recognized brands. Prior to AAJ he co-founded and ran a successful digital marketing and technology agency for 7 years, and has held senior positions with some of the world’s largest digital agencies, including both Razorfish and Sapient. He is a frequent speaker at both marketing / technology and industry events.

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