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The Stages for Digitally Transforming Your Healthcare Organization

Jim McKeen
December 28, 2017

New Series for Healthcare Executives:  The Stages for Digitally Transforming Your Healthcare Organization

There’s so much going on in healthcare right now, in every aspect of the industry. Due to this, it has become a major necessity for all  C-Level executives to understand the stages for digitally transforming your healthcare organization.

This is the first of a series of articles designed to inform healthcare executives as to all aspects of digital health.  

New ‘information’ technologies enable the ‘business’ side to re imagine and improve their organization. Providers and health systems are utilizing new technologies like blockchain, big data analytics, the Internet of Things and interoperability to improve outcomes and lower costs. And there are massive changes in the ability to deliver care via amazing ‘medical’ technologies like personalized medicine, specialty pharmaceuticals, growing human replacement organs, genome editing and other technical breakthroughs.  Finally, massive structural changes in the healthcare industry are happening with lines being blurred between providers, health plans, pharmaceutical companies, device manufacturers and retailers like Amazon and CVS.

So what should you do?

Understanding and following a structured yet flexible approach to digitally transforming your healthcare organization greatly increases the likelihood that your company will survive and thrive in today’s hyperconnected world.

This blog post outlines the primary steps your organization can follow based on where and who it is today. In future posts, we’ll expound on each of the following steps and provide more details and actionable information to help your organization leverage each stage of its digital transformation.

 

Major Stages of Digitally Transforming Your Healthcare Organization

 

  1. Perform an Honest Assessment of Your Organization

Having a clear and unbiased assessment of your organization’s digital readiness on the scale of its digital transformation continuum is foundational to moving forward. Some of the questions to answer in this stage include:

  • Is your organization a leader, a second mover, or a ‘wait till everyone else is doing it’ type of company?
  • What’s the state of your operations, IT, marketing, etc.?
  • Who are you providing services to?
  • How do you reach, interact with and collaborate with your customers?
  • How happy are they with you?

 

  1. Defining a Clear & Flexible Digital Transformation Vision

No matter how small or large your first digital transformation initiative may be, it must start with a focused vision that addresses the following:

  • What does creating tangible value for your customers look like?
  • What operational processes will be digitized? (Answer: All of them!)
  • What will a digitized Customer Experience look like?
  • How will you use data and analytics to better understand your customers?

Your vision will define clear targets, engage everyone in your organization and will evolve over time as new information and opportunities are presented.

 

  1. Critical Success Factors for Digitally Transforming Your Healthcare Organization

Once your vision is established, how will you know that your vision is being achieved? What digital key performance indicators (KPIs) can be used? What kind of growth do we seek? What’s your best metric and which of your existing metrics must change?

It’s important to understand that you cannot scale what you do not quantify and you cannot quantify what you do not define. You should also ask yourself: “What does ‘digital’ mean to us?”

 

  1. Techniques for Assessing Key Elements of Your Digital Transformation

Various approaches can be used to gather information needed to make the decisions that will ensure the best possible chance of achieving successful outcomes. Executing this stage in a rapid, agile fashion is key to progressing to the next stage on a timely and cost-effective basis; while minimizing the risk of making a poor or incorrect decision.

 

  1. Strategy Planning for Your Healthcare Digital Transformation

Once the Vision, Critical Success Factors and Primary Assessment Techniques you’ll use to measure digital transformation progress are identified, a strategy for assembling that information into an overall strategy is assembled. A cohesive strategy must consider how to integrate both the digital and the physical elements needed to successfully transform the business model.

The digitization of your company does not happen overnight. It’s a continuous process. It’s difficult to plan too far ahead since technology is evolving so rapidly. The best laid strategy will certainly change.

 

  1. Models and Approaches for Structuring Your Digital Transformation

Digitally transforming your business will likely change the way your business makes money. There are a number of business models which, alone or in combination, will make the most sense based on your vision and strategy. Changing your business model drastically may not work and it’s important to identify your options early on.

 

  1. Benefits, Challenges, Barriers and Risks Along Your Digital Transformation Journey

Being aware of and understanding the primary operational and technical benefits, challenges, barriers and risks associated with digitally transforming your company early in your initiative helps improve the overall chances of success. Having a good understanding of the specifics of what you’re like to face is critical.

 

  1. Identify Major Steps, Costs & Pivot Points of Your Digital Transformation

In this stage, the major steps to digitally transforming your healthcare organization are defined in sufficient detail to approximate the cost of each step. It’s also important to identify criteria to identify when the step can be considered complete. It’s also important to identify how to know when changes to your overall plan are necessary.

 

Next steps:

Over the coming weeks and months, we will dig deeper into the 8 “Stages for Digitally Transforming Your Healthcare Organization”.  Watch our blog for weekly updates designed to help take your healthcare organization to the next level.

 

Connect with AAJ Technologies

Ready or not, digital transformation is coming — and it’s coming fast. Having a defined framework for digitally transforming your healthcare organization will go a long way towards increasing the likelihood that your company will survive and thrive in today’s hyper-connected world. Be sure to subscribe to our blog and connect with us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Want to discuss this further? Contact us. Our Digital Readiness Assessment can help you understand how to begin – or continue – the digital transformation of your organization.

 

Jim McKeen

ABOUT Jim McKeen

Jim McKeen is the Director of Healthcare Solutions for AAJ Technologies, a full-service systems integrator that helps healthcare payer and provider organizations capitalize on the latest technologies to streamline operations, reduce costs, improve customer / patient care, and — ultimately — boost competitive advantage. Jim has over 25 years’ experience in the technology industry beginning in South Florida with NYNEX Business Systems in 1990 where he was the General Manager for one of the top performing offices in the nation. As a highly-regarded professional in the healthcare community, his customers are consistently praising his impeccable service, strategic vision and willingness to stay involved throughout each project delivery. With a solid background in HIT, Jim regularly helps organizations confidently face the unprecedented disruptions associated with Healthcare Information Technologies, Big Data, Portals, Population Health and Integration. Jim has a BA degree in Computer Science from Western Connecticut State University. He is also extremely active in the healthcare community at large, serving as an active member of ACHE, HIMSS, SFHHA, and HFMA. Jim is currently on the HIT Steering Committee for SFHHA and the Past President of the South Florida Chapter for HIMSS. Reach him at jim.mckeen@aajtech.com

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