Sateesh Seethamariah

Creating a Connected Ecosystem: Challenges and Opportunities

By Sateesh Seetharamiah
Sateesh Seethamariah

Although 61% of decision-makers at healthcare organizations said their firms invested at least $100 million in digital transformation initiatives over the past year, 65% of those respondents said their firms have translated less than half of those investments into tangible business value. These numbers highlight the challenges of digital transformation with data siloes posing the biggest threat to success.

The landscape of healthcare is evolving, driven by a myriad of factors such as workforce shortages, chronic disease prevalence, and supply chain issues. In response to these challenges, healthcare organizations are increasingly turning to digital capabilities to navigate the complexities of the modern world.

Digital transformation has emerged as a pivotal force reshaping the industry. With advancements in technology, healthcare firms are recognizing the importance of adopting a connected and customer-driven approach to navigate the challenges of modern healthcare delivery and improve patient care.

This article examines the struggles healthcare organizations face when adopting new technologies and highlights the necessary steps healthcare organizations must take to become more connected to enable efficiency, innovation and superior patient experiences and outcomes.

Digital Transformation: A Struggle for Success

Technologies such as telemedicine, electronic health records (EHRs), AI and automation are now staples of everyday operations as health systems work to harness the power of data analytics.

Despite the noticeable increase in technological implementation, the transition hasn’t been seamless. The need to embrace digital transformation has led to a mix of negative and positive changes in the business value, customer delivery, and trust across health systems.

According to a recent study commissioned by EdgeVerve and Forrester, a notable gap exists between digital transformation aspirations and actual outcomes. Despite significant investments, only 33% of healthcare decision-makers strongly believe that their digital transformation efforts have achieved actual success in meeting desired business outcomes. These shortcomings underscore the persistent challenges, including a lack of a data-driven culture, data rigor, and process inefficiencies, that have plagued the industry’s maturity in enterprise connectivity.

The Challenges

Successful digital transformation depends on an organization’s ability to bust data silos, boost operational efficiencies, and augment human potential. However, enterprises often struggle to deliver desired value. Although 61% of decision-makers at healthcare organizations said their firms invested at least $100 million in digital transformation initiatives over the past year, 65% of those respondents said their firms have translated less than half of those investments into tangible business value.

This inability to deliver tangible business value is a result of siloed processes and slow adoption of AI, which have exacerbated challenges related to business resilience.

The presence of siloes across people, process, data, networks, and technology has led to incorrect diagnoses, misinformation, inadequate care recommendations, and significant data biases in the healthcare industry. Siloes are the biggest threat to digital transformation success, enabling the spread of isolated information, operational incompetence, data gaps, and more.

Additionally, the speed at which digital transformation has been implemented comes with a mix of negative and positive changes. This can largely be attributed to a hesitancy to embrace connectivity and emerging technologies, specifically AI. The Forrester study indicated that decision-makers from healthcare firms are less likely to believe that connectivity across internal and external processes plays a significant role in addressing digital transformation outcomes compared to the industry average (67% vs. 77%).

The lack of a data-driven culture coupled with process inefficiencies and deficiencies in data rigor and digital immaturity continues to hinder progress. A hallmark of delivering desired patient outcomes is the need to be insights-driven. According to the study, while decision makers in healthcare consider it crucial to enable an insights-driven culture with better data integration (45%), a much larger percentage of them (61%) have stated the lack of it as a key challenge. As a result, organizations struggle to establish an understanding of emerging technologies, optimize new technology initiatives, and maintain rigor in the use of data.

When combining all of these factors, the ability to derive actionable insights and deliver personalized experiences to patients becomes nearly impossible. To thrive in an increasingly competitive landscape, organizations must address these fundamental issues and embrace innovative solutions. So, what can be done to solve it?

A Platform-Based Approach

Healthcare organizations that have experienced the most success in their digital transformation efforts have been able to seamlessly connect systems and processes that enhance business outcomes and gain actionable insights into patient needs and preferences. They were able to accomplish this through the adoption of an AI-powered platform approach, establishing consistent, end-to-end processes and complete visibility into people, processes, and partners.

When asked about the best approach to unify and orchestrate business and technology, more than 70% of decision-makers surveyed indicated that they believe in the adoption of a platform-based approach. Platforms bridge data gaps across the organization to create meaningful intelligence from a unified ecosystem. This organization-wide visibility ensures access to unified data, which maximizes the value to patients by taking an ecosystem approach, enabling joint innovation in delivery of personalized patient experiences, better clinical outcomes, and increased patient engagement. This human-centric approach shatters siloes by horizontally connecting data within and across the ecosystem.

Platforms can also increase the versatility and responsiveness of an organization. When an organization becomes fully connected, it’s able to adapt rapidly to changing market dynamics, emerging trends, and evolving patient needs, ensuring it stays ahead of the competition in this increasingly digital landscape.

Digital transformation has emerged as a pivotal force reshaping the industry. It holds immense potential to revolutionize healthcare delivery and improve patient care. But to unlock the full benefits and capabilities that digital transformation offers, healthcare organizations must understand the importance of adopting a platform-based approach that enables connected and patient-driven data strategies.

Navigating the complexities of modern healthcare delivery is no simple task. But embracing the platform-based approach is the ultimate catalyst in becoming a connected organization capable of meeting the evolving needs of patients while driving efficiency, innovation, and sustainable growth.

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Sateesh Seethamariah