Investment Areas for a Digital Future
The following are the key areas where healthcare organizations are investing in their digital futures:
Reporting/analytics. Health system access to clinical and administrative data will be boosted by even greater access to consumer and wearable data, which can be leveraged to improve health. Most health systems will need to develop the dynamic governance and technical architecture for retrospective and predictive analytics, such as specialized value-based, post-acute care tiering solutions and predictive solutions, which can create financial and clinical value across the whole life cycle of care.
Access. Access centers will enable patients and providers to use multiple channels (e.g., websites, mobile apps, call centers) and devices, wherever and whenever they want to access administrative and clinical functions. These digital assets will be leveraged to enable personalized, value-based care with strong financial and clinical results.
Revenue cycle management. Future codification of services will enable better value-based (rather than fee-for-service-based) analytics.
Supply chain. Most health systems can improve consistency and efficiency in the supply chain.
Technology change and program management. Many health systems will require capabilities in executing and managing technology projects.
Clinical systems optimization. The focus now is on continued optimization and standardization of electronic health record systems.
Enterprise/network connectivity. System-to-system data and workflow integration will be key going forward.
Patient and provider-centric relationship management. Digital systems can incorporate polling and survey systems and augmented patient data, such as consumer preferences, imputed and self-altering channel preferences, provider preferences, and geography-based segmentation.
Population health. The proactive management of health care for individuals covered under risk-based contracts through digital means of patient engagement—such as telehealth, mobile apps, devices, and wearables—will enable cost reductions and sustainable organizational growth. Additional examples include customized workflow management solutions and templates suited to population health.
Point of service. Mobile and kiosk solutions that allow self-check-in, payment, and payment planning will become the norm.
Security/cybersecurity. A holistic security model prevents reputational damage but also engenders trust with all customer groups.
Sales and marketing. The digital health system of the future will invest intelligently in targeted media, social media, and other forms to attract and retain patients and providers.
Ancillary/labs/imaging/retail. Margins for retail-oriented businesses, founded on infrastructure that enables digital communication, can subsidize some lower-margin core clinical operations.
See related article: Financing a Digital Transformation
Sources: Shaikh, M., “The Next Generation of Health IT Spend: Becoming a Digital Health System,” West Monroe Signature Research, Oct. 25, 2018; and Shaikh, M., “The Journey to Value-Based Care: A New Value Chain for Patient Access Centers.” West Monroe, Dec. 3, 2018. Used with permission.