The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced new challenges to the already ailing healthcare industry. However, technologies such as Microsoft Power Apps hold the key to solving many of its problems, so I’d like to explore how digital transformation in healthcare has the potential to be the powerful pick-me-up healthcare needs.
First of all, though, a little background. Let’s take a look at the charts.
Recent history and prognosis
Even before the pandemic, the healthcare industry was running on fumes. Healthcare costs have been steadily increasing, with quality care becoming less affordable and accessible for many patients.
These strains have been felt by healthcare professionals, too. According to 2020 research from Medscape, as much as 42% of physicians reported being burned out. And the industry has also been drowning in a rising tide of data, which healthcare providers have been unable to easily administrate or fully harness.
These conditions could easily become chronic. And unless providers around the world start applying digital innovation in healthcare, the outlook isn’t good.
Symptoms of information overload
Healthcare providers everywhere are hemorrhaging resources and money to handle the masses of paperwork they deal with every minute of every day. And even if some of these valuable, sensitive documents take a digital form, the processes surrounding them are often clunky and labor-intensive.
Outdated processes for patient onboarding and communications, and internal documentation and collaboration, can result in bottlenecks that clog these essential arteries of an organization. Staff become overworked and make mistakes, patients become frustrated and care suffers.
The diagnosis? Information overload. Prescribing a dose of digital transformation in healthcare can make all the difference here. So, what are the best courses of treatment?
Digitizing admin processes and handling data better
New, improved, digitized processes keep a healthcare provider’s heart beating steadily, by ensuring that the right information is delivered to the right people at the right time, and that everything is documented and stored as required.
Tight controls on data entry (via easy-to-use online forms) reduce mistakes during data input, and reports, alerts, and communications are delivered instantly and automatically. Tasks are expedited, workers and patients are kept in the loop, and everything flows smoothly. Subsequently, healthcare becomes more efficient and cost-effective, healthcare professionals’ workloads are lightened, and patients are happier, more satisfied, and better cared-for.
And when these new digital systems are built with a low-code platform like Power Apps, organizations can ensure they fit their needs more perfectly than any cookie-cutter off-the-shelf solutions ever did. When providers are able to take a more active and insightful role in creating their technology, the end result can truly be their technology. After all, who knows the healthcare industry better than healthcare professionals themselves?
Staying on the regulators’ good side
Administering digital innovation in healthcare also means that you’re able to ensure that vital concerns like compliance are completely covered. There’s a lot of peace of mind – not to mention reduced risk – when you can be sure all the industry’s specific regulations for matters like data protection are being adhered to fully.
When sensitive information is all recorded and stored securely and compliantly, healthcare providers can ensure they don’t fall victim to potentially disastrous consequences like those that befell Anthem, the United States’ largest health insurance company. Due to a data breach, the insurer was hit with a class-action lawsuit resulting in a landmark $155 million settlement payout. Meanwhile, across the water in Europe, an unnamed hospital in Portugal was reeling after a €400,000 fine for breaching the EU’s GDPR legislation in their mishandling of patient data.
Making sure confidential information stays secure
Everyone wants to stay on the right side of laws like the GDPR and HIPAA. Robust digital systems provide more control and visibility when it comes to the main areas for potential data-leakage and misgovernance. That includes when:
- Patient data is shared by healthcare professionals with others within an organization
- Data is transferred from one of a healthcare provider’s information systems to another
- Healthcare providers contact patients to provide guidance and seek/deliver information
Power Apps is tightly integrated with the rest of the Microsoft ecosystem, including Excel, Teams, and Outlook, and can be easily connected to other third-party applications. That means your systems can be seamlessly joined up, and instances where data is manually entered into communications or records – prime opportunities for leakage – are minimized. No more weak links and breakpoints in your chains of information.
Ready for an injection of digital transformation in healthcare?
I hope this article has been helpful in illustrating the restorative powers of digital transformation in the healthcare industry. Technological innovation is a rich and fruitful area for providers to investigate so they can stay on top of data and workloads, stay ahead of competitors, and stay in patients’ good books.
But, as any healthcare professional knows, there’s no such thing as a miracle cure, and I’m not going to tell you it’s as simple as “Take two Power Apps and call me in the morning”. And, like running a hospital ward, it takes teamwork and the right people to develop the powerful new systems that will take your organization forward.
At the Bauen Group, we want to be part of that team. Together with organizations everywhere – including a major medical records supplier – we’ve built solutions that remedy key problems and provide the foundations for a healthy business and successful future. Make an appointment today and we’ll see how we can help you.
Want to explore what digital innovation in the healthcare industry can do for your organization? Just get in touch with the Bauen team.