Digital Transformation : Starting with the end in mind

Healthcare has always been slow in adopting digital solutions. Understandably the complexities are abundant and the repercussions of failure is huge. In fact, there is little room for failure. Hence, many healthcare institutions are cautious, well too cautious. The fear of catastrophic failure has stunted the march towards full digitisation. 

So the approach of most hospitals are a slow introduction in areas which appears less complex, for example, queue management systems or online booking appointments, e-prescriptions and billing. The crux of healthcare, patient outcomes, are largely kept aside. Often times, the hiccups in apparently simple areas, discourages many from venturing further into full digitisation. 

Even in hospitals with an apparent fully digitised environment, the focus on administrative workflows have often degraded doctor-patient experience. Ensuring administrative efficiencies often ignores the humanity of the interactions between the doctors and patients. The digital workflows are often encased in old work flows and methodologies. 

The steps in transformation includes rethinking and mapping strategies, redesigning workflows, realigning and creating job descriptions while identifying and removing redundancies and consolidating resources through the powers of data visualisation and analytics. All these processes can only be truly purposeful if the institution truly knows what they would like to become. Hence before embarking on a digital transformation exercise, it is paramount to envision the end in mind. Otherwise, the exercise will reek of indecisions which will only derail the shift to full digital transformation.

Dr Benjamin Cheah

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