Jul 28 2022

Lessons for Healthcare from a Business Perspective

Whatever comes their way, healthcare organizations need to have resiliency and agility like businesses.

Providers care for hundreds of patients every day, but in many ways, they work with even more customers, especially outside hospital walls. Customers expect convenience and responsiveness from the businesses they frequent. But as patients, many still deal with outdated processes that hamper a seamless care experience.

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the critical need for healthcare organizations to take lessons from other industries to stay agile and resilient. Providers stood up telehealth services where there weren’t any in a matter of days. Digital patient access became a priority.

As organizations look to cement their care strategies for the future, they should consider how key partnerships, improving operational analytics and identifying the mission-aligned big picture will keep them in step with the changing healthcare landscape.

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The Importance of IT Partnerships in Healthcare

Partnerships can help healthcare organizations boost operations and ultimately provide better patient care. When it’s not possible to build a solution in-house, it’s beneficial to partner with vendors or entrepreneurs that can share their expertise and services.

Organizations with IT staffing shortages, for example, can turn to partner-delivered services to fill a need quickly and efficiently. Such services can be tailored to fit shrunken budgets and keep operations running.

Partnerships are also critical within an organization. When adopting DevOps in healthcare, for example, that involves not only the IT department but also financial, business and clinical teams within the system. DevOps — the ­discipline of blending IT operations and software development — promotes collaboration, faster innovation and continuous development, which are also important tenets of modern healthcare.

DISCOVER: How to use ServiceNow tools to drive digital transformation in healthcare.

Creating Better Data Analytics in Healthcare

Data and modern analytics are helping healthcare organizations drive important clinical and operational decisions.

When Chapel Hill, N.C.-based UNC Health deployed new telehealth services and digital tools during the pandemic, it integrated the information captured from those technologies into its data warehouse. Healthcare leaders could view dashboards with hospitalization forecasts, helping them get a start on planning for care needs.

A few years before the pandemic, Stockton, Calif.-based Community Medical Centers experimented with how to meet the organization’s growing demand for data analytics. After moving from freeware to the Tableau platform, the nonprofit could respond quickly to requests, especially during the pandemic.

“We were able to deploy and automate it so we could move on to other urgent projects instead of running daily reports,” said Javier Romo, CMC’s associate manager of business intelligence, in a recent HealthTech feature.

EXPLORE: 3 ways independent hospitals can improve quality of care with IT investments.

Solution-Driven Digital Transformation in Healthcare

At University of Utah Health, when Donna Roach joined as CIO mid­pandemic, she led the way for a new digital-transformation roadmap, tackling a more expansive approach to care that included better consumer experiences.

“When I came on board, some people bristled at the term ‘consumer experience,’” Roach told HealthTech. “They said that it sounded like we were talking about Costco. And I said, ‘Well, there’s nothing wrong with Costco.’ I realized that I had to do some internal selling of the concepts before I ran with implementation.”

Mike Grisamore
Healthcare will continue to evolve, but that doesn’t have to be a daunting prospect. In fact, it should fuel organizations to strive to do better.”

Mike Grisamore Vice President of Healthcare, CDW

Healthcare will continue to evolve, but that doesn’t have to be a daunting prospect. In fact, it should fuel organizations to strive to do better.

When choosing a partner, think of the “small story and big story,” advised Aaron Martin, executive vice president and chief digital officer of Providence, during ViVE 2022 in March.

“Your small story is how you are going to generate an awesome ROI for us in a very short period of time,” Martin said. “It’s the problem that we really care about that we’ve got to get fixed now. And then the big story is, how does this become more than that small story over time?”

Plan short-term goals alongside big-picture thinking. That ensures more integrated, continuous operational value rather than piecemeal solutions.

Dean Mitchell/Getty Images

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