If you lead a healthcare organization, the realization should be even clearer. The efforts to put EHR’s in place and the struggles to digitize physician workflows were not an end unto itself but are the beginning of a digital strategy in health.
What I mean by digital strategy, is one where you are able to leverage digital infrastructure to transcend the limitations of:
Is the interaction best delivered
- in person or remotely
- in real time or asynchronously
- by a health practitioner or through technology (ie. Remote monitoring)
When each interaction is viewed through these lenses, and every interaction is measured and that information is fed back to improve the next, then healthcare has truly become information enabled. Once healthcare organizations start this process, they will begin to deliver exponential improvements in health outcomes. The changes will be small at first, but they will continue to double every couple of years, transforming healthcare.
Embracing a digital strategy for health, allows for audacious goals like Lucien Engelen’s vision for Radboud UMC in the Netherlands to remove 70% of services from the hospital in the next 10 years. These services will either be done elsewhere, at home or in the community, or they will not be done at all because of prevention strategies that address the health need upstream.
Leaders in healthcare organizations that embrace and develop real digital health strategies will have massive transformations in the next decade that will improve health outcomes in unimaginable, exponential ways; sort of like those who imagined twenty-five years ago that the world’s fastest computer would one day be in a device they carry in their pocket.