Today, more and more different opportunities exist in the field of digital transformation in the healthcare sector and in diagnostics. Especially thing when it refers to the adoption of new technologies that enhance hospital efficiency as well as provide superior patient care. So now is the time to meet the need and enable when all patients need to be served digitally, no matter where they are.
Healthcare digital transformation is an ongoing and ever-evolving process. It is essential for modern healthcare systems to keep up with the rapid advances in technology, both to ensure patient safety and to improve the quality of care. However, this process is not without its challenges. In the UK, these challenges range from ensuring data privacy and security to finding ways to make health IT systems interoperable and user-friendly.
This article will explore the five biggest challenges of healthcare digital transformation in the UK, and provide useful tips on how to navigate them. By understanding and addressing these issues, healthcare providers can keep up with the digital evolution and create sustainable, efficient, and effective healthcare systems.
How digital transformation is affecting the healthcare industry
The healthcare industry is facing many challenges. However, with the right approach, these can be turned into opportunities that can transform healthcare. The digitization of healthcare is one of these opportunities.
Digital transformation can enable healthcare organizations to improve their operational efficiency and patient outcomes. This can be achieved by the following:
AI and predictive analytics: Data sharing and interoperability:
So, the medical units' procedures for diagnosing, monitoring, and managing patient health are outlined in detail in digital transformation in healthcare. Its purpose is to optimize major workflow processes, increase patient care, and reduce expenses by putting innovative healthcare IT solutions to use.
New technologies are able:
to enable consumers to make better-informed decisions;
provide new ways to facilitate early detection and prevention of life-threatening diseases and management of chronic conditions outside traditional health care settings;
quality of life and wellness activities can be monitored better using them.
On the other hand, digital health technologies can be utilized by providers and other stakeholders to:
Top challenges of the digital transformation of healthcare in the UK for 2023
An increase in decision-making complexity around digital transformation and healthcare professional development is expected in 2023, but patterns and paths are starting to emerge. Next year will be a moment where pandemic-field disruption transitions into areas of clarity and reduced variability.
Data privacy and security
Ensuring the privacy and security of healthcare data is a top challenge. In the UK, this is complicated by the fact that there are different legal systems dealing with data protection. This makes it hard to create an integrated and standardized healthcare system that can be used across the country.
EHRs can improve patient safety, protection, and medication optimization, in addition to population health and resource allocation. Using data-driven systems to improve population health and resource allocation, as well as AI to enhance the precision, reproducibility, and speed of services may also place new demands on employees. Data-driven care, on the other hand, requires higher quantities and quality of data, which might turn highly skilled medical staff into data clerks.
Lack of investment
The lack of investment in healthcare systems may cause them to become obsolete. New technologies are developed quickly, and healthcare providers should be prepared to adopt these new technologies.
A digital healthcare future is assumed to result in cost reductions, but this can only occur if certain conditions are met, including the use of consumer technologies, interchangeable tools, and the prevention of incumbent legacy tools.
Traditional approaches to digitalizing by siloed tasks and silos have produced a healthcare system in which technologies are siloed and have varying degrees of overlapping functionality. This limits supplier market dynamics as incumbent systems become more complex and capable because they are increasingly difficult to replace. New entrants are faced with higher barriers to entry, which reduces innovation and reduces the leverage alternative solutions provide. As a result, suppliers face major problems in establishing and/or scaling.
Lack of management expertise
Healthcare providers have to integrate many technologies into their systems. For this, they need skilled people who can manage their systems. This is a challenge in the UK, as healthcare management lacks skilled people.
Implementing a digital healthcare system in the cloud is a difficult job. It requires experts to set up, integrate, and deploy the system successfully. To connect your system to critical systems like the Health and Social Care Network (HSCN), the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS), and medical records, you will need a managed service provider.
User-friendliness and interoperability
Healthcare providers should make their systems easy to use for all the people who work with them, as well as for the patients. All the systems should be interoperable. This means that they must be able to communicate with each other seamlessly, so there is no duplication of efforts.
Patients have been accessing healthcare the same way for decades, by booking appointments with their GP and waiting for test results letters. It's almost ingrained in their mentality. So that's one of the biggest challenges, prepare your patients for the digital transformation, so they can adjust to a new method of accessing healthcare.
How digital transformation is changing the healthcare industry
In the past, healthcare systems were designed to focus on the technical aspects of patient care. Now, organizations are increasingly focusing on creating user-friendly and personalized experiences for patients. Healthcare providers are also working hard to make their systems interoperable. They want to make the best use of the data generated in various parts of their systems. This data can be used to provide better care and make operations more effective.
Digital transformation aims to bring positive change to the healthcare industry. This is evident in the following ways:
Healthcare systems have a broader perspective All stakeholders are involved in the design process
Let's look at how digital healthcare is used in the healthcare domain in the UK.
Using communication saves time
Healthcare organizations, especially GP practices, have been saving time and creating efficiencies by using digital innovation. Using an IP telephony solution connected to existing clinical systems, patients' records are automatically connected to the clinical system during an inbound call based on phone number matching, allowing staff to identify test results, notes on the record, or priority tasks immediately (for example, a flu jab must be booked). By accelerating interactions and efficiencies between the two systems, digital innovations like these have saved some surgeries up to 60 hours per month.
Access telehealth services
No matter how you slice it, telehealth has been one of the leading beneficiaries of the healthcare sector in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Virtual access to health care services has allowed patients worldwide to seek medical advice regardless of lockdown status. In order to meet virtually, both patients and providers must have the required infrastructure, but early research indicates that post-pandemic popularity will not be decreased.
With over 1.5 billion people to care for, China's telemedicine programs are expanding so that by 2022 they cover at least 70% of the population. In early 2020, when the United Kingdom was on lockdown, appointments for telemedicine jumped from 25% to 71%, helping to increase NHS usage of its other online services.
The rise in comfort using telehealth and telemedicine technology is encouraging for providers as they move to a digital environment.
The disease can be tracked and predicted using data
Doctors are using technology to track, analyze, and forecast sickness using language and patient history records.
Researchers in one study analyzed 999 patients' posts on Facebook describing their symptoms, allowing medical professionals to access and study the material. Using a combination of technology, data, and medical expertise, the researchers analyzed approximately 20 million words from the posts and determined whether the patients had conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, and anxiety.
While fighting against COVID-19, the industry has also benefited from this sort of diagnostic technology. The University of Cambridge developed an app that patients can download and record short videos of their breathing or coughing, as well as answer a simple symptom check question. If someone is suffering from COVID-19, the app will predict it.
Smart Devices offer an alternative to a doctor’s visit
Currently, there are several devices available that let us monitor a variety of health indicators. For example, pulse, oxygen saturation, blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, sleep patterns, and general activity are just a few of the metrics that are available. These metrics provide a comprehensive picture of a patient's health and can alert them to any danger signs.
Patients can now provide their doctor with these crucial metrics instantly and efficiently, preventing trips to the clinic and preventing potential flare-ups or unnecessary trips to the emergency room.
Digital transformation is an ongoing process, and it has significant benefits for the healthcare industry. However, it is not without its challenges. To navigate these challenges, healthcare providers need to understand the benefits of digital transformation and plan how they will implement them.
They also need to understand the challenges they may face and have a strategy for addressing them. Digital transformation is changing the healthcare industry, and it will bring many benefits. And we at Devico understand no less than others. We are revolutionizing the industry with digital transformation and If you think it's your turn has come to make a difference and make patients’ lives better, let's do this together!