Health Care Practices Must Be Digitally Ready for the 21st-Century Patient
Our society is becoming increasingly tech-driven, with more Americans than ever relying on mobile phones for information. Yet many health care providers aren’t yet prepared to offer secure digital and mobile information to their patients. A failure to invest in this technology might cause consumers to go somewhere else for health care. Your practice is at risk of losing more than just patients; physicians and other staff might be tempted to move on to more competitive health systems, as well.
The Consequences of Being Slow to Adopt New Technology
Health care organizations that are not investing in IT modernization could end up going out of business. This is already happening in some instances, illustrating the importance of making digital- and mobile-health readiness a key priority.
Yet, many smaller practices are reluctant to turn to mobile, cloud computing and data analytics solutions that are receiving widespread use by larger health organizations. A study of 220 key IT decision-makers within health care practices focused on learning more about these trends. 11 percent of those polled were labeled early adopters and 25 percent made some progress in their digital health plans, but the remainder lagged behind their peers—some of them quite far behind.
Data shows those organizations waiting to implement new technology are losing out. The early adopters—those who devoted resources toward building cloud-based architecture, turning to distributed ledger technology such as blockchain, using artificial intelligence and machine learning for clinical diagnosis and treatment support and adopting an integrated platform as a service (IPaaS) solution experienced the following benefits:
- 87 percent had reduced care costs
- 83 percent noted Improved workflow efficiencies
- 82 percent realized improved patient satisfaction
- 78 percent reported Improved patient outcomes
Those taking a wait-and-see approach cited a number of barriers to improving their digital health readiness. The biggest ones included:
- Integrating legacy systems with new digital and mobile technologies
- Resistance by physician and clinical staff toward integrating new solutions into workflows
- An inability to find skilled IT staff to deploy and maintain new technologies
- Privacy and security concerns
Those may be valid concerns, but to be successful, workarounds are going to have to be found. Otherwise, technology and consumer expectations might pass you by, leading your practice down a road from which it will be very difficult to turn around and catch up to the competition.