Only a decade ago, India and China fully opened their societies to the West. Instead of telephone poles and landlines, Asian companies met 21st-century challenges head-on by skipping investing in outdated infrastructure for moving directly to smart phones and deploying mobile apps. A parallel can be drawn with the healthcare industry. Let’s leapfrog to 21st-century information technology solutions and stop trying to solve today’s problems with yesterday’s outdated technology.
The three broad areas healthcare needs to focus on include re-framing conversations, improving processes, and leveraging technology. These three areas are interconnected; it would be impossible to fully innovate in one without the other two. The processes have been proven in other industries, the technology is available to healthcare, and the industry has the power to innovate like never before. Learn how to transform the healthcare industry with 21st-century solutions at our HITP conference May 6-8.Changing the Context
Other industries have terminology that inherently relate to consumers. For instance, consumers in retail are referred to as “customers,” or even “fans,” but in healthcare, the health insurance companies are called “payers” and consumers are called “patients.” Currently there is ramped apathy , but healthcare has the potential to do what retail has done in turning customers into fans, by creating personal relationships with patients. Instead of limited or one-size-fits-all styles of communication, the technology is there for healthcare to provide contextualized information, individualized experiences, and develop personal, trusted, relationships with consumers of care delivery services.
Defining New Processes
When it comes to ensuring processes are efficient and well managed, best practices are key to healthcare’s potential advancements. In terms of security and risk management, all industries hope to have the same outcomes: they want to keep consumers’ information secure. In the financial industry, people are increasingly utilizing mobile and online banking because the technology has proven trustworthy. In a 2012 survey, 85% of Americans have expressed anxiety over the transmission and maintenance of electronic medical records. The financial industry not only makes bankers’ data readily available and secure, it is also individualized for effective risk management. Doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals make sure their patients are in top health each day. The industry itself can do the same in ensuring processes are the most efficient and effective as they can be through investment in information technology.
Technology Ties it All Together
Information technology is not a zero sum game as every industry can improve if it leverages technological advancement. Healthcare is more than capable of doing what the transportation and logistics industries have done in getting a complete view of an organization and giving people the right information at the right time. By utilizing online bookings, airport kiosks, reservation centers and baggage tracking devices, airlines have been able to cut costs and increase profits. Not only that, they have made the traveling experience even more enjoyable.
Just as someone can check the status of a package being delivered, if a consumer wants to know the status of an insurance claim – that information should be available. There are websites that are designed for the clinical practitioner providing transparent treatment options, but again, the context needs to change when targeting consumers, so the language should be focused more towards layperson’s understanding. Utilizing automation, data analytics and collaboration tools to improve supply chain operations are all available to healthcare. In terms of collaborative inventory planning and order forecasting, many industries have created an integrated supply chain network so everyone has the right information when needed and can make actionable decisions.
In all three areas, healthcare is capable of doing what other industries have done to improve. The more information available, the more technology is utilized and the more healthcare continues to innovate – the better the diagnoses, the better the treatments, and the better the care.
Learn more about our HITP conference May 6-8 to see how to transform the healthcare industry with 21st-century solutions.