It’s no secret that the health and care industry worldwide is facing unprecedented challenges. From financial constraints and sustainability management to workforce shortages and capacity issues, the need for the industry to address mounting pressures and modernize has never been more urgent.
Modernization is especially necessary as digital transformation reshapes industries across the board. From retail to banking, industries are transitioning to digital environments that vastly improve user experiences.
It’s time to look to the digital future of health and care. In fact, our latest CGI Voice of Our Clients reveals that digital acceleration and the need to digitize to meet customer and citizen expectations is the second top macro and industry trend cited by health executives, as well as their top IT priority.
While not all services should become fully digital, certain areas, including primary care, outpatient services, and hospital access, can benefit from innovative technologies. The immense opportunity for rapid advancement is highlighted by the impact of COVID-19, which accelerated the implementation of digital solutions, such as remote consultations and care management, to better support those receiving care.
Just imagine having access to a self-service portal or mobile app that is backed by proven, technical support, empowering users—both staff and patients—with better experiences:
Your personal healthcare data is in one place, so you and (with your permission) your circle of care can simply and quickly access up-to-date information to feel confident in the health and care support you are receiving.
Your data, along with efficient processes that reduce duplication and effort, helps staff make well-informed and timely decisions to deliver your care more effectively.
Simultaneously, health and care organizations are better equipped to deliver equitable services to all those receiving care based upon real need, reducing unwarranted variation, improving health inequalities, and even benefitting the wider economy.
Putting people first
The current state of the sector is characterized by daily firefighting and relentless pressure. This approach is unsustainable and fails to meet the needs of those who deserve the best quality health and care support, as well as the needs of staff who work tirelessly to deliver that support.
Therefore, digital transformation across the whole system must start with a focus on people—citizens, patients, their circles of care, and the workforce—if it is to drive impactful change. Simply adding new technologies to old models of care will only reinforce the sense that nothing has really changed.
Instead, healthcare professionals should combine information from data-rich organizations with insights from those who use the health and care system daily to completely reimagine care pathways and support processes. This human-centered approach to organizational change means engaging with patients and staff to understand their pain points and challenges when engaging with existing processes and delivery models to identify the real need for change. Only then can we begin to consider the technical solutions required to truly transform health and care experiences.
This comprehensive system review also must consider the culture of individual organizations, which includes the following:
- Integrated ‘fit’
- Readiness for change
- Staff and patient needs
- Health outcomes and inequalities
- Processes and technologies
- Financial sustainability
Key components for change
With decades of traditional ways of working embedded in health and care organizations, multiple attempts at structural reform have failed to produce radical change. How do we begin to create a more people-focused system? Consider the following recommendations:
1. Systems thinking
Consider “what good looks like” across the traditional boundaries of health and care to create holistic experiences with access to services that meet staff and patient needs. As part of this, identify business case developments, conduct investment value case analysis, and review existing project management office and associated governance.
2. Service design
Map current processes and envision future states, guided by user research and insights from patients and staff. This ensures that leaders deliver the change that people really want to see, creating truly transformed experiences in terms of care pathways and support processes.
3. Organizational readiness
Prepare organizations for change by addressing structural design, infrastructure maturity, human mindset, behaviors, and skills. Laying the necessary groundwork includes investing in transformation programs to develop the cultural and mindset shift required for new models of health and care to succeed and encouraging staff collaboration and buy-in.
The innovative solutions required to transform experiences for many health and care services already exist. However, we must first understand the current technical landscape, inherent gaps, and the shift required to develop an interoperable digital health and care delivery model. Transformation across technology areas such as artificial intelligence, automation, cybersecurity, cloud, and infrastructure will help health and care organizations realize their full potential.
Taking a people, process, technology approach
To move toward a people-centric, digital health and care organizational model, find a trusted advisor that offers significant business and technology experience in the health and care sector. Further, look for a partner that puts people first by prioritizing human experiences and working to understand people’s needs.
Any partner you choose should empower health and care professionals to embrace more intelligent, sustainable, and healthy ways of working and offer patients better access to high quality, convenient, and efficient care and support. In addition, while ensuring revolutionary digital health and care experiences for staff and those in their care, the right partner should simultaneously support your organization in making complex, cost-effective decisions behind the scenes.
CGI is partnering with health and care providers in these ways. If you want to learn more about our vision for the future of health and care and how we can support organizational change and digital transformation in your organization, let’s have a conversation.