On the road to digital maturity

As health systems across Europe recover from the COVID crisis, the importance of accelerating digital maturity has never been more apparent – a topic that will be discussed in more depth at HIMSS22 Europe this week.

But given this evolving healthcare landscape, how do we assess the success of the digital transformation, and what results should we strive for to maximize return on investment?

“The maturity of healthcare organizations is directly related to their capacity to capture, manage and link patient data, the great benefits and results of consolidating and linking data and how digital health platforms can help build more effective healthcare managed by data. which can benefit all stakeholders, ”says David Labajo, Vice President (VP), GE Healthcare Digital Sales in Europe.

In order to achieve digital maturity in healthcare, he believes that relevant and qualified information must be captured not only in the electronic medical record (EMR), but also in all information systems and departments.

“The next step is to be able to consolidate and link all this information. That’s why we need to eliminate data silos in organizations and be able to summarize, consolidate and manage all the different data flows, “Labajo added. Once we have this, we will be ready to build a data-driven healthcare organization and apply artificial intelligence (AI) to that data to enable patient segmentation, risk assessment, prioritization and early diagnosis, personalization. treatment and allowing more personal follow-up of the patient. “

Labajo also emphasizes the importance of collaboration between healthcare providers, industry players and start-ups to create an “internal and external ecosystem” that can work together to develop, integrate and deliver digital solutions.

Workforce engagement

Meanwhile, Prof. Sam Shah, Chief Strategic Director at Startup for men’s health Numanbelieves that the needs of the workforce and end users must be at the forefront of the digital transformation.

“Digital maturity is much more than data, infrastructure and technology, but it is also about the workforce and the needs of consumers,” said Shah. “It will probably mean different things to different people working in different backgrounds. In principle, it will need the right political conditions, strategy and funding. More importantly, the needs of the workforce must be included in any strategy. “

Obstacles to maturity

Although many countries around the world have defined policies and allocated resources to support the assessment of digital maturity, there are still many blockers that need to be addressed.
“The challenges of reaching digital maturity are as cultural as they are technical and organizational,” says Prof. Shah. “One of the biggest blocks we see in most organizations is the lack of any coherent strategy, the lack of funding and the lack of organizational design.

Another obstacle is how to deal with huge amounts of health data, much of which is unstructured, in silos and outside the system.

“Up to 30% of the world’s data is generated in healthcare. The main blocking factor is that although we collect huge amounts of data, most of them are unused, without proper quality, separated, torn, fragmented and unstructured, so we cannot activate it to get a better idea and improve clinical and operational efficiency, ”explains Labajo. “Furthermore, data management is a big challenge and we need to understand it before we can move to fully data-driven healthcare.”

Labajo and Shah will continue the conversation at the session Digital maturity: goals and roadmap of the European Conference and Exhibition HIMSS22.

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