Digital transformation a major challenge for healthcare


New Delhi, India is still in the nascent stage of digitizing patient records. It heavily relies on physical paper records. But Covid-19 has reaffirmed the significance of digital transformation for the healthcare industry which had to rise to the challenges posed by the pandemic.

Many healthcare providers have identified the gaps and are gradually digitizing their processes. Technology has created multiple sources of medical data, personal fitness trackers, blood pressure monitors, and even genomic data. However, digital transformation can be a complex process, especially for healthcare.

Artificial intelligence, Blockchain for electronic health records, virtual reality and telemedicine are the options before healthcare to ensure safety of patients and practitioners.

For instance, technology can cut down on the need for in-person consultations, thereby allowing doctors to cater to more patients. Similarly, when it comes to the management of chronic diseases, going digital can be a real money-saver with patient satisfaction and retention.

Beyond investing in new technology, there is a need for a change of mindset. Fear of change is the most crucial challenge that comes in the way of a successful digital transformation. Most of the hospitals and clinics continue to rely on paper for major documentation as they are comfortable with this traditional method.

Digital transformation is an amalgamation of various technologies. Many hospitals claim to be ‘digital’ by just adopting the basics like integrated hospital information system (HIS) and electronic medical records (EMR). From the registration and consultation to the inpatient services and post-discharge follow-ups, the entire patient journey needs to be considered while planning a hospital’s digital transformation. Unfortunately, very few have a clear picture in mind before jumping on the digital transformation bandwagon and get lost in a large amount of unmanaged data they will have to deal with.

Further with technology comes the threat of cyber-attacks. But if an organization has a strong cyber resilience strategy, such a concern can be handled efficiently.