Today, we see digital health’s significance and value more than ever before. As the world continues to battle the impacts of COVID-19, everyone within healthcare organizations is facing a new hurdle or challenge. While care teams spearhead patient care, CIOs, CISOs and IT departments are working furiously behind the scenes to advance healthcare’s digital transformation while supporting those on the front lines of patient care. This goal is a daunting challenge by itself, but in the middle of a pandemic, progress can seem impossible as health IT teams adapt to the new and radically evolving environment of the COVID-19 global crisis.
But transformation is possible with the right technology and a strategic approach that is customized to an organization’s unique needs. By advancing healthcare’s digital transformation incrementally, and taking measures that maintain care team support, healthcare IT teams can also address larger issues that don’t disappear in the face of a crisis. These include mitigating the unprecedented growth of unstructured data, standardizing IT platforms and ensuring security and compliance, while combating increasingly sophisticated cyber threats.
Healthcare IT must quickly transition from its traditional role in supporting in-person care to facilitating digital care delivery. The challenge that must be addressed immediately is the tension between the actual maturity level of a healthcare institution, according to HIMSS’ healthcare provider models, and its ability to deliver on the Quadruple Aim, no matter where the institution is in its digital transformation during the current COVID-19 crisis. Healthcare institutions must continue delivering on better health outcomes, improved patient and staff experience, and lowering the cost of care delivery.
“What is the impact and value of digital health for people and populations? How can digital health transform health systems to engage people more meaningfully to support and sustain health and wellness?”
- Anne Snowdon, RN, PhD, FAAN
Director of Clinical Research, Analytics (ref. Digital Health: A Framework for Healthcare Transformation)
To put it simply, priorities have changed, drastically. During this time of crisis, the priority for health IT leaders has shifted away from implementing innovations that result in significant changes to workflow, even if the return on investment could be positive in the long run. At Philips, we recognize that now, more than ever, you need products and processes that have demonstrated their abilities to alleviate newfound priorities and concerns – and you need them now. All the better if they feature remote installation and virtual staff training.
A ‘new normal’ is being shaped as the healthcare industry experiences an unprecedented time that will profoundly transform operations going forward, while healthcare institutions must continue to perform and deliver towards achieving the Quadruple Aim. Philips remains focused on advancing digital transformation with innovations that truly address the challenges faced by healthcare providers, both amid COVID-19 and beyond.
With the environment and priorities shifting daily, there are a lot of unanswered questions. These may include, “With some staff working from home, how do we maintain secure business continuity without risking patient data?” or “How can care coordination and decision-making be improved through secure patient data exchange?” or “How can technology help manage oncology and cardiology care amid a healthcare crisis?”
As a trusted partner, we at Philips believe there is always a way to make a difference, and we are here to help the health IT community navigate this new environment. As part of our commitment to provide support and guidance, we will be answering these and other pressing questions in an upcoming series of communications.
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