Charting new digital strategies: How to be visionary, but practical

Providers are at a crossroads – needing to quickly modernize consumer engagement tactics to meet rising consumer expectations, while evolving care models to promote the right mix of virtual and physical care.

Agility is critical, as is a digital transformation strategy that can create some quick wins while laying out a visionary but achievable path to enterprise goals.

“Organizational planning is key, and the development of a visionary, but attainable digital strategy will challenge the organization, while simultaneously presenting a clear, high-level path for how the aspirational goals will ultimately be achieved, said Tom Kiesau, director and leader of Chartis Digital at the Chartis Group.

Kiesau, who is scheduled to speak about the topic next month at HIMSS21, said health systems must define what will be most important and impactful to the organization, set clear, measurable goals, provide appropriate resources to dedicated digital teams and hold people accountable for demonstrable results.

“Too many health systems employ a ‘hands off’ strategy on digital transformation, focusing on simply deploying technology and then tasking already overburdened operational leaders to drive digital transformation on the side, while continuing to drive operational excellence,” he said.

Kiesau laid out three key success factors:

  • Clear prioritization of efforts the organization will pursue.
  • Allocation of sufficient additional resources in terms of people and finances to support the digital transformation efforts.
  • A sufficiently senior governance body (ideally comprised of some or all of the C-suite) to oversee the enterprise digital program.

He said the critical indicators for digital health success would depend on the organization and the initiatives it defines as those that will best differentiate it in its competitive domain.

A few key indicators that a health system could employ that demonstrate a truly transformed digital future could include the percentage of patients who were scheduled and “arrived” digitally, the ratio of digital to analog care interactions, and the number of human touches per paid claim.

“Even the perfect digital solution, based on all known facts today, may no longer optimally hit the mark once it’s been fully deployed in the future,” Kiesau said.

“The ability to quickly adapt plans and [the] execution approach as an organization pursues its digital transformation agenda is essential to respond to constantly changing market context, competitive landscape, internal organizational dynamics and the inevitable execution challenges that will arise.”

Tom Kiesau will share more thoughts during his HIMSS21 session, “Digital Strategy: How to Be Visionary Yet Practical.” It’s scheduled for Wednesday, August 11, from 2:45 to 3:45 p.m. in room Venetian Lando 4301.

Nathan Eddy is a healthcare and technology freelancer based in Berlin.
Email the writer: [email protected]
Twitter: @dropdeaded209

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