Digital transformation: 3 charts spotlight what top business decision makers need to know

Here’s a look at what hospitals need to move forward, and the top priorities and biggest obstacles they face today.
By Tom Sullivan
08:59 AM
Share
digital transformation

Digital transformation is not just about the IT shop.

CIOs play the central role, to be certain, but a successful enterprise initiative also increasingly involves the entire C-suite — notably CEOs, CFOs and COOs, not to mention the emerging chiefs of innovation, transformation, medicine, marketing, nursing, informatics and more.

That’s why we have a Focus on The Business of Healthcare, aimed at the top decision makers shaping the future – agents of change, if you will – during December.

HIMSS Media research determined what digital transformation will take, what hospitals are prioritizing today and the biggest inhibitors to forward progress.

Let’s go through the list in order.

Will digital transformation demand a new mindset?

Source: Technology Innovation in Healthcare Survey, HIMSS Media

Yes, it will. And healthcare organizations, hospitals and non-providers alike, need to be proactive in working to develop tools that will shape digital transformation, according to 62 percent of the 180 qualified professionals we surveyed, because only 14 percent indicated that applying existing technologies will get them where they need to be.

That means digital transformation is going to take innovation — not a bad thing, since we saw in our Focus on Innovation back in December that it's thriving in the healthcare ecosystem.

Innovation is everywhere and, bluntly, it’s time for the tired old notion that healthcare is a laggard trailing so many other industries to fade into the reality that we are on the cusp of becoming a leading vertical in the deployment of cutting-edge technologies, such as voice, artificial intelligence and machine learning.  

Time to take a look at exactly where healthcare entities are focusing innovation efforts right now.

What are the top innovation priorities in healthcare?

Source: Technology Innovation in Healthcare Survey, HIMSS Media

Operations. That’s where the money is, even if coding, billing and other back-office tasks are not as sexy as clinical apps or precision medicine.

Patient experience ranks high as well, as do new treatments and the clinical experience, but the almighty quest for market share edged out both. Market share is perhaps one aspect of healthcare that doesn’t get discussed nearly as much as it should.

A piece that garners considerable attention, however, is information security. Relative to our research, it’s the biggest inhibitor to innovation and, by extension, digital transformation.

Lingering cybersecurity issues are the lack of resources, budgetary, talent and, less tangible, just plain time.

What are the top security concerns around technology innovation?

Source: Technology Innovation in Healthcare Survey, HIMSS Media

HIPAA? Of course. The law was enacted in the last century and only now is HHS making overtures about updating it for the digital age. Which won’t happen quickly. But to be fair, government rules and regulations are only one infosec stumbling block. Architecture, budget, talent and a lack of policy are also holding hospitals back from sparking the kind of innovative work digital transformation entails.

In summary for the C-suite: digital transformation demands a new mindset, hospitals are prioritizing operations and patient experience, both of which can bolster the bottom line, but security concerns remain challenging.

What to expect from our Focus on the Business of Healthcare

Everything is changing. Digital transformation means CIOs jobs are evolving and Chief Digital Officers are on the rise, even department heads are bringing tech savvy, and the purchasing influence that accompanies it, to the table. And it’s now incumbent on the C-suite to not only understand but, more important, embrace technology, particularly how it can positively impact the bottom line and invest accordingly.

Against that backdrop, we’ll deliver insights and actionable articles about our core topics for CEO, CFOs, COOs and the widening list of business decision makers. Those topics include big data, analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning, cloud and infrastructure, telehealth and patient experience, finance and revenue cycle, innovation and emerging tech, security and compliance, and more.

Every day during December, on at least one of our information brands, Healthcare IT News, HIMSSTV, MobiHealthNews and Healthcare Finance, we’ll post articles designed to help you make more informed decisions about digital transformation.

But wait, there’s more. Whereas we conducted a Focus on Innovation in September, followed by Focus on Cybersecurity and Focus on Artificial Intelligence, this time we have two themes. In addition to this Focus on the Business of Healthcare, we are also diving deep with a Focus on Blockchain. Expect plenty of myth busting and hype management in that one, too. 

Focus on The Business of Healthcare

In December, we take a deep dive into what top business decision makers need to know about digital transformation.

Twitter: @SullyHIT
Email the writer: tom.sullivan@himssmedia.com

Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication. 

Topics: 
Workforce