Modernize Technology: Pushing The Boundaries of Digital

Despite 2020 being a sink-or-swim year, healthcare raised record-breaking funding rounds, experienced unparalleled levels of M&A and increased the adoption of virtual care. Throughout the pandemic, healthcare pushed beyond the boundaries of any single technology to deliver care. Whether a leader or laggard, healthcare organizations doubled down on leveraging technology when the pandemic amplified the key trends driving the need.

Today an organization can implement a modern technology stack with resources, but a modern technology enterprise as a whole doesn’t come from a single investment or approach, layering excess technology into bad processes or adopting the latest shiny object. It’s about evolving the infrastructure into a multi-technology culture that compliments existing teams and disciplines.

Technology will continue reshaping healthcare in multiple ways—how consumers access it, how providers deliver it and what health outcomes it improves. In a multi-tech culture, an organization can deliver new added value by leveraging a myriad of technologies. Modernizing technology means selecting and implementing technology solutions that best fit an organization’s stated goals to accelerate digital transformation for long-term growth and profitability. It’s less about what’s in your tech stack and more about how your tech stack drives and enables operational goals and objectives. Integrating the right technology can drive measurable business outcomes, positive ROI and align to the changing care delivery models. We all know the implications of implementing technology for technology’s sake. Modernizing technology is not an either/or proposition, but a balancing act that requires thoughtfully aligning business and IT objectives, resources and business partners.

Selecting The Right Technology

Today, a CIO’s job has moved beyond ensuring that IT systems operate smoothly or that digital projects are on track and on budget. Today’s CIO delivers an IT strategy that integrates various disciplines, factors and solutions for a successful digital transformation across the enterprise, enabling a better consumer experience.

Technology-driven progress can be expensive, but it’s proving to be a huge imperative for healthcare organizations. As digital health comes of age, here are six key concepts for selecting and implementing the right technology:

  • Adopt core concepts: An organization cannot transform at scale without the prerequisite capabilities of a modern IT infrastructure.
  • Understand transformation is people-led and tech-supported: Humans are the common denominator, no matter what technology is added to an enterprise. Understanding the current state, people and processes helps CIOs select the right technology for their teams.
  • Quality over quantity: Leveraging human-centered design thinking to pursue the right capabilities and test solutions will help organizations select the right tech for overall scalability, performance and maintenance.
  • Ask the right questions: Asking “why” and “what value are you seeking?” is required before investing in new technologies. Understanding the reasoning behind each technology supports a successful integration and drives ROI.
  • Avoid the Six Sigma trap: Technology needs a solid purpose when being added to a business process, not taking a bad process and making it worse by tacking on technology. A purpose-driven approach lends to sustainable digital transformations. For example, statistician Dr. W. Edwards Deming, applied the same principles after World War II, all of which became known as the 14-points. Ultimately, his philosophies were based on fostering constant and never-ending improvement.
  • Innovate to achieve specific business goals: Technology is only one of several interrelated components which drive business performance. Implementation is less about the milestone and more about the value it drives for business.

Technology-driven transformation will help connect and manage data, derive actionable insights and improve patient experience. By instilling new capabilities through technology, organizations can improve health outcomes and consumer experiences while simultaneously elevating financial performance.

Moving Toward Digital Transformation

While healthcare has been transforming over decades, the value of a modern IT infrastructure will require stakeholders – influencers, innovators and skeptics alike – to understand emerging technologies, effective human change management and a clear strategy with a purpose behind how each technology decision will create value. Whether they strike the right balance or not will answer the question of who falls behind and who gains a competitive advantage. As challenges arise when an organization begins to evolve its infrastructure into a multi-technology environment, CIOs have the opportunity to gain the competitive advantage by staying focused on HOW to integrate the new shiny objects. It’s not about starting over with technologies and teams, but rather evaluating if your people, processes and technologies are going to enable the organization to solve holistic business challenges and drive value.

There has never been a more prominent time for organizations to pursue innovation, which can be purposely designed to capitalize on – and accelerate – digital transformation. Healthcare organizations that successfully modernize technology will create sustainable new business value and deliver consumer experiences and care that span organization, physical and digital boundaries.

Lee Eldridge is Chief Enterprise Architect, AVP with Emids. He is known for being a thought leader and advisor in evaluating and communicating the business value and technology implications of initiatives. With 25+ years of experience, Lee applies specialized knowledge of one or more areas of business process, technology solutions and methods to drive technology optimization and architecture recommendations, including the breadth of technology expertise supporting. Be sure to connect with Lee on LinkedIn.

Michael Rutherford is a Senior Solution and Design Architect with Emids. He is an experienced director and software architect, having lead teams using a wide variety of technologies. Michael has a strong focus on quality and UX. Always up for a new challenge, his proficiencies in Agile Scrum and other methodologies allow for meeting client’s strategic needs and impacting their bottom line. Be sure to connect with Michael on LinkedIn.

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