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Reimagining growth with a platform-centric digital strategy in healthcare

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The digital transformation is making rapid inroads in the healthcare industry. Companies are adopting digital solutions to improve patient outcomes and business performance and reduce administrative load. There is a strong inclination among firms to become insight-driven. In a recent Forrester Consulting study, 87 percent of the respondents said they were aiming for data-driven decision-making across IT and business operations. The goal? To become more responsive to rapidly evolving market conditions and address competition and consumer pressures.

Digital prowess is key for healthcare organisations to deal with looming recessions, ageing technologies, new market entrants, workforce shortages, rising chronic disease rates, and supply chain disruptions. Yet, despite a hefty price tag, digital transformation success remains elusive. Many healthcare organisations are still stuck at an intermediate stage of digital maturity and enterprise connectivity.

The ground reality of digital transformation in healthcare

Forced to adapt digitally at a rapid pace, healthcare has seen a mix of negative and positive changes in business value, customer delivery, and trust. Most companies have ended up with a fragmented landscape of point solutions that creates siloes and hinders digital transformation efforts. As a result, they have not been able to unlock the full value of their digital initiatives.

Today, over two-thirds of healthcare decision-makers are not confident in the success of their digital transformation efforts in achieving desired business outcomes. Nearly half of them have not seen a positive ROI from digital transformation efforts, despite a high total cost of ownership. And, of the millions of dollars invested in digital experience (DX) initiatives, less than half have translated into tangible business value.

Ineffective digital initiatives in healthcare aren’t just a matter of lost investment. The real cost is not being able to fully leverage the data and alliances, leaving gaps in patient narratives, experiences, and trust. This can lead to epic failures like misdiagnoses and data glitches that mess with patient journeys and affect customer experiences and clinician productivity.

Paving the way to success with a platform-based approach

While healthcare players want to bridge connectivity gaps between data, people, processes, and enterprises, a weak technical and process foundation wreaked with siloes continues to plague their digital advancement.

To overcome these systemic issues, healthcare firms need to focus on:

  1. Building connectivity that aligns business and IT priorities to drive a customer-centric tech strategy.
  2. Overcoming traditional barriers, siloes, and workflow inefficiencies with end-to-end flexible, resilient, and scalable digital capabilities.
  3. Prioritising AI and automation to augment human potential and improve customer experience with more self-service at scale.
  4. Embracing emerging technologies with well-defined use cases will help prioritise the right tech for business success.
  5. Optimising partner ecosystems with the right platforms that enable visibility and accountability to foster innovation and efficiency.

 This is possible with a pivot to a platform-based strategy that drives connectivity across systems, data flows, and operational processes. This approach, characterised by high AI and automation adoption, facilitates leveraging partner ecosystems for digital success.

Building a connected enterprise: The way forward

Traditionally, healthcare operating models have been plagued with siloes that trap technology and data in isolated pockets. The blocked flow of information across the business localised decision-making, limiting growth and responsiveness. Healthcare players have now realised the limitations of this approach, and 75 percent of them are looking to build a connected ecosystem, both internally and externally. A connected enterprise approach encompassing business, operations, and external partnerships is emerging as a priority to enhance enterprise connectivity, streamline operations and costs, optimise value from partnerships, and build visibility.

Companies that are able to leverage digital capabilities to build a connected enterprise reap significant benefits, especially from increased uniformity and automation in business processes. In the Forrester study, 68 percent of decision-makers reported faster responses to customer needs and greater efficiency in managing healthcare records.

In our experience, we have seen healthcare companies deploy digital technology to unlock efficiencies at scale, amplify human potential, and harness the power of a connected ecosystem. For instance, a large US-based healthcare insurance company was able to address its backlog of 70,000 records and high claim processing times with automation. In addition to reducing backlog volumes, they prevented human errors and significantly increased the volume of customer requests handled. Similarly, a major healthcare manufacturer optimised 100+ finance and accounting processes globally, saving 1,000,000 person-hours. In another case, a Fortune 500 healthcare company leveraged intelligent automation to improve customer experience, productivity, and accuracy, reducing claim settlement times by 60 percent. 

It is clear that to foster growth and innovation in the digital healthcare realm, companies need to embrace a platform-centric approach, weaving a tapestry of connected systems ready for the digital renaissance.

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